Scarning’s Four Chapels

As well as the Church of England church (St Peter & St Paul Parish Church) there have also been four chapels in Scarning, including the mysterious St Botolph’s.

Soames Barrett within Scarning United Reformed Chapel
United Reformed Chapel in 1984

The easiest chapel to locate is the former United Reformed Chapel on Chapel Lane (south of the A47) because it still exists as a building though is now a private dwelling. It was built in 1883 on a field owned by farmer Billy Shilling. One of Mr Shilling’s worker, Soames Barrett, built the chapel with the help of Cowper Congregational Church in Dereham. It opened on 19th April 1884 and is often referred to as the Chapel In The Valley. It was still used as a religious building as late as the mid 1990s – the photo shows it in its heyday in 1984.

"Chapel in the Valley" 1995
Memorial Stone of the Congregational Chapel

From Dec 1982, BBC Radio Norfolk’s Village Voice – Reg Barrett describes the origins of the Chapel and its activities.

For full details of this recording and others included in the radio programme, please see the Radio Norfolk’s Village Voice page on this website.

A second chapel was the Congregational Chapel which was on Chapel Lane (north of the A47). This was built in 1863 but demolished in 1965 and the remains of this chapel were used to make up a brick wall in the front garden of Brookside Lodge. A photo of the chapel is shown here.

Primitive Methodist Chapel near Brookside Farm
Scarning Chapels

The third chapel was in a very similar location, also on Chapel Lane (north of the A47), and was the Primitive Methodist Chapel. This was demolished at least 100 years ago but was sited where a log house has been built in recent years. We have not been able to find a photo of this chapel, but the map (dated 1904) shows its location and also that of the Congregational Chapel.

Open air Chapel meeting at Wendling 1902

The fourth chapel was St Botolph’s Chapel, and its location is a mystery with at least two theories. For details of the history and two possible locations of this elusive chapel, please see The Mystery of St Botolph’s Chapel