OLD CHAPEL COTTAGE

 

In 1834 Mr Thomas Terry from Queensborough, Kent, was sent to the Chapel in Princes Risborough, but when it was found that there were sixty three people travelling from the parish of Monks Risborough it was decided to form a separate church at Askett.

Mr Terry and his family went to live at Blackwell Farm, in the cottage, and he walked across the field to help build the chapel.

It was a flourishing congregation of farm labourers and their families and other trade people and their families, which increased the assembly so that at the beginning of the twentieth century nearly all the village were members.

Deacon Baker, who was a small man with a long beard, was both caretaker and often preacher, but his talents as the latter caused much amusement to the small boys, as he was inclined to malapropisms! Never the less, he was forced to reckon, as also was Miss Ann Crockett, who was a very strict organising superintendent of the Sunday School, with particularly, when the small boys, who should have been at the services, went bird-nesting instead.

Miss Rose Crockett, who lived at Letterbox Cottage, was the organist and Tom Stratford, another deacon, lived at Brook Cottage.

"On Whit Monday in 1931 there was a garden party held on the Lower Green at the pretty little village of Askett, to raise funds for electricty to be fitted into the Baptist Chapel" - so reported the Buckinghamshire Herald.

Anniversaries were celebrated, in the summertime, in the meadow down the lane near Dorrells pond, with the Band of Hope, and scrumptious jelly and cakes. And the donkey rides were a penny a time.

In wintertime the meadow was always flooded and when frozen over the skaters practised their skills between the young sliders and their sledges.

Eventually numbers dwindled as the population changed, and although there was a visiting lay preacher once a month there were only eight in the congregation, so it was decided to close the chapel in 1959.

In 1960 it was converted into Old Chapel Cottage, with some of the old gravestones left in the garden, with the names of Hopcroft , Baldwin and Messenger carved for prosperity.

Footnote: The gravestones were laid flat underground and pipes laid over them.

 

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