Stainton Institute

About the Stainton Institute

Identified Need and Community Involvement

The need for a community building was identified in the Stainton Parish Plan of 2003 and reaffirmed by a 2005 survey focused on the chapel’s potential use. These public consultations highlighted strong local support and a clear community need. The formation of the Friends of Stainton Village Hall by local residents further underscores the community’s commitment to this project.

Transformation of Stainton Chapel

The Stainton Institute Committee is proud to announce that the Grade 2 listed 17th-century chapel has been successfully transformed into a vibrant community centre. Once in a dilapidated state, this historic building is now a hub for local activities and events and is available for hire.

Our Supporters

We have received tremendous support from various organisations, charitable trusts, and the community. Key contributions include sponsorship and support from several organisations and local efforts from community members.

Key contributions include:
  • Cumbria County Council via Neighbourhood Forum
  • Energy Efficient Village Hall Programme

Generous donations have also come from:
  • The John and Ruth Howard Charitable Trust
  • The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation
  • The Harold and Alice Bridges Charity
  • The Hadfield Charitable Trust
  • The Garfield Weston Foundation
  • The Frieda Scott Trust
  • The Baldoukie Charitable Trust
  • The Dulverton Trust Fund
  • Cumbria Community Foundation
  • The Holehird Trust
  • South Lakeland District Council LIP Fund

Our project has been sponsored and supported by several organisations, including:

  • SLDC
  • Cumbria County Council (with special mention to Councillor Brenda Gray for her continuous support)
  • The Holehird Trust
  • Cumbria Community Foundation
  • Cumbria Action for Sustainability
  • Westmorland Agricultural Society
  • Booths

Our main partners include:

  • The whole community
  • The Parish Council
  • Friends of Village Hall
  • User groups of the Village Hall

Representatives from these groups and other interested parties are included in the management committee of the community building, ensuring it meets everyone’s needs.

A Brief History of Stainton Chapel

Early Origins

In 1672, two licences were issued for Presbyterian meetings in Heversham parish, including one at John Hinde’s house. By 1698, John Hind’s house in Stainton was registered under the Tolerance Act, reflecting early nonconformist roots.

Construction and Features

The chapel, erected around 1698, features rendered rubble walls, a slated roof, and original windows with renewed frames. A two-storey addition at the south end includes a stable below and a vestry or schoolroom above. The interior, measuring 18.5 feet by 35.75 feet, was refitted around 1870, replacing the earthen floor with a boarded one and repositioning the pulpit.

  • Communion Table: Oak with turned legs and guilloche ornament, circa 1698.
  • Stable Door: Early 18th century with wrought-iron hinges.
  • Monuments: Commemorating Thomas Greenhow of High House, 1838.
  • Seating: Includes a portion of a pew door dated 1698.
Historical Significance

The chapel, also known as a ‘Five Mile Chapel’, was built for ministers who were ejected from their churches for nonconformity. It is located roughly 5 miles from Kendal, in line with restrictions of the time.

Notably, John Taylor, the third world president of the Mormon Church and the only English person to hold this position, lived in the parish in his youth and is believed to have been baptised in this building.

Join Us

The Stainton Institute continues to thrive through the support of our community and generous donors. Your involvement and contributions are vital to maintaining and enhancing this cherished fully restored grade 2 listed building facility. Thank you for supporting us and helping to preserve and repurpose this historic former chapel into a community centre for all to enjoy.


With the chapel now fully restored and in an excellent state for use, we are pleased to offer it as a venue for hire. The hall is perfect for a wide variety of events, including Weddings, Anniversary children’s parties,workshops and many other private functions and events. For booking enquiries, please contact us today.

Contact Us

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