Jenkin Chapel, Saltersford

Jenkin Chapel, Saltersford stands in an isolated position on the eastern slopes of the Pennines 4.3 miles (7 km) northeast of Macclesfield, Cheshire, England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building. The chapel lies at the junction of three ancient trackways, known as "salters' ways" because they were used by packhorses carrying salt. Later the tracks were used by cattle drovers and sheep dealers. It is an Anglican chapel in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Macclesfield and the deanery of Macclesfield. Its benefice is combined with those of Holy Trinity, Rainow and Forest Chapel.


The chapel was built in 1733 by local people using local materials who also raised money to pay for a minister. A tower was added in 1755.


The appearance of the chapel is more that of a Georgian farmhouse with a chimney stack than a church. It consists of a two-storey nave, a one-storey chapel and vestry, and a three-stage tower with a saddleback roof. The tower has an external staircase, a bell chamber and a porch with stone benches. A chimney rises from the middle of the south wall. The windows are Georgian in style, with sashes and small panes of glass.

Inside the chapel are box pews, an octagonal pulpit and a carved reading desk. The chancel is panelled and divided from the nave by rails consisting of turned balusters. Hanging from a lintel at the entrance to the chancel are similar balusters forming an arch. In the chancel is a small stone font with an oak cover. At the west end is a gallery on which is the coat of arms of the Stopford family who lived in nearby Saltersford Hall in the 17th century. On the floor are grave slabs relating to the Turner family who were later residents of the hall. Chapel registers date from 1770.


There is disagreement about the origin of the name "Jenkin". One theory is that the junction was the site where a man called Jenkin from Ruthin, North Wales, traded. The track-marking stone at this point was known as "Jenkin Cross". Other theories are that Jenkin was the name of a local farming family, or that it was the name of a "fiery Welsh preacher" who preached at the horse fair held here.


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