A chapel which was built as a barracks to house soldiers ready to fight an invasion by Napoleon has received a £42,000 cash boost.
The Providence Chapel, in Charlwood, needs repair and restoration before the Trust which owns it can open it to the public and allow children from Charlwood School to use it.
The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund came at rather an appropriate time as the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo will be commemorated in the chapel on October 23 and 24.
The chapel/barracks was built in Horsham in 1797 and, after the Battle of Waterloo it was moved to Charlwood and turned into a nonconformist chapel. When it became disused in 2012 it was purchased by the newly-formed Providence Chapel Charlwood Trust.
The £42,000 development funding was awarded to help the Trust progress its plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.
Trust chairman Brendon Sewill said: “This is a huge boost for preserving a vital part of our village history. Charlwood has a wealth of history – a fine Norman church and over 80 listed buildings of which the chapel is one of the most important.
“We are delighted that generations of children will now be able to absorb its history.”
The chapel is listed Grade 2* which puts it among the 6 per cent most important historic buildings in England, and it is on the English Heritage register of ‘buildings at risk’.
In working out their plans to save the chapel, Trust members had help from English Heritage, the Architectural Heritage Fund, the Surrey Historic Buildings Trust, council planning officers and the Heritage Lottery Fund themselves. The Trust is now a registered charity.
The Napoleonic musical review will be performed by One Knight Only and Friends on Friday and Saturday evenings, October 23 and 24. Tickets are available from The Café, Charlwood. RH6 0DF or call 01293 862 431.
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