It was both technology and demand that saw the rise of Tin Tabernacles in Victorian Britain. Corrugated iron was invented in 1837 and corrugated iron buildings were thereafter more prevalent than you might think. Conceived as semi-permanent structures, often as non-conformist chapels, they have certainly lasted far longer than their creators ever envisaged. They can still be found lurking in the buddleias in the outskirts of many towns and villages. They are wonderful buildings, economic and very useful, so LASSCO has teamed-up with Love Lane Caravans in order to re-create them. But, as you can see, ours are on wheels!
This first one is called The Woodland Chapel and it is for sale at LASSCO. It is a fabulous garden room with the characteristic steeply pitched roof, carved gable-end decoration and finished in a jolly lavender and gold livery. Step inside and you find a lovely interior … wallpapered with "Enchanted Wood", and fitted with a high level double bunk to one end and two singles below, a table or desk, a small cooker, and a door and four windows to frame any view - all from salvaged materials.
It is ideal for summer dining, kids' sleep-overs, a garden-room office, guest room or simply as an idyllic space to while away long sunny afternoons. You can move it to a new position in your gardens every weekend. It is road-legal, on a single braked axle, so you can take it with you whenever you like. And being on wheels it doesn't require planning consent. It is bigger and better than a Shepherd’s Hut … and you saw it here first! We think it is perfect for a Country Estate – whether for private use or for Events, Exhibitions or Festivals.
The next one is already in production. Each will be different from the last; salvaged elements are used through-out. And if the Woodland Tabernacle doesn’t quite meet your needs you can specify the fit-out for another to your liking.
It has been featured in The Daily Telegraph (Saturday 5th July 2014).
If you've never seen a Tin Tabernacle being towed - we have footage here:
Two examples of old Tin Tabernacles:
Chiltern Open Air Museum have re-erected and restored The "Little Tin Church" or The Henton Mission Room which dates to 1886 (below left). They salvaged it in 1993 from Chinnor, not far from LASSCO Three Pigeons. It was originally pre-fabricated by Boulton & Pool of Norwich.
Still operating as a chapel, another is found in the woods by Bramdean Common in Hampshire (Above right). It was built in 1883 in five days. The Reverend Alfred Caesar Bishop provided it in order that the commoners, charcoal burners and itinerant gypsies who seasonally occupied the common would be able to attend church.
A history of Tin Tabernacles can be found here. And a gazetteer of extant chapels can be found here. But you won't find any other with tow-bar and wheels!