The Old Bell Chapel is of great historic importance, because the Reverend Patrick Bronte was the Curate there from 1815 to 1820, before he moved to Haworth….and as they say, the rest is history!
An interesting fact is that at one of his first services at the Chapel, on 23rd July 1815, he gave a thanksgiving for the victory at the Battle of Waterloo over Napoleon.
Patrick’s plans including building a Cupola [a bell tower] and to take down the south wall to rebuild it with six new large windows. The early photograph below, shows the chapel and cupola after this work had been completed.
The Bell Chapel then fell into disrepair after the new, and much bigger St James Church was opened in 1872, and it was then left to fall down until all that remained was one wall and the original Cupola which was later rebuild at ground-level, at the other end of the chapel remains.
In 2000 an Action Group of Volunteer was set up to save what was left, and raise awareness of the history of this important site. They meet weekly to carry out maintenance of the site.