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Jenkin's Chapel

/images/jenkinschapel.jpgJenkin's Chapel is a most enchanting little house of worship (a very appropriate phrase when you consider its appearance) in an isolated location on the western flank of the Peak District National Park and just over the border into Cheshire. Jenkin's Chapel can be found at an isolated junction of quiet country lanes on the edge of the moors where the old Roman Road known as The Street drops down from Pym Chair after climbing steeply up from the Errwood Reservoir. Pym Chair is a particularly high vantage point and beauty spot with far reaching views down over the Goyt Valley and across the Cheshire plains.

Jenkin's Chapel was built in 1733, with the tower being added in 1755. It is a most unusual building, looking more like a house. with small secular-type windows and a chimney but with a tower attached, and was constructed alongside an important saltway from which the nearby Saltersford Hall of 1593 took its name. Centuries ago, trains of packhorses carrying panniers laden with salt from the Cheshire 'witches' would have plodded wearily past Jenkin's Chapel on their way to Derbyshire and beyond.

Financed by John Slack of Saltersford Hall as well as voluntary contributions, Jenkin's Chapel was originally dedicated to St John the Baptist. However, as it was not officially consecrated until 1894, it was then re-dedicated to St John the Evangelist. The church is built of local gritstone with a saddleback roof and outside steps leading to an upper gallery.

There are two theories as to the Jenkin title, the first being that it was the name of a local family. But it is also reputed that the chapel was named after a fiery Welsh preacher who came to give services at the annual horse fair which was held here at that time.

Inside Jenkin's Chapel are said to be original box pews, a pulpit and reading desk.

In the graveyard their are some early gravestones to be found with fascinating names including Ozias Dale who died in 1876 and Absolam Mottershead who passed away a few years earlier.