Lower Chapel, Darwen - Independent

Church picture

Lower Chapel,


J G Shaw, History of Darwen and its People (1889 republished on CD-ROM by Archive CD Books).


A large graveyard is attached to the church. The MI's have been transcribed - copy in Darwen Library.

Church History

Lower Chapel, (Independent Chapel) was built in 1719 to succeed the nonconformists' first chapel at Bottoms (site SD693233).

In 1723 an influential section of the congregation seceded from Lower Chapel and built a place called Yates's Chapel. The two congregations were reunited in the early 1750's. During 1852 the foundations became unsafe and a major part of the congregation removed to Duckworth Street where they built a new church in 1853. A small section remained and renovated Lower Chapel. The church bears four date stones - 1719; 1753; 1853; 1873; and 1937. After almost 290 years of religious use Lower Chapel finally closed in 2003.

Lower Chapel is now run and managed by the Lighthouse Darwen, a not for profit company limited by guarantee. Amongst the user of the Chapel are the Local History group, the Archaeology group, Morris dancers, dance and jazz classes, a worship fellowship. Repairs and refurbishments are underway, with part of the grave yard being cleared.

The Independent churches were ones in which each congregation was autonomous, upholding the principles of independence. In the 19th century they became known as Congregational.

In 1972 the Congregational church joined with the English Presbyterian church to become the United Reformed Church.

Church Records

Whilst every effort has been made to record exact details of record office and library holdings you are recommended to check with them before visiting to ensure that they do hold the records and years you wish to examine. Similarly check with transcript publishers to ensure they cover the records and years you require before making a purchase.

Original Registers: 1751-1837 located in The National Archive. The post 1837 registers are being deposited in the Lancashire Record Office.

Copied Register: Microfilmed copies are available at the Lancashire Record Office.

Transcriptions: The Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society has published the registers 1751-1794.




The church was located at OS grid reference SD6943823146 (Lat/Lon 53.703840,-2.464442). You can see this on maps provided by:

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