A former chapel and the home of Ilkley’s first museum will be decorated with a blue plaque from the town’s civic society.

The old Wesleyan Chapel at the junction of Skipton Road and Bolton Bridge Road has been a commercial garage since 1914.

But in 1892, after serving as a chapel and church hall, it became Ilkley’s first museum for 16 years, after being opened by famous preacher the Reverend Robert Collyer, who was a regular visitor to the building before making a name for himself in America.

The old chapel will become the 17th building in the town to receive a blue plaque from Ilkley Civic Society at the official unveiling later this month.

A statement from the society said: “The Ilkley Civic Society has a blue plaque scheme to honour local people and buildings that have shaped the town. The scheme is modelled on the familiar, round blue plaques which appear in London, Leeds and other towns.

“The scheme started in the 2004, with two blue plaques – the Town Hall unveiled by Alan Titchmarsh and the Manor House Museum unveiled by Ann Cryer MP.”

The chapel was built in 1834 on the edge of Ilkley village to accommodate 300 people. While an apprentice blacksmith, Mr Collyer attended the chapel and became a lay preacher before emigrating to America in the 1850s and having churches in Chicago and New York.

The building was used in the 1870s by the Primitive Methodists, a then a temporary church hall by St Margaret’s Church and then by the Salvation Army. Ilkley’s Museum Society bought the building in 1891 through public donations, and the following year, Mr Collyer returned to the town to open it.

The museum moved to the Town Hall complex in 1908, and the old chapel was bought by Charles Thackray, who opened it as the Central Garage.

In more recent times, the garage was better known as Glover’s Garage. Nearby Chapel Lane is named after the building.

The plaque, sponsored by the civic society and Paul Bourgeois, will be unveiled during a walk, A Glimpse of Old Ilkley, which starts at the Manor House at 11am on Tuesday, December 28, led by historian Alex Cockshott.