Early Chapel of Ease

Artists drawing of the Chapel

A Chapel of Ease is a church building other than the parish church, built within the bounds of a parish for the attendance of those who for what ever reason cannot get to the parish church. At that time Wetherby was within the Parish of Spofforth, which would be a long journey for the elderly and infirmed parishioners. The original Chapel of Ease in the Market Square was a wooden building with a thatched roof that had an entrance at the west end and a bell over the door. It was probably relocated from the area near the bridge, when the stone bridge chapel was built.

Old sketch of the second market place chapel 1763-1842

In 1760 the ancient and ruinous chapel was pulled down and a new stone one was built at which time the situation was changed from the east/west position to north/south. The building work was completed in 1763 and in 1816 galleries were added which allowed seating for 350 people. The Chapel was licensed for marriages in 1837. It was demolished in May 1845 to make way for the Town Hall. The New church of St James was built and dedicated on 1st February 1842. Wetherby became a Parish in its own right in 1870. An indication of how much Wetherby grew in that period. Above is a Line drawing of the stone building 1763 to 1845

Thank you to Michael Hare for providing this information