(All images by Nigel Bendle of Postcard Cafe, reproduced with permission)
Sheffield‘s modern ruins have featured prominently in earlier articles, but one Victorian abandonment we keep returning to is the historic General Cemetery. We’re heading back there now to give you an exclusive glimpse inside the derelict Anglican Chapel, which was bricked-up after the last burial took place there in 1978.
When Sheffield-based photographer Nigel Bendle visited the abandoned chapel, he discovered that a hole had been smashed through the concrete masonry which normally sealed the entrance. Taking advantage of this rare opportunity, Nigel captured what must be among the only images detailing the current condition of the Angican Chapel’s interior.
The result is a neglected structure eerily frozen in time. Hidden by cinder blocks, the original Gothic-style oak door still adorns the entrance. The graffiti scrawled across the interior walls includes the U.K. Subs and Alternative TV, both early English punk bands formed in 1976 – around the same time the now gutted chapel was abandoned.
Nigel – seen above lending some scale to the building’s cavernous shell – commented: “Some buildings, even when derelict, carry a sense of their history or original majesty. Inside, this chapel failed to do that. It felt very sad and neglected, it was gloomy and smelled of damp, bird droppings and dead pigeons.”
Unlike the cemetery’s other buildings, constructed in the classical tradition, the Anglican Chapel (designed in 1848 by William Flockton) is Gothic in style and features an oversized steeple that was intended to be noticed from a distance.
The Friends of the General Cemetery does an excellent job of preserving this important slice of Sheffield’s Victorian past with limited resources. The Anglican Chapel has been arsoned over the years; its holed roof is nominally protected by a tarpaulin. Urban Ghosts firmly hopes the building can eventually be re-purposed like these six creatively converted chapels and churches.
All images courtesy of Nigel Bendle, reproduced with permission.
Keep reading – check out these 5 Pillars of the Abandoned World.