Hub hope for chapel ruins and graveyard

The remains of a 19th century Methodist church and its abandoned graveyard could be turned into a home and a place for people to meet and relax.

That’s Lyn Bannister’s hope who owns what’s left of Mount Pleasant Chapel and the cemetery that served it on Spring Bank, New Mills.

However transforming the site near New Mills Town Hall is something that won’t be happening overnight.

Creating that creative community hub with studios and workshops - with Lyn living on the top floor - will take time.

Lyn also envisages a small cafe where people can get together, possibly even a place for weddings. 

The chapel was destroyed by fire in 1983 and all that’s left is four stone walls.

Meanwhile the land that fronts it is a sea of weeds and grass... and up to 100 head stones on long ago dug graves.

Lyn is looking to undertake a respectful re-development and she’s starting with the cemetery.

Lyn, also a director of New Mills Festival, intends to relocate the stones to other parts of the graveyard to make the land more community friendly for residents.

She said: “Some of the stones are quite big and could be unstable. Others are grave markers.”

The idea is the large tombstones will be laid flat to stop them toppling.

The smaller ones, maybe broken up and used for repairs across the burial ground.

There is also an option for anyone with a personal interest in any of the stones to remove and re-locate them, anytime in the next two months.

The chapel was built in 1838, closing in 1981, just two years before the blaze that destroyed it.

The last burial took place in 1972 and when the chapel closed, so did the cemetery. In all it is believed there are likely to be around 135 plots on the old chapel site.

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