The Octagon Chapel, Norwich
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 18th century neo-classical design
The original focus on Presbyterianism gave way over time to Unitarianism, and the chapel attracted some of Norwich's leading families. Among regular worshippers was Joseph Priestly, philosopher and scientist, known as the man who 'discovered' oxygen. Another was William Smith, a leading light on the movement to abolish slavery.
Thomas Ivory's original design used high-backed pews, but these were removed by the Victorians in 1889, when the pulpit was enlarged and the woodwork darkened in line with prevailing Victorian fashion. The building is known for its excellent acoustics, which make it a popular venue for concerts. It is still very much in use as a meeting house, so opening times may be limited.
When we visited, the chapel was undergoing essential repairs, and it was a challenge to photograph the beautiful exterior without scaffolding intruding. We weren't able to view the interior, which is a real shame. Hopefully we'll be able to make it back and share photos of the interior soon. If the outside is anything to go by it should be a real treat!
About Octagon Chapel
Address: Octagon Unitarian Chapel, Colegate, Norwich, Norfolk, England, NR3 1BN
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Paid car park on Calvert Street, 5 minutes walk. 15 minutes walk from the cathedral.
Website: Octagon Chapel
Phone: 01603 666636
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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