The first chapel in the town was originally built by the Normans, but was replaced with a larger church only 100 years later.
Buried in the churchyard are soldiers of the Scottish army of the Duke of Hamilton who marched south in support of Charles I in 1648. After their defeat at Preston, they were marched to Chapel and imprisoned in the church for sixteen days in such squalid conditions that forty died; a further ten died when they were marched towards Cheshire.
The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Thomas a Becket.
"CHAPEL-EN-LE-FRITH is a market-town and parish, in the hundred of High Peak, 167 miles from London, 20 S.E. from Manchester, 21 N.W. from Sheffield, 23 W. by N. from Chesterfield, and 6 N. from Buxton. Its name signifies the 'Chapel-in-the-Forest; from the Saxon word frith, a forest or wood - the church or chapel, which originated the town, having been built within the forest of the High Peak. The town is neat and pleasantly situate on the declivity of a hill, rising from an extensive and fertile vale, surrounded by an amphitheatre of lofty eminences that bound this extremity of the county."
[Description from Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835]
You can see pictures of Chapel en le Frith which are provided by:
Bastardy cases would be heard in the Chapel-en-le-Frith petty session hearings monthly in the Town Hall.
As a result of the Poorlaw Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became the center of the Chapel en le Frith Poorlaw Union.
The union workhouse was built c.1840 on the Whaley Bridge road (grid reference SK051805). It consisted of an entrance range and an accommodation block of three wings centred on an octagonal hub, an infirmary and an isolation hospital.