In 1787/8 Jedidiah Strutt was able to acquire land to build a chapel, later to be known as the Unitarian Chapel. Strutt, who built the first of Belper’s water-powered cotton mills, was a Unitarian himself. It was extended on each side early in the 19th century so that it is now three times its original size. An external cantilevered stone staircase gives access to a gallery inside the chapel. A catacomb below the chapel contains the remains of a number of members of the Strutt family.
The Unitarian Schoolroom, Green Lane
Further south along Green Lane, on the right before King Street, is the old Unitarian Schoolroom. Built in 1721, this was originally a one-storey meetinghouse for a group of non-conformists. These were members of the Protestant Church who had dissented from the established Church of England and this group became the Unitarians. After the chapel was built, from 1789 the meetinghouse was used by another non-conformist group, who eventually built a Congregational Chapel further along Green Lane. John Strutt then added a storey in 1855 and converted the meetinghouse into a schoolroom for use by the Unitarians. It is now a public house.