Record Details

NHER Number:49845
Type of record:Building
Name:Chapel of St Felix, Babingley ('The Iron Mission')

Summary

Remarkable prefabricated church building of corrugated iron, wooden openings and thatched roof. Gabled transepts, no chancel, south porch; door on west wall south transept in addition. Y-tracery windows. Thatched roof with pair of gabled louvers and west bellcote.
It has been suggested that the form of this 'tin tabernacle' is unique in East Anglia, if not England.
The church was given to the village by King George V to replace the ancient church (NHER 3257) with the condition that if it ceased to be a church it should be handed back to the estate.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 67524 26376
Map Sheet:TF62NE
Parish:SANDRINGHAM, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Remarkable prefabricated church building of corrugated iron, wooden openings and thatched roof. Gabled transepts, no chancel, south porch; door on west wall south transept in addition. Y-tracery windows. Thatched roof with pair of gabled louvers and west bellcote.
Church given to village by King George V to replace the ancient church NHER 3257 with condition that if it ceased to be a church it should be handed back to the estate. Newspaper article (S1) in file states that this was to be the case, however since that date the building has been taken over by the English Orthodox church.
E. Rose (NLA), 21 February 2007.

It is suggested by (S2) that the thatched, cruciform form of this 'tin tabernacle' makes it unique in East Anglia, perhaps in England. It is also noted that it would have been constructed from a kit that was most likely made by Boulton and Paul of Norwich.
A review of (S3) in Church Times (S4) includes a brief description of this chapel and recounts how part of its roof was apparently knocked off by a falling tree in the 1970s.
P. Watkins (HES), 18 February 2019.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PREFABRICATED BUILDING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. Royal estate considers new role for 'Iron Mission'. 18 October.
<S2>Website: Knott, S. 2006. Norfolk Churches - St Mary and St Felix, Babingley (St Felix chapel). http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/babingley/babingley.htm. 18 February 2019.
<S3>Publication: Smith, I. 2004. Tin Tabernacles: Corrugated Iron Mission Halls, Churches & Chapels of Britain.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Church Times. 2006. Worshipping in churches made of iron resolve. 2 November.

Related records - none

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