A historic hidden building reopens to the public later this month. The Chapel of St Mary on the Bridge – commonly known as the Bridge Chapel – was built in the 14th century and is one of only six bridge chapels remaining in the country.
In days gone by, travellers leaving the city would stop at the chapel and say a prayer to ensure that their journey was a safe one.
The Chapel stands beside the 18th century St Mary’s Bridge, which replaced a medieval bridge to which the chapel was originally attached. The precise date when the first bridge chapel came into existence is uncertain, but it is likely to have been around the late 13th to the early 14th century, when it was built on the same site as the present chapel.
The Chapel will be open to the public between 2pm and 4pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays from Tuesday 24th April to Saturday 29th September.
People will be able to step inside one of Derby’s historic treasures, a building that has stood on this site from the late 14th century. It is one of only six bridge chapels left in England.
As they enter the Chapel, visitors can be assured of a welcome by our guides, who will be happy to answer questions about the history of the chapel and its use today. Visitors can learn about:
• Why bridge chapels were built
• Why the Chapel was closed during the reign of Henry VIII
• The Padley Martyrs
• What happened to the building during the long period when it was used for other purposes
• About the restoration of the building in 1930 and its return to ecclesiastical use.
The Chapel is only a few minutes’ walk from the Cathedral.