Past conservation work at Union Chapel

Window Works

Complete refurbishment of the windows on the East side of the building, including the Upper Hall (Bar), Lower Hall, Sunday School Hall and Committee Room. Glass was replaced and the original frames repainted and repaired. The work improved sound leakage and insulation in all spaces.

This work was made possible, in part by Section 1.06 money received from Notting Hill Housing during their development of 85 Canonbury Road. It was also supported by donations and UCP match funding.

The Tower Works


In 2007 Union Chapel’s iconic tower was identified as being close to collapse during a routine survey. The Tower & its spire, a key landmark in the Islington skyline had been damaged by bombs in World War II and struck by lightning at least twice. This, along with exposure to London weather, had done serious damage to the stone work and the spire at the very top.

Emergency scaffolding was immediately erected and fundraising for major structural works begun.

We were very lucky to secure £100,000 from Islington Council, £1.5 million from English Heritage and 1000s of smaller donations from individuals. This meant that emergency structural work could begin on the tower in early 2009.

The extensive work focused on the tower above the clock level. Brick work was improved and repointed, masonry replaced and the spire itself re-tiled. Most importantly the tower was made structurally sound.

These works were completed in 2011 and after four years covered in scaffold the tower was once more standing proud.

However there is still work to be done! The clock needs repairing and lots of the stone work towards ground level needs replacing.

Find out more about our ongoing & future projects

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Tower close up cropped


Door Handles

Friends of Union Chapel initiative.  They replaced the missing and damaged door handles around the Chapel itself. The replacements were exact copies of the original and better show the beautiful detailing.


Roof Repairs
1997 – 2004

This major project saw the re-tiling of many of Union Chapel’s 20 odd roofs. Most of the original roof tiles were destroyed in 1944 when Highbury Corner was hit by a V1 flyer bomb. The hasty repair works done after the Second World War had long been in desperate need of replacement.

Emergency works were begun in 1997 to repair some of the leeks. We received funding for the whole project in 1999 and the main works were completed between 2003 and 2004.

The work was largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund but thousands of individuals also bought roof tiles – including one David Byrne, to help us cover the enormous area.

The majority of tiles were replaced but there still remains work to be done in some areas.

Find out more about our ongoing & future projects

Donate to the care and development of Union Chapel


One of the many roofs at Union Chapel

Access Works
1995 – 2000

Thanks to funding from the Foundation for Sports & The Arts we were able to carry out works to make our building more accessible for disabled people. This included the installation of a platform lift to access the Upper Hall (Bar) and the building of an accessible toilet.


Roof Repairs
1991 – 1993

This started with major repairs to roof timbers in the Upper Hall (Bar) due to damage done by dry rot. It continued with the re-leading of the flat roofs either side of the tower.