Tin Tabernacle (Cambridge Hall), Kilburn



Grade II listed and within a Conservation Area.  On the Heritage at Risk Register. 

The Tin Tabernacle (Cambridge Hall) is a Grade II listed building within the South Kilburn Conservation Area and is currently on the Heritage at Risk Register.

It was built in 1863 as the St James’s Episcopalian church. The Hall is built of corrugated iron, which has been galvanised with tin to prevent rust, cladding a timber and iron frame. 

It is understood that the Tin Tabernacle was in active church use into the mid 20th century. After the Second World War it  taken on by the Sea Cadets in 1949 and renamed the Training Ship Bicester. During the 1950’s the interior of the Hall was converted into a replica Ton-class Minesweeper vessel.

The Sea Cadets continue to look after the Hall, though they are no longer able to hold their activities there. The site is owned by Notting Hill Genesis Housing Association (NHG).  LHBT are currently working with NHG and the Sea Cadets, supported by Historic England and the Conservation Officer at Brent Council, to explore how the building can be stabilised and used in the future.

Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund      

LHBT supported NHG to make a grant application to Historic England’s Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund.  The grant is enabling urgent roof repairs and further structural investigations, including a drone survey of the roof.  We are extremely grateful to Historic England for delivering this emergency programme, which will enable the Tin Tabernacle to open again to the public later this year.

Community Audit

LHBT acted as consultants for NHG to deliver a Community Audit for the building, this will help to develop an understanding about how it has been used in the past and explore how it can most effectively support the local community in the future. The Community Audit was undertaken by Greenwoods Project.

Options Appraisal

Over summer and winter 2021 LHBT are supporting NHG to undertake an options appraisal for the site. 

History and Resources

The Tin Tabernacle is a fascinating building.  As the Options Appraisal project has progressed, we’ve uncovered more about its history and the people and groups that have used it.

If you’d like to learn a little more, please click on the links below, which will take you to separate PDF documents.    

This research is ongoing, and we’ll update this page as we find out more.

This research has been conducted by Michael Copeman, Historic Buildings Specialist, Emily Abrehart, volunteering for LHBT and Rosie Shaw, Senior Project Manager.




Options Appraisal

LHBT are working with Notting Hill Genesis to deliver an Options Appraisal for the Tin Tabernacle.  This study will establish the buildings significance, its repair needs and identify options for it’s future use. The project team was appointed in summer 2021;

Lead Consultant – Thomas Ford and Partners 

Structural Engineer – The Morton Partnership 

Quantity Surveyor – IKS Consulting 

Historic Building Specialist – Michael Copeman

Business Planner – Fourth Street 

Community Consultant – Greenwoods Projects 

This project has been funded by the Architectural Heritage Fund and Historic England.

Architechural Heritafge Fund logo strapline      


Community Audit


Community Consultation was undertaken to explore how the Tin Tabernacle can be best used to support the local community in Kilburn. 

The consultation has now closed. 

Working with;

Emergency Repairs Funded by;

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