Upper Chapel is a grade two listed building, situated in the heart of Sheffield on Norfolk Street.
Built in 1700 it has been Unitarian for two centuries.
The original building on the present site was opened in 1700. In those days the chapel had over 1000 members, and about one sixth of the population of Sheffield. Initially it faced towards Fargate, but as more buildings obscured the front it was decided in the 1840's to "turn the chapel round" to face across the fields - where the Old Monk bar now stands.
There are nine windows on the ground floor by Henry Holiday, installed between 889-1920. In 1948 Liberty and Truth windows by Hugh Heaton were installed on either side of the pulpit as replacements for those damaged in the bombing of Sheffield.
The gallery windows are by an assortment of artists. The Good Samaritan which was originally in a gallery window to the right of the pulpit was recently found stored in a cubby hole in the entrance lobby!
As part of the turning round, extensive reconstruction took place and the roof was raised by several feet. A new front and vestibule were added with four imposing Greek columns in the Paladian style. New pews were installed and the pulpit was moved to the West end and raised to be visible from the new gallery. This work was completed in 1847 at a cost of #1,400. The architecture was now considered more "church-like". Anthems were introduced and for the first time a liturgical order of service was used for morning worship.
The central grating on the ceiling was originally ventilation for the candle and gas-mantle fumes. On careful inspection of the design pictured left, P X (the Greek letters "Chi" and "Rho") can be picked out.
Together the two letters form the beginning of the Greek word CHRISTOS. It's possible that this cipher was one of the many secret signs of the early Church, like the cross in its various forms. A crown of thorns, a fish and a laurel wreath can also be found depicted in the grating.