Henton Tin Chapel

Chiltern-Open-Air-Museum-Mission-Room

Henton Mission Room

  • This building is a prefabricated church. It was referred to as the ‘little tin church’, although it is made from wood and clad in iron.
  • The building was located in the small hamlet of Henton in the parish of Chinnor, Oxfordshire.
  • The Mission Room was constructed in Norwich and transported to Henton by train.
  • It was erected in 1886 and held services up until the 1970s.
  • It was dismantled in October 1993 and was gradually reconstructed at the Museum between 1994 – 1997.
  • The chapel was used in 2011 for the filming of an episode of Midsomer Murders the episode also starred Joey one of the Museum’s pigmy goats.

The Mission Room was built in 1886, on ground let to the Rector and Church wardens of Chinnor by Magdalen College, Oxford, “for the purpose of a mission room to be erected thereon” (Tenancy Agreement, Magdalen College 1886) at an annual rent of one shilling.
The prefabricated building, which is in timber-framed sections bolted together with an external cladding of corrugated iron, was supplied by Boulton and Paul of Norwich. Two delivery labels were found on the building during dismantling and the company archivist searched through copies of contemporary catalogues, though no exact match was found.

Henton-tin-chapel-1993The tin chapel before it was dismantled in 1993.

 

Local residents supplied information about the interior (which had been vandalised when found). The room had contained fifty chairs arranged in rows either side of the central aisle. There was a small altar table with two brass candlesticks, in front of which stood a lectern and a harmonium. Two oil lamps suspended from the ceiling lighted the room.

In Henton the building was referred to as the “little tin church”, where the Rector of Chinnor came to preach once a month on a Sunday afternoon. Christenings were performed, but the parents had to supply a bowl of water. Services were held in the building until 1973.