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 2*. 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
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.