Lower Stratton Primitive Methodist chapel

Photo:Lower Stratton chapel

Lower Stratton chapel

Brinkworth and Swindon Synod Centenary Handbook 1910

Photo:Lower Stratton Primitive Methodist chapel south side

Lower Stratton Primitive Methodist chapel south side

Organ appeal leaflet

Photo:1830 Primitive Methodist chapel in Swindon Road, Lower Stratton

1830 Primitive Methodist chapel in Swindon Road, Lower Stratton

Christopher Hill

Photo:Lower Stratton first Primitive Methodist chapel before conversion into houses

Lower Stratton first Primitive Methodist chapel before conversion into houses

Hill family collection

Lower Stratton Methodist Church SN3 4NH

Ermin Street, Stratton St Margaret, Swindon SN3 4NH

By Christopher Hill

The village of Stratton St Margaret is just outside Swindon: Lower Stratton is the larger part of the village.  It was missioned early with meetings held in 1825 in Mr Habgood's carpenter's shop at Stratton Park Cross Roads.

The first chapel building erected in 1830 in Swindon Road, SN3 4PU was not entirely welcomed; "slates were broken to pieces by some ill-disposed person or persons". It was later enlarged and is now two cottages.  

The opening of what is called Stratton chapel in the Brinkworth circuit is described by John Ride in the 1830 Primitive Methodist magazine. The foundation stone was laid by Mr W Pinegar on May 31st, when the preachers were  Mr and Mrs J Ride, and the chapel was opened on 27th June - only a month to build it! Preachers at the opening were Brother Jukes and Sister M Cutler.

There were 40 members in the society and the numbers were rapidly rising. The new chapel measured 20'(w) x 26'(l) x 15'(h).

The enlargement was described by G Wallis in the Primitive Methodist magazine of 1856. There were services, including one in the Baptist chapel, and a tea meeting.  Preachers were . B. Breeze (Baptist), Mr. J. Humphries, C. Morse, J. Hunt, J. Mapson, and J. Tuck. Named donors were . R. White, Mr. C. Morse, W. Collett, S. Davies, D. Trotman, R. Wilkins, and the Misses White, Collett, and Morse.

In 1884 a new church was built by Thomas Colborne as the congregation grew and about 12 months later the old building was sold and new schools erected.

In 1910 its vital statistics were recorded in the Brinkworth and Swindon Synod Handbook as:

  • Number of sittings:            315
  • School accommodation:     250
  • Number of members:           49
  • Total cost:                    £1,600
  • Debt:                               £720

Amongst its early members were Charles and Rebecca Morse, founders of a Primitive Methodist dynasty and a major Swindon department store.  See the pages on Levi Lapper Morse, their son and later Vice President of the Conference.

It boasted an orchard used for Camp meetings and outdoor activities, together with two tennis courts.  The story of the new organ can be seen on this page.

The church is still open and active (2014).  


Primitive Methodist magazine 1830 p.358

Primitive Methodist magazine August 1856 p.498


This page was added by Christopher Hill on 08/05/2014.

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