The demolition of a fire-ravaged church has uncovered a time capsule hidden over 130 years ago.

The former chapel on Undercliffe Road was taken down after surveyors warned the building was in danger of collapse. 

Most of the historic building was destroyed in a large fire while any remaining walls posed a risk to the public.

Demolition crews from Thomas Crompton were dismantling the structure when the capsule was discovered underneath the foundation stone.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photos via Thomas Crompton.Photos via Thomas Crompton.

The stone - laid on June 14, 1884 - had been guarding the time capsule for 138 years.

Generations long ago chose to leave five different newspapers for the future - one of which included an article on gentlemens' hats blowing away in the wind.

Demolition expert Thomas Crompton told the T&A: "It was underneath the stone that was laid by the Bradford mayor in 1884. It had never been opened.

"It's quite exciting when you open them and you know somebody's placed it there for you to open sometime in the future.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photos via Thomas Crompton.Photos via Thomas Crompton.

"It was a privilege to open it. The newspapers of the day, they take a long time to read but it shows what was happening and how it's so different now.

"There's about five newspapers, all different ones of the day."

Alderman Isaac Smith was Mayor of Bradford between 1883 and 1885.

He was part of the consortium which bought Salt's Mill after the 1892 collapse of the Salt company.

The contents of the time capsule have been donated to Bradford Museums. 

Fire at Bradford church - what we know

The T&A understands the fire began around 3.30pm on the first floor before spreading upwards.

Firefighters from stations across the district spent most of Monday evening tackling the incident as smoke clouds rose into the sky.

Crews from Bradford, Shipley, Fairweather Green and Stanningley stations attended.

While the fire impacted most of the roof, West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue removed any remaining roof slates to enable the fire to vent through the roof.

It also made it safer for passers by at risk of falling slates.

The cause of the fire remains a mystery, though it is believed to have been deliberate.

Bradford CID has since launched a police investigation.

Enquiries are ongoing, West Yorkshire Police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101, quoting log number 1242 of April 25.

Earlier this month, a planning application to demolish the church and build shops and industrial units in its place had been submitted to Bradford Council.

The chapel, based at 114 Undercliffe Road, had most recently been used as a workshop.

A decision on the application was expected in May.

Speaking after the incident on Tuesday, Si Cunningham, the councillor for Bolton & Undercliffe, said: "I’m aware that the building was subject to a recent planning application, and due process will be followed as it should be with any planning matter."

He added: "We’d like to thank West Yorkshire Fire Service and local police for their swift response.”