High Pavement Chapel

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High Pavement Unitarian Chapel
High Pavement Unitarian Church.JPG
Unitarian Chapel on High Pavement, now the Pitcher and Piano public house
Country England
Previous denomination Unitarian
Heritage designation Grade II listed[1]
Architect(s) Stuart Colman
Completed 1876
Closed 1982

High Pavement Chapel is a building on High Pavement in Nottingham. It is now the Pitcher and Piano public house and is Grade II listed.


By August 1662, under the Act of Uniformity, two Nottingham ministers, John Whitlock and William Reynolds had been deprived of their living at St Mary's Church, Nottingham and a third, John Barret, of his at St Peter's left town to comply with the Five Mile Act 1665. However, they continued to preach in the area, including houses in Nottingham's Bridlesmith Gate and Middle Pavement. This led to the foundation of a permanent chapel in High Pavement in 1690.[2]

By 1735 the congregation had established itself as liberal and in 1802 as Unitarian. In 1758 the appointment of a new junior minister, Isaac Smithson, caused a schism. The senior minister withdrew to a new chapel in nearby Halifax Place. This schism lasted until 1775 when the two congregations merged. The original chapel was considerably rebuilt in 1805.

In 1864 the congregation opened a daughter church, Christ Church, Peas Hill. This survived until 1932.

The current building was opened in 1876, built to a design of the architect Stuart Colman, of Bristol. It was used as a place of worship for Unitarian Presbyterians in Nottingham until 1982. It was then converted into the Nottingham Lace Museum, but this venture proved financially unviable[citation needed]. The building was then converted to its current use, as a Pitcher and Piano public house. [3] The current congregation, Nottingham Unitarians, are now based nearby at 3 Plumptre Street, Nottingham NG1 1JL, a former lace factory where items of lace were finished. [4]

Stained glass[edit]



  • Henry Farmer 1839 - 1879
  • William Lawrence ???? - 1883 - 1885 - ????
  • William Wright ???? - 1879 - 1888 - ???? (later organist of Christ Church, New Radford)
  • Charles Lymn ???? - 1902 - 1914 - ????
  • H. Freestone ca. 1916
  • C. E. Blyton Dobson 1920 - 1925
  • Wilfred Davies ca. 1960s

References in literature[edit]

The church is mentioned in Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence, chapter 15. Then, happening to go into the Unitarian Church one Sunday evening, when they stood up to sing the second hymn he saw her before him. The light glistened on her lower lip as she sang. She looked as if she had got something, at any rate: some hope in heaven, if not in earth. Her comfort and her life seemed in the after-world. A warm, strong feeling for her came up. She seemed to yearn, as she sang, for the mystery and comfort. He put his hope in her. He longed for the sermon to be over, to speak to her. The throng carried her out just before him.[7]


  1. ^ Historic England. "Lace Hall  (Grade II) (1247635)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Peter Hoare: The Rectors of St Peter's Church, Nottingham, 1241-1991 (Nottingham: St Peter's Parochial Church Council, 1992), pp. 22-24.
  3. ^ "Pitcher and Piano website". 
  4. ^ Nottingham Unitarians website http://www.nottinghamunitarians.org.uk/ Nottingham Unitarians website Check |url= value (help).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^  "Hughes, Obadiah". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  6. ^  "Scargill, William Pitt". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  7. ^ Lawrence, David Herbert (1913). Wikisource link to Sons and Lovers. Wikisource. 
  • An Itinerary of Nottingham, J. Holland Walker, 1927.
  • Allens Illustrated Guide to Nottingham, J. Potter Briscoe, 1888.

Coordinates: 52°57′04″N 1°8′45″W / 52.95111°N 1.14583°W / 52.95111; -1.14583