Samuel Worth Chapel

Sited halfway up the hill, sitting squarely in the middle of the site, is the Nonconformist Chapel (Grade II* listed) – the centrepiece of Samuel Worth’s original Cemetery plan. The Chapel is described in Pevsner’s Architectural Guide as ‘Egypto-Greek’. A powerful Doric porticoed structure, it’s built of imported Derbyshire Millstone Grit. Doric refers to a plain straightforward design associated with strength and masculinity. It was built to a great depth, 20 feet or more below the finished ground level. The subterranean part of the structure was buried by a combination of imported earth to back fill and deep ‘drop vaults’. A range of stone-faced catacombs to the rear of the Chapel acted as a retaining wall to the surrounding burial ground. They provided access via a sunken driveway to the deep vaults beneath the Chapel. These were used for burials towards the end of the 19th century.

Greek and Egyptian Design

The front of the Chapel has a Greek Doric portico with substantial columns beneath. Under the portico is a large Egyptian-style doorway. Above the door is a sculpted relief panel of a dove, representing the Holy Spirit descending. Each side elevation has four simply framed Egyptian windows with octagonal iron fretwork. Although principally designed for funerals, soon after it was built Sunday services were held in the Chapel – though not in winter as the building was so cold.

World War Two

In 1940, during the Sheffield Blitz, three bombs fell in the vicinity of the Cemetery. One of them landed near, but not on, the Chapel and caused damage. Gradually over the next decades the Cemetery became overgrown and disused. The Chapel became derelict, losing its roof and becoming subject to vandalism.


In 2012-2014, the Sheffield General Cemetery Trust and South Yorkshire Buildings Preservation Trust submitted an application to the Architectural Heritage Fund’s ‘Challenge Fund’ for a capital grant to restore the Chapel.

With additional grant funding from WREN landfill, Alan Evans Memorial Trust and Sheffield City Council, repair and restoration followed and was completed in November 2016 when the building re-opened as the Samuel Worth Chapel. Since re-opening the Chapel has been used for exhibitions, community events, music and drama performances, private parties, conferences and corporate away days. The Chapel has become a valuable source of income for Sheffield General Cemetery Trust, particularly since becoming a wedding venue and gaining a licence to host events throughout the year. It is this income which will secure the future of the Chapel for years to come.

Hire the chapel

The Samuel Worth Chapel is available to hire all year round. The space is suitable for weddings, concerts, conferences, exhibitions, and cinema screenings. The nearby green area with wildflowers and a lawn provides opportunities for outdoor celebrations.