Rare Hackney Mission Church for sale – oldest surviving “tin tabernacle” in England.

Hackney’s remarkable timber and iron Mission Church on Shrubland Road is for sale
mission church 1

The building, described by English Heritage as “a rare and complete example of a temporary iron mission church” was built in 1858.

Its full name is the rather wonderful The Sight of Eternal Life Church, and it was built by W. Browne of Messrs Tupper and Co., specialists in the construction of iron and timber church buildings. Architectural historians think it may well be the oldest surviving “tin tabernacle” in England.

With its cut-out Gothic windows and striking 15m spire, it’s a strangely evocative building that brings to mind American Puritanism (I can somehow imagine it in an Andrew Wyeth painting or on the side of a road in the Deep South) – definitely not urban England.

The interior is impressive – the agent says it has approx 3670 sqft (340sqm) gross internal floor area – and the whole place is just calling out for an imaginative conversion/restoration, though it will need deep pockets: it’s been clad with asbestos and will probably cost a lot to  make habitable (if the planners allow that).

Still, if you have the money (the asking price is a hefty £2,500,000), and an eye for the unusual, then this is a real gem.

To get an idea of what might be achieved, check out George Clarke’s programme about a couple who rebuilt and renovated a Victorian flatpack tin chapel in Shropshire .

Oh, for a sudden lottery windfall ….


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