|Havelock memorial Chapel, Agra, UP. www.colonialwalkagra.com|
|The Havelock Memorial Chapel, Agra. Illustration for The Illustrated London News, 14 August 1875.www.lookandlearn.com/|
The Havelock Chapel is an old and historical building that was built in classical style through public subscription. Fittingly it was named after Sir Henry Havelock, who took the initiative and built the first ever Baptist chapel in Agra in 1832. In 1873 an extension to the chapel was added by the Baptist missionary the Rev. Gelson Gregson. Considered as one of the most complete Chapel, a sum of Rs.12,000.00 was spent on the building and the furniture. The purpose of this Chapel was to serve the English soldiers and others who needed the church services. That is the reason why this Chapel has a large reading room and library for the use of soldiers from the nearby garrison. The major employer was the British East India company. The huge building measures 105 feet by 500 feet. The Chapel catered to people of various ranks. The 13th Regiment contributed liberally for the construction of the first Chapel and the 65th Regiment later made liberal donation for the construction of the extension building.Besides, many British higher-ups made monetary contribution for the successful completion of this chapel.
One will be surprised to know that the founder of the well-known travel company (Thomas Cook and Co) Mr. Thomas Cook, contributed more than one thousand books to the library called the Havelock Library. There is a portrait of him kept in the library.
It is an impressive building built in Gothic style with gentle Gothic arches and corrugated iron roof and it has large enclosed verandahs paved with red and white sandstones. They are used as aisles and the library hall is easily accessible from sides.
Sir Henry Havelock, is still remembered for his valuable contribution for his services to the British society in and around Agra and this Chapel is his prized work undertaken with hard work and perseverance. The Havelock Memorial Chapel will take us right back to the colonial days that saw so many ups and downs, change of so many high officials and military regiments who played a greater role in the establishment of the British Empire across the globe, using India as a spring board.