The Site includes:
The beautiful Grade 1 listed Chapel, which is the oldest place of worship in Knutsford.
The Graveyard where Elizabeth and William Gaskell and two of their daughters are buried surrounded by numerous members of her family including her great great grandfather, Peter Coulthurst, who died in 1741 who was a founding trustee of the chapel and “Aunt Lumb. The graves of previous ministers and other eminent people as well as members of the congregation all lie in the well tended grounds.
The Gardens These tranquil well-kept gardens lie behind the chapel. There is also a cutting of a mulberry tree taken from Shakespeare’s garden in recognition of the two years Elizabeth spent at boarding school in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Stairway has a gallery of eminent Unitarians and their achievements.
The Gaskell Room has many interesting and informative panels about Elizabeth’s early life in Knutsford and her visits to other well known Cheshire Homes eg Styal, Tatton, Tabley.
Her Unitarian faith and the people she met in her youth greatly influenced her novels.
The room resembles an 1800’s living room with many artefacts being donated by local people. A doll’s house representing “Heathwaite” in Gaskell Avenue, Knutsford, where Elizabeth lived with Aunt Lumb until her marriage to William Gaskell is a favourite with children along with some Victorian dolls.
There is an interesting collection of books that had belonged to Aunt Lumb and other members of the Holland family as well as Gaskell novels and information books.
The Chapel Room has panels which explain the events leading up to the building of the chapel, a brief history of Unitarianism and Elizabeths association with the chapel. We are currently preparing a board to tell of the chapel’s history from the time it was built till today.
The Chapel Hall (built as a school room in 1886) where visitors can meet for a chat while they enjoy light refreshments. Children are welcome and there is a choice of quiz sheets for them to complete and a dressing up box.
Tuesday 10-12 Sundays 12-1 throughout the year.
Other times by appointment please.
Individuals and Groups are welcome any time phone 01565 632673
and we will gladly open the site for you.
Talks on the Chapel History / Unitarianism /Elizabeth Gaskell can be arranged
by request. Also walks around Knutsford.
There is no entry charge but a voluntary donation is welcome.