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Exclusive oratories and magnificent pagodas: the Anglican proprietary chapels of eighteenth-century Bath



This article investigates the phenomenon of proprietary chapels in eighteenth-century Bath, seeking to explain why so many were built and how they fitted into the Anglican parochial structure and established patterns of religious worship. It is argued that proprietary chapels were an effective solution to the problems created by an increasing, as well as transient, population who sought exclusive religious spaces, dictating both the architectural design and the clergy chosen to officiate. The article investigates the relationship between the chapels and the parish churches of Bath and the role they played in satisfying the demand for Anglican services.