A major repair project has been announced for one of Coventry’s most important historic buildings.
Nonconformist Chapel is one of the main features of London Road Cemetery’s Grade I park and garden, designed by Sir Joseph Paxton in 1847.
The Nonconformist Chapel was designed as a classical temple with giant ionic columns framing the portico entrance and two side pavilions.
First fire in 1884 caused by dynamite used to blast graves in stony ground.
The building was damaged during WWII bombing and has been abandoned since.
Arson destroyed the roof and interiors in 2006. The Council reconstructed the main roof, but the side wings remain uncovered. The building is on the national register of ‘at-risk’ historic sites.
Historic Coventry Trust and Coventry City Council have received £215,000 from Historic England to restore the building’s fabric as part of a larger project to convert it into creative business offices.
Contractors from Lichfield have started the six-month project.
The roof, stonework, external doors, repointing, and portico ceiling will be repaired and replaced.
The restoration of the chapel follows the Council and Historic Coventry Trust’s £2.3m restoration of the cemetery’s northern section last year. The Anglican Chapel has been restored and is now owned by Historic Coventry Trust.
A new pedestrian crossing over London Road connects the Chapel and Cemetery to Charterhouse’s large car-park, which is undergoing a £10 million renovation to create a new Coventry attraction.
Historic Coventry Trust’s Hannah Jones said this is part of a long-term plan to sustain the building.
All Heritage Open Days opening times, tour booking information, and venue details are available at www.coventry.gov.uk/hod and the Council House reception.