History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: An excellent example of unaltered 18th-century interior
Though the chapel looks quite plain on the outside, the interior has lovely cream and brown box pews and first-floor galleries.
The plain exterior was intentional; non-conformist chapels were often much plainer than traditional Anglican churches to emphasise the differences in religious worship. But there was another, more practical reason; chapels were usually built by the congregation themselves, using whatever local materials they could find.
Lancashire was a hotbed of non-conformist worship in the 18th century. We know that there was a Baptist congregation meeting at Lumb, to the east of Goodshaw, as early as 1742. The Baptist group joined with local Wesleyans and the combined congregation began to build a place of worship at Goodshaw in 1760.
They chose a location easily accessible to nearby farms, beside the main road to Burnley. In 1760 this would have been an isolated location, but now the chapel stands near a modern housing estate.
Expanding population due to the growing textile industry meant that the original chapel had to be enlarged at the turn of the 19th century.
In 1864 a new chapel was built nearby and Goodshaw Chapel was used less and less. By the middle of the 20th century, it had fallen completely out of use and was in danger of becoming derelict. It was restored by English Heritage and taken into state care from 1975.
The thing that makes Goodshaw so striking is that the interiors have been almost completely unchanged since the early 19th century. The box pews date to the early 19th century, but the side galleries are original. Look for a large pew on the south side used by the choir. The beautifully carved pulpit is early 19th-century and retains its sounding board.
It is worthwhile exploring the burial ground, which boasts some very good examples of early 19th-century gravestones.
The chapel still holds a festival service on the first Sunday in July.
About Goodshaw Chapel
Address: Goodshaw Avenue, Crawshawbooth, Lancashire, England
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: In Crawshawbooth, 2 miles north of Rawtenstall.
Website: Goodshaw Chapel
English Heritage - see also: English Heritage memberships (official website)
Photo Credit: John Darch, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
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19th century (Time Period) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museum - 3.7 miles (Museum)
Burnley, St Peter's Church - 4.5 miles (Historic Church)
Gawthorpe Hall - 4.9 miles (Historic House)
Whalley Abbey Gatehouse - 8 miles (Abbey)
Whalley, St Mary's Church - 8 miles (Historic Church)
Blackburn, Holy Trinity Church - 8 miles (Historic Church)
Pendle Heritage Centre - 8.7 miles (Historic Building)
Old Langho Church - 9.2 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Goodshaw Chapel:
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