(Avoncroft Museum of Buildings, Worcestershire)
Although not unique to Britain, 'Tin tabernacles', as these corrigated iron structures are endearingly known, began appearing in large numbers across England & Wales in the mid to late 1800's. Primarily built as places of worship, these buildings were usually bought in kit form by Victorian factory owners who were keen to keep their workforce sober and god fearing. They were erected as temporary structures which were cheap and quick to build and, if required, could be dismantled and rebuilt elsewhere.
These fascinating buildings can still be seen in small numbers across Britain in varying states of repair. I'm still excited whenever I come across one. They have a certain romance about them, seemingly defying logic that they are still standing. I was nonetheless excited by the discovery that the interiors and reclaimation company, Baileys Home & Garden decided to build a new 'tabernacle' to house their cafe in. Go for a coffee - it's a great excuse to see what one of these buildings would have looked like when new!
The pictures below are from www.tintabernacles.com, which has a large catalogue of archive and 'contempory' images. The website is always on the lookout for information, photo's, printed material about these tin churches so get in touch with them if you'd like to contribute.
Farnham Road, Bury St Edmunds
Blue Church, Thrupp, Gloucestershire