Hetton le Hole PM Chapel, Co. Durham

Photo:Interior, Hetton le Hole PM Chapel

Interior, Hetton le Hole PM Chapel

Newcastle upon Tyne District Archives

Photo:Hetton le Hole PM Chapel

Hetton le Hole PM Chapel

Newcastle upon Tyne District Archives

Photo:Interior, Hetton le Hole PM Chapel

Interior, Hetton le Hole PM Chapel

Newcastle upon Tyne District Archives

County Durham

By Richard Jennings

This chapel, opened on Saturday 22nd May, 1858, and known as the "Big Chapel", is still open for worship in the town of Hetton le Hole.

Originally built without a gallery or organ loft, the chapel had a plaster ceiling resulting in poor acoustics with preachers being unable to be heard. This was remedied in 1865 when the gallery was added which also increased seating to over 1,000.

The organ was added in 1878 at a cost of £335. Built by P Conacher & Co. of Huddersfield, it was considered "one of the best of its day". Overhauling, cleaning and regular tuning has continued so that it remains an enhancement to the chapel.

This page was added by Richard Jennings on 01/02/2015.
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Further detail is given by John Lightfoot in the Primitive Methodist magazine of September 1858 (pages 556-558). The first society was established in 1823 by Brothers Cook and Daker and a chapel was opened on 24 October 1824. Hundreds were converted in 1827. Nicholas Wood of Hetton Hall laid the foundation stone for a new chapel on July 17th 1857.

The new chapel, designed by Martin Greener of Sunderland,  was "Anglo Italian" in character, measured 55' x 49', and held 750. There was a school holding 600 underneath which had "the apparatus for tea meetings"

Opening services were held from May 22nd 1858 and included tea for 1,100 people. Preachers included Alderman Bramwell, Rev Petty (Hull), JA Bastow and J Wilson (Durham, J Lightfoot and E Hall (Sunderland) and Messrs Fawcett, Cook and Greener. Later services and another tea meeting, this time for 600, were addressed by Rev C McKechnie (Wolsingham), Messrs Gibson, Hopper Earl, George Cockburn, with J Halcro in the chair for one meeting.

Contributions in kind came from N Wood Esq and the Hetton Coal Company  (worth £550) and G Elliott of Houghton Hall (worth £50); best ground plate glass was supplied at reduced prices by James Hartley and Co.. Total cost was £1,600 of which £1,200 had been met.

By Christopher Hill
On 20/01/2018