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Al Chapel

ALHAMPTON CHAPEL

Very little is known about the history of the chapel, popularly known as the 'Tin Tabernacle'. There is nothing about it in the County Record Office although we do know that an earlier stone chapel was built in the adjacent field, it was sadly blown down in a gale in 1703, the same gale that killed the Bishop of Bath & Wells and his wife when a chimney in the Bishop's Palace collapsed on their bed. The land was given to the church in 1887 and the chapel was built in 1892, probably by Boulton & Paul. The parts would have presumably arrived at Castle Cary railway station and would have then been transferred to the site by horse and cart. The chapel would have cost approximately £250. We believe it to be the original. Following the industrial revolution a very large number of tin tabernacles were built between 1890 and 1910, 3500 in Wales alone. Our chapel is a 'Daughter' church of St Mary Magdalene at Ditcheat, looked after by the Parochial Church Council. By the year 2000 the chapel had deteriorated to such a degree that it was in danger of being closed. After receiving a structural survey which showed that the basic structure was sound, the PCC allowed the Chapel Warden, Sir John Severne to start the restorations on the basis that he raised the funds to do so. With the support of local people, £25,000 was raised and the final restoration works took place in 2011. Regularly monthly communions and family services are held in the chapel, along with the occasional wedding and baptism.

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