The Round Chapel Centre for the Performing Arts

About the Round Chapel

The former Clapton Park United Reformed Church, or Round Chapel as it is known locally, is one of the most remarkable buildings in Hackney, and is listed Grade II*. Built to serve the needs of an expanding congregation in the 1870s, it proved too large for the 1980s congregation and a substantial drain on their limited resources. The church was closed, and worship continued in the school buildings facing onto Powerscroft Road. However, finding a secure future for the buildings continued to consume much of the church's energy. With dry rot in place and the roof failing, there were urgent discussions between the Hackney Historic Buildings Trust (HHBT), the United Reformed Church (URC) and English Heritage (EH) to find a solution before the deterioration became too great. Two packages of emergency repairs funded by English Heritage took place, whilst feasibility studies were carried out. A solution was found:

  • The Round Chapel and ancillary buildings would be transferred by the URC to HHBT. Restoration, and other work to provide a viable future for the building would be carried out by HHBT, with funds provided by EH and the Heart of Hackney.
  • Clapton Park URC would retain the church buildings on Powerscroft Road and restore them with assistance from EH.
  • HHBT would raise the funds to purchase the church cottage.

Much of that has happened, and the building is now owned and repaired by the Buildings Trust. It is now run as a vibrant arts and community venue.

The Round Chapel