Caythorpe St Aidan

Official Listing Description

Heritage Category: Listed Building
Grade: II
List Entry Number: 1479708
Date first listed: 18-Jul-2022
Statutory Address 1: Caythorpe Road, Caythorpe, Nottinghamshire, NG14 7ED


Statutory Address: Caythorpe Road, Caythorpe, Nottinghamshire, NG14 7ED
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: Nottinghamshire
District: Newark and Sherwood (District Authority)
Parish: Caythorpe
National Grid Reference: SK6861745687


A Mission Church of 1900 of timber frame construction and clad in galvanized iron, of the type often known as a 'tin tabernacle'.

Reasons for Designation

The Church of St Aidan, erected in 1900, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: Architectural interest * as a ‘tin tabernacle’ that displays good detailing for a church of this typically modest type; * it is an increasingly uncommon building type not intended for longevity, its survival is testament to the quality of the product and its fitness for purpose; * the church survives largely complete and compares favourably with other listed examples. Historic interest * as a prefabricated iron church, it demonstrates the innovation used for alternative and cheaper building methods that would serve their function well. The international trade in such buildings was a feature of note in British building design and engineering from the mid-C19; * it is particularly unusual to find a church of this type in its original location as many have been replaced and moved elsewhere for re-use, or destroyed.


Pre-fabricated churches, often called 'tin tabernacles' or ‘iron chapels’ were developed in the mid-C19 as a relatively low cost means to serve fast growing urban and rural areas, particularly in response to the upsurge in Non-Conformism, as well as for use in the overseas colonies. Quickly assembled places of worship, these structures were often designed to serve a temporary purpose before more permanent stone or brick structures could be built, and a limited number survive in England. Corrugated iron was invented and patented in Britain in 1829 and was the first mass-produced cladding material of the modern building industry. It was a technological breakthrough, the corrugations giving strength and considerable structural advantages over flat sheeting. A further significant development came in 1837 when the process of galvanizing the iron with zinc to prevent rusting was patented. Manufacturers quickly recognised its potential for use in prefabricated structures, in iron or other materials, and several firms such as William Cooper Ltd of London and Francis Morton in Liverpool, produced a range of prefabricated iron buildings that were made available for sale in catalogues. By 1850 the technology was being exported all over the world by enterprising manufacturers and the first iron church is believed to have been constructed in 1855 in London and they eventually came into their own during the period from the late C19 up to the start of the First World War. They were still being built in the 1920s and 1930s. The Church of St Aidan was erected in 1900 as a Chapel of Ease or Mission Room for Caythorpe in the Parish of Lowdham. The parish priest at the time was the Revd John Henry Browne. The chapel was built on land donated by the Edge Family, and they also helped pay for the construction costs, which were otherwise raised through public subscription. The building is shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1914 marked as Mission Church alongside a pinfold (animal pound) on this former agricultural site. A Methodist Chapel is shown to the south east on the map, but which has since been demolished. The Church of St Aidan has had some repairs in the mid-late C20 and C21 including the replacement of half of the roof and the window cills. In 1953 new communion rails were added and since then other fittings including strip heaters have been fitted. There are two vestries for the priest inserted at the chancel end, either side of the altar, and the bell was rehung in 1992.


Mission Church of 1900 erected as a Chapel of Ease. MATERIALS: built on a brick plinth the chapel is of timber-framed construction clad in galvanised corrugated iron, under a corrugated iron roof covering. The bellcote is of timber and has an iron bell. The windows have timber frames and cills. The interior walls, roof and vestries are matchboarded. PLAN: a small chapel (12.2m by 5.5m) built on a north-east/south-west axis, comprising a nave and chancel under the same roof with inserted vestries both sides of the altar at the chancel end (north-east). It has a south porch with an adjacent shed. There is a vestry door to the north-east corner, accessed by brick steps. EXTERIOR: the corrugated iron elevations overhang a brick plinth and have timber cross windows: three windows set high in the eaves to both principal elevations; and two to each end. To the south-west corner the projecting porch has a Tudor-arched door with ornamental door handle under a pitched roof with bargeboards and a cross. To the left is a later C20 timber shed. The chancel end has shaped bargeboards with a cross fixed to the apex. Two sign boards are fixed to below window cill level. The north-west elevation has a door to the left and three windows to the right. To the south end of the roof is a square bellcote with a bell of 1900 from the J Taylor Foundry. INTERIOR: the walls and roof are lined with matchboard. The timber roof trusses are exposed below the collar and have metal bracing. The timber altar is fixed to a plinth at the chancel end and has vestries fitted to each side. The floor level of the chancel is raised from the nave by one step.


Websites Southwell and Nottingham Church History Project: Caythorpe St Aidan Mission Church, accessed 21/12/2021 from


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.