Over its 900 year history the Leper Chapel has been adapted and repaired many times. For example, the original roof was replaced with the current roof in the 15th century (interestingly it was a roof from another building, and you can clearly see on the inside as it doesn't quite fit!).

The Chapel seems to have been fairly well maintained during the hey-day of the Stourbridge Fair (presumably from the profits of the Fair) but as the Fair began to decline in the late 18th century, so did the Chapel itself. At one point is was converted as a dwelling and possibly for stabling animals.

By 1816 it had deteriorated so much that it was threatened with complete destruction. However, it was saved by the Revd. Thomas Kerrich, a fellow of Magdalene Collage, who bought it for £160 and conveyed it to Cambridge University. Kerrich and his son raised funds to restore the chapel so that by 1845 it could once again be used a place of worship. Alas, by 1865 it was again in a dilapidated condition. As a result of another appeal, this time by the Cambridge Architectural Society, further restoration work was carried out under the direction of the famous architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott (the far wall in the image below).

In 1951 the Chapel was conveyed to Cambridge Preservation Society (now Cambridge Past, Present & Future) and since that time we have carried out a number of repairs in order to keep the building open for use.

Emergency repairs were carried out in 2006-7 when a crack opened up in the chancel arch as a result of water getting in through the coping stones. These repairs cost £17,000.

In 2018 we commissioned a building report which has recommended around £200,000 of repairs and conservation work to the building. This includes re-tiling the roof: pegs are failing and tiles are falling off, putting the building at risk from rainwater.

We are fundraising for these repairs and other necessary improvements (for example removing the modern step into the Chapel so that it can be wheelchair accessible).

Please make a donation to help with repairs to the Chapel if you can, click here to donate.