The Kensington Chapel – Allen Street, London W8 – was opened in 1855 to serve as a Congregationalist place of worship.
The architect was Andrew Trimen (1810–72), a favourite of the English Congregational Chapel-Building Society, and the builder was Thomas Chamberlain (n.d.). The total cost of £8,748 included the purchase of the site from the Phillimore family.
Subsequent additions included the eastern hall and meeting rooms (1856). A new school was provided to one side of the chapel 1868–9 designed by G. Gordon Stanham costing £5,000; subsequently demolished and the site redeveloped.
The chapel building was severely damaged by aerial bombing in 1940 and was not restored to use until 1958, with upgraded minister’s accommodation, halls and meeting rooms.
The present west-gallery instrument was installed in 1958, replacing an earlier instrument that was lost when the building suffered war damage. This two-manual and pedal pipe organ is by the firm of Henry Willis and bears two dates: 1868 and 1958. The earlier date suggests the organ had previously been elsewhere, currently unknown. The specification can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register (see ‘References’ below).
Previously the chapel’s organ had its pipe-organ placed at the centre of the east wall, as we see in the first pipe-organ image above. The history of this former organ is unclear, the first available evidence – dating from 1921 – notes that it was rebuilt in 1890 by the firm of Hele and Co.
- ‘Andrew Triman’ in Architects of Greater Manchester: 1800–1940. Online resource, accessed 22 July 2019
- ‘Kensington United Reformed Church‘. Church website, accessed 22 July 2019.
- John Stoughton. Congregationalism in the Court Suburb (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1883).
- ‘Churches and chapels: Non-Anglican denominations‘, in Survey of London: Volume 42, Kensington Square To Earl’s Court, ed. Hermione Hobhouse (London, 1986), pp. 386–94. British History Online. Online resource accessed 22 July 2019.
- ‘Middlesex Kensington, United Reformed Church [N01274]‘ in National Pipe Organ Register. Online resource, accessed 22 July 2019
- ‘The Phillimore estate‘, in Survey of London: Volume 37, Northern Kensington, ed. F H W Sheppard (London, 1973), pp. 58-76. British History Online [accessed 22 July 2019].