Grimsby first Primitive Methodist chapel

Photo:sketch of the first Primitive Methodist chapel in Grimsby

sketch of the first Primitive Methodist chapel in Grimsby

Primitive Methodist Conference Handbook 1899

the remaining part of Burgess Street, Grimsby

corner of Loft Street and Burgess Street

By Christopher Hill

The first chapel our people occupied was in Loft Street.  It was built by the Calvinists.  It was bought of Mr Smith, a currier, in 1839.  Of the price we know nothing; but its worth, as estimated by those who knew it, was about £200.  It seated from 150  to 200 persons.  There was a large vestry abutting on Burgess Street.  From statements made to us by Mr J. Robinson we have produced a sketch of the place, from which it will be seen that it was not of the most imposing architectural character.  We fear we may have made it look better than it was.  But such as it is, as an outline it will show that our material possessions in Grimsby were of a rather modest sort

This description and sketch are by Rev R Harrison and is taken from the Handbook of the 89th Annual Primitive Methodist Conference held in Grimsby in 1899.  They had no picture, so drew it best they could from memory.

Loft Street no longer exists, but there is still Upper Burgess Street.

The Primitive Methodist magazine for March 1859 contains an account from the Grimsby Independent newspaper of the  laying of the foundation stone for a new chapel on Wednesday January 12th 1859. The prayers at the ceremony were led by Rev W Lonsdale and the stone was laid by Rev H Campbell, the superintendent minister. Rev W Sanderson (Kirton) preached.

There was then "a sumptuous tea" for 500 people in the Mechanics Hall and a public meeting in the Primitive Methodist chapel. Speakers included Messrs Lonsdale, Cheeseman, Sharp, Sanderson, Giles, Talbot, Tudsbury, Shepherd (Primitives), Smart (Baptist) and Coulson (Wesleyan).

Rev Hugh Campbell followed this account up with a description of the opening itself in the October magazine, although his information is not always consistent with Handbook account. Rev Campbell says the society purchased an Independent chapel in 1827 but they needed more space as the society grew so they built a new chapel seating 1,000, two schoolrooms for 500-600 scholars, and four vestries. Services and tea meetings to celebrate the opening took place over a fortnight - -although uncharacteristically they did not name the preachers involved.

The chapel cost £2,500 and they were optimistic about raising the mandatory third of it.


Primitive Methodist magazine March 1859 page 172-3

Primitive Methodist magazine October 1859 page 627-628


This page was added by Christopher Hill on 08/02/2016.
Comments about this page

More information about the opening itself has been added from the October 1859 Primitive Methodist magazine.  It confirms just how big the 1859 chapel was - in contrast to many of the small rural chapels which cost around £100 and seated 100 or so worshippers.

By Christopher Hill
On 04/11/2017