St Bartholomew’s Chapel is the former estate chapel in the grounds of Bretton HallCountry house on the north slope of the valley of the River Dearne in West Bretton near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. , in West BrettonVillage and civil parish in the Wakefield District of West Yorkshire. near Wakefield in West Yorkshire. It replaced an earlier chapel on a different site. It was built in the Classical style for Sir William Wentworth in 1744.
The chapel was designated a Grade II* listed building in 1966, and in 1995 became redundant. Since being owned by the Yorkshire Sculture park it has been restored as gallery space.
From medieval times West Bretton was partly in the ancient parishesAncient or ancient ecclesiastical parishes encompassed groups of villages and hamlets and their adjacent lands, over which a clergyman had jurisdiction. of Silkstone and Sandal Magna, and because of its distance from the churches had a chapel of ease. The original chapel of ease was “drowned” when the upper lake in the parkland was created, and was replaced on a site to the east of his new mansion by Sir William Wentworth in 1744. An estate chapel dedicated to St Bartholomew was built with money from Wentworth’s wealthy wife, Diana Blackett. Several members of the Wentworth family are buried there including Sir William Wentworth in 1763 and his son Thomas Wentworth-Blackett in 1792. The chapel was in private ownership until Viscount Allendale gave it to the Wakefield Diocese in 1956. In 1995 it was declared redundant and sold to Bretton College, who used it as rehearsal space for drama students. The chapel was restored during 2013–2014 as gallery space for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The chapel, in the Classical style, is built of ashlarMasonry of squared and finely cut or worked stone, commonly used for the facing of a building. sandstone. It has a five-bay naveCentral part of a church, used by the laiety. and a chancelPart of a church containing the altar, used by the officiating clergy. under its stone slate roof. The symmetrical west front’s three bays are framed and separated by giant Tuscan pilasters with an exaggerated entasis[a]A slight convex curve in the column to correct the optical illusion of concavity or hollowness produced by a straight shaft. The centre bay contains a blind doorway with niches in the bays at either side, and above them, sash windows of six, eight and six lights. The tympanum in the pediment contains a round-arched window. The chapel’s bell chamber is cylindrical with round, louvred openings and a domed top. The Venetian east window has Tuscan columns.
Wilkinson, John. Exploring the Upper Dearne Valley. Bridge Publications, 2002.
Wright, S. J. Bretton, the Beaumonts and a Bureaucracy. Wakefield Historical Publications, 2001, 0-901869-43-0.
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