The Papers of Clapton Hall

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 CHS
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      2.1 lm
  • Location
      Collection available at University Archive and Records Centre, main University Library.

Scope and Content

The collection contains material relating to activities taking place at Clapton Hall. There are commemorative publications, newsheets, a photograph of a 1927 childrens' meeting, a bundle of issues of a bi-monthly magazine, documents relating to marriages at the chapel and audiotapes of services and other activities held at the hall. There is also a large bundle of correspondence from overseas missionaries.

The collection would be of interest to anyone studying the history of the Brethren movement, those tracing the development of Clapton Hall and to anyone interested in researching Brethren carrying out missionary work overseas.

Administrative / Biographical History

Fellowship meetings had been taking place for some time at various locations around the neighbourhood of Stoke Newington in London and also in the home of Mr and Mrs John Morley among others. As numbers increased, it was decided that there was a need for a building in which the growing Assembly could meet. On Friday 1 November 1867, the building known as the Iron Room opened in Hill Street and the first fellowship meeting took place there on Sunday 3 November 1867. Within twelve years, the number of people attending for fellowship had risen to 411 which led to the need for a larger meeting space.

Clapton Hall in Stoke Newington held its first meeting on Sunday 1 February 1880 and on 19 June 1880 Mr John Morley granted the tenancy of Clapton Hall for Brethren Fellowship. By 1888, the number of people attending the meetings at the Hall had increased to 728. The Assembly continued to meet regularly and celebrated 50 years of fellowship in 1917, but because of the First World War, the service to mark this event did not take place until 21 June 1919. During the Second World War, the Assembly had to relocate to The Ferry Mission when the Civil Defence commandeered Clapton Hall for a period of 18 months.

Clapton Hall continued to be used by the Brethren for fellowship and on Saturday 9 April 1960 a meeting was held to mark the 80th anniversary of its opening. Seven years later, the centenary of the Assembly which started at the Iron Room in 1867 was marked by a service on Saturday 15 April 1967.


The collection has been arranged into 12 series: 

  • Newsheets
  • Commemorative publications and associated correspondence
  • Legal documents
  • Financial records
  • Correspondence
  • Fellowship
  • Magazines
  • Photograph
  • Audiotapes
  • Minutes
  • Clapton Hall Sunday School
  • Membership

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. Under Section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process personal data for research purposes. The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 enables the UML to process sensitive personal data for research purposes. In accordance with the DPA, UML has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately. Users of the archive are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, and will be required to sign a form acknowledging that they will abide by the requirements of the Act in any further processing of the material by themselves.

Open parts of this collection, and the catalogue descriptions, may contain personal data about living individuals. Some items in this collection may be closed to public inspection in line with the requirements of the DPA. Restrictions/closures of specific items will be indicated in the catalogue.

Acquisition Information

It is not known who made the original deposit. The later addition was made by Miss J.M. Martin.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History

This material was accumulated in the ordinary day to day work of the Assembly, and at some point prior to 2003 was donated to the University of Manchester Library. An additional deposit was made by Miss J.M. Martin in February 2009, some of these papers were inherited from her father who was the Authorised Registrar for weddings at Clapton Hall.


None expected.

Related Material

The University of Manchester Library also holds the papers of Echoes of Service, the Christian Brethren missionary service organisation ( GB 133 EOS).


Clapton Hall London 1867-1917: Brief History of Clapton Hall (London: Pickering and Inglis, 1917)

Corporate Names

Geographical Names