Public sorrow greets chapel demolition
Caistor residents have reacted with shock, dismay, and anger this evening (Tuesday, March 6, 2018) after learning that demolition has begun on the former Workhouse chapel off North Kelsey Road.
Although the decision to demolish the chapel was taken many years ago, it has remained in a dilapidated state long after new homes were constructed nearby on what was the former hospital site.
A discussion about the chapel was one of the very first local stories to be reported in the Caistor Citizen, on January 9, 2015.
At that time, Caistor Town Council decided to make inquiries regarding a payment of £50,000, which had originally been agreed under a Section 106 agreement with the developer.
The town council had been offered the chapel, or it could have opted to take the payment.
The Citizen believes that a decision to accept the money was taken before 2010.
(Above, a view inside the Chapel in 2014, photograph by Stewart Wall)
From subsequent observations of various town council discussions, the Citizen understood that the £50,000 figure was later amended to £40,000, and the trigger for payment was either when a certain number of homes had been built or sold. It is thought that insufficient homes have been built/sold at the present time to trigger the payment.
It is not known if the developer that accepted the terms of the Section 106 agreement is still in control of the site. The current developer, Cannon Kirk Homes, is based in Cambridgeshire.
The first that many townspeople knew of the demolition was after a photograph taken by a nearby resident (pictured above, and reproduced with permission) appeared on the Facebook site, Caistor Past and Present, which was founded by former Caistor resident Carol Barnes. She described the demolition this evening as “very sad”.
Many residents condemned the demolition and said the historic chapel should have been saved.
The website http://www.caistor.net, set up by Roy Schofield, MBE, who died in October, quotes White’s (1882), which states that the chapel was “erected in 1866, at an expense of £340” – though Caistor.net says the chapel was actually built in 1865.
The website also quotes the Stamford Mercury of 12.5.65, as saying that “Divine service has hitherto been conducted in the dining room, which was considered very unseemly and inconvenient.”
Another quote says the chapel was formally opened “on the 17th (month unspecified) by the Ven. Archdeacon Kaye, who delivered a suitable and impressive discourse.” The quote goes on to describe the chapel as a “plain substantial structure …to seat comfortably 200 persons.”
Mr Schofield’s website also includes a map and a document dated 8 November 1990 regarding the “appropriation and removal of legal effects of consecration”. It is reproduced below.