Mount Zion Independent Chapel at Marlpool, Heanor
Langley is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, 700 years before Langley Mill existed! Other local places in the Domesday Book were Heanor, Codnor, and "Smithycotes."
At the end of the 18th century, non-conformist groups were already meeting in the area, at private houses both at Tagg Hill and at Mill Hay. Around 1800, the Rev. Joshua Shaw, of the Independent Chapel at Ilkeston, brought these two groups together, and they met at the premises of Benjamin Hardy, a town-centre draper. The group outgrew its meeting place and decided to build a chapel in the area, eventually buying the land on what is now Chapel Street in 1820.
It took two years for the meeting house to be completed, and the new building was used both for services and as a Sunday School. A Minister, Charles Ellis of Belper, was appointed 1825.
By 1827, the meeting house was itself too small, and a chapel was built on the same site, being named the Mount Zion Independent Chapel at Marlpool. In the 1840's the chapel was extended to have a gallery installed by the then Minister, Edward Leighton. At this time the Sunday School had over 300 pupils and 33 teachers! Rev. Leighton also instigated the first choir, having decided that those who possessed either "actual or imagined" vocal powers should be trained to sing. Such a success was this choir that they were given two rows of seats immediately behind the pulpit, and space was also provided for the band, consisting of 6 or 7 instruments. In 1856, at the end of the Crimean War, Rev Leighton led the Marlpool contingent in a Day of Thanksgiving in Heanor, with a procession of some 450 members going from the Marlpool Church to Heanor.
In 1878, the chapel was fitted with gas lighting, the height of luxury at the time! This was followed by a fund-raising campaign for a new heating system. The next project, began in 1889, was to raise funds for a pipe-organ, though this took until 1896 - the funds were used instead for feeding local children during the Great Coal Strike of 1893. This was a recurring theme, and the coal strikes of the 1920's again saw the Chapel feeding over 300 children a day. Improvements to the building continued, with, for example, electric lighting being added in 1928.