Bradshawgate Primitive Methodist Chapel

Photo:Bradshawgate Chapel, Leigh

Bradshawgate Chapel, Leigh

Archie Earl's Collection

Photo:Inside the Chapel

Inside the Chapel

Archie Earl's Collection

Photo:New Empire Cinema (1950's)

New Empire Cinema (1950's)

Archie Earl's Collection

Photo:Windermere Road Chapel and School during demolition

Windermere Road Chapel and School during demolition

Archie Earl's Collection

Leigh, Lancs

By Alan Nixon

The Primitive Methodist Chapel, Bradshawgate, Leigh Lancashire.

The Primitive Methodist cause commenced in 1834 with a school in Bradshawgate, a new chapel was erected in 1869. This chapel was purchased by Leigh Corporation (the council) in 1903 as part of it's town improvement programme the congregation moved to new and larger chapel and school in Windermere Road in 1904 at a cost of £10,000. However these buildings no longer stand.

The site on Bradshawgate was cleared and The Empire Hall was built and used as a cinema, this was later rebuilt as a purpose built cinema called "The New Empire".

This was in turn demolished and replaced by Lennon's Supermarket, then Iceland, followed by the job centre.

One of the founders of the cause was George Okell, who was a temperance campaigner who's family lived in High Leigh, Cheshire and hosted Wesley's meetings, were instrumental in the founding of the "Independent Methodist Church" My maternal grandfather Alfred Okell was a relation of theirs.

This page was added by Alan Nixon on 03/10/2013.
Comments about this page

There is an account by S Tillotson in the Primitive Methodist magazine (1836 p.345) of the opening in November 1834 of Leigh Primitive Methodist chapel in the Bolton circuit.

By 1835 the society had 90 members with a Sunday school of 30 teachers, 100 boys and 90 girls so room for 200 was added, with the chapel so built that "at light expense" they could make room for another 200.

Where was this chapel and what happened to it?

By Christopher Hill
On 15/05/2017