Regular contributor Michael Parker shares some fascinating information on the history of Loxley Chapel.
“While I was looking through my files the other day for information regarding a particular subject I had in mind I quite by chance came across the following piece in The Sheffield Independent and Yorkshire and Derbyshire Advertiser, Saturday, June 18, 1831, Volume XII, Number 530, page three, WALKS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF SHEFFIELD – Number six.
One paragraph of this reads: “Midway between Sheffield and Bradfield, upon an exposed hill, which bears the name of Hungry Knowle, stands the chapel of Loxley.
It is an oblong square building, of common stone of the neighbourhood and was erected upwards of 40 years ago, by a reverend clergyman of the name of Greaves.
A spiritual temple, however humble its dimensions, standing alone in a wild and thinly peopled country, is a more touching monument of the wants, the hopes, and the fears of man, than all the gorgeous piles of sculptured stone and marble, which, in the midst of cities, have been dedicated to the names of Paul and Peter.
It is instructive and saddening to look on the plain and already blackened walls of this chapel, its spacious yard, filled with slumbering lodgers, and to bring the wayward and rebelling mind to acknowledge the value and need of the divine communion, and the necessity of obedience, even unto the last command.”
This indicates (among other things) that Loxley Chapel was built around 1790 and thus may well be a contender for the oldest surviving church building in the wider Sheffield area, barring Sheffield Cathedral itself.
Similarly, the Sheffield Independent, July 23, 1915, on page 10, publishes three poor quality photos appear under the heading: SHEFFIELD’S NONCOMFORMIST BISHOP.
THE CLOSING SCENE – Which refers to the funeral of the Rev TW Holmes, “at Loxley yesterday”, attended by a large number of Sheffield citizens.
However, one can find out little regarding the Rev Holmes via Google.
There is also a very poor quality photograph entitled “Tombstone at Loxley” recording the death of a Sheffield youth who went down in the Formidable, which sank in the English Channel with great loss of life in bad weather after being torpedoed by the U-24 on New Year’s Day 1915.
Therefore, given the recently expressed concern for the future survival of such an historic building, I was wondering if anyone has completed a study of the graveyard occupants and their particular stories to record for posterity.
If this is not the case, then perhaps someone should, before the local history of this building is lost forever in the proverbial mists of time and the avarice of property developers?”