A brief history
The Round Chapel we see today opened in 1871, but its beginnings were more modest. The story of the Round Chapel begins with a nonconformist, congregationalist church established in 1804 at the Old Gravel Pit Chapel on nearby Morning Lane. The Gravel Pit Chapel was in turn a breakaway group from the Ram's Chapel in Homerton.
In the 19th Century the population of Hackney was expanding fast. Between 1841 and 1871, the borough’s population increased from 38,000 to 115,000, and then doubled again over the following thirty years.
By 1868, the congregation at the Old Gravel Pit had quadrupled and they decided to build a new, much bigger chapel as part of the new development nearby in Clapton to take account of the increasing popularity of the area. The Clapton Park Chapel, known as the Round Chapel, would become one of the important nonconformist centres in East London. But despite its members and missionary activities increasing in the 1870s and 1880s, from the turn of the century the congregation shrunk as the composition of the neighbourhood changed and the slow but steady exodus to London’s outer suburbs began.