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In the accounts of chapel openings in the early Primitive Methodist magazine I have read on more than one occasion the strategy of having an alternative use for a new chapel (usually as a cottage). Many chapels opened with sizeable debts and the Prim societies wanted to hedge their bets.
In the 1851 Religious Census, the minister, David Kent, tells us that the average attendance was 100 in the afternoons and 150 in the evenings. The afternoon Sunday School had an average attendance of 100.
It could well be Skipton chapel itself. There’s an account in the 1836 Primitive Methodist magazine (page 268) of the opening of Skipton Primitive Methodist chapel on October 26th 1835 – click here for more. Preachers at the opening included Brothers W Clowes, J Hutchinson, J Bywater and W Carthy. The chapel was a substantial building, 33 feet wide by 56 feet long and 26 feet high with a gallery at each end and the front side. There were two cottages under the end galleries. The building, including the land, cost £700. The account is provided by WL and Skipton was at that point in the Silsden circuit. These magazine accounts rarely give any detail of location.
I am the great great grandson of the Rev. William. I came across this today by accident, so a very pleasant surprise. Frederick George was my great grandfather. The family remained/returned to Northern Ireland following his time in Belfast. Well done for your efforts.
I have 2 silver plate presentation trowel/cake slices which are engraved:
“Presented to Mrs J H Roberts Primitive Methodist Church Blakcheath March 31st 1902” & “Presented to Mrs W Evans Primitive Methodist Church Blakcheath March 31st 1902”
William was my great grandfather! I’m very proud to see him listed here. I attended a Methodist church in Swansea from 1999-2003 but am now a London Anglican.
Thank you for taking those photos, its always nice to see a record for future reference.
Thanks for that page – if you go to the Coxhoe Local History Group under ‘Religion’ you will find a link to a substantial history of Coxhoe PMs that I wrote up in 2007. Going to https://sites.google.com/site/jyresearches/pms-at-coxhoe will find the paper directly.
Description of a rebuild in 1866 added to the page
Can you unscramble this ? There is an account by John Allison of the laying of the foundation stone for Dovercourt Primitive Methodist chapel in the 1866 Primitive Methodist magazine.
When I first read the magazine account, I took this to be Upper Dovercourt chapel as it has the same 1866 date (which came from Keith Guyler’s photograph). However, when I checked the Ordnance Survey map for 1898, not only is Upper Dovercourt chapel marked but another Primitive Methodist chapel marked further east along Main Road, opposite the junction for Barrack Road, in Dovercourt itself. On the 1923 and 1955 maps it is labelled Central Hall and has the same footprint. It is still there in 1971 but with a different (illegible) label. In September 2016 Google Street View shows the site occupied by Park Court flats (CO12 3DF). So that seems clear – except that the chapel is not on the 1876 map – but the Upper Dovercourt chapel is!
I’ve set up a page for Dovercourt chapel, but am not convinced the magazine article relates to it. Help please!
Glad you found the information helpful Andrea. You can read a bit more detail of the chapel and and the role of the Priestley family in the Primitive Methodist magazine mentioned on the page. To find it, go to the “Research resources” page of this website and follow the link. In relation to only two of the family being buried in the churchyard, people who were members of churches other than the Church of England, such as Quakers, Methodists and Baptists, were not allowed to be buried in Church of England consecrated ground. Instead, some denominations had their own burial places; separate records for these will exist. Alternatively, there was often a separate, unconsecrated area of ground as part of the churchyard or outside the churchyard wall.
So interested to read this, thank you. My mother was a Priestley and we visited Thimbleby this week to do a bit family history. The Priestleys who had the house next to the chapel were an enormous family (17-23 children…) so that would swell the numbers of the Methodists in the village considerably. We attended the Methodist Sunday school in Sheffield in the 1950s and assumed it was just because it was local. Now see there was a strong Methodist tradition in the family. Do you think there is more detail somewhere on this? It is a bit of a mystery that despite there being so many of them, there are just 2 Priestleys buried in the local churchyard, the father and one of the sons.
I’ve added some detail on the foundation stone laying from the Primitive Methodist magazine
There is an account by Edward Parry of the opening of the chapel on 2nd February 1866 in the Primitive Methodist magazine of November 1866 (pages 692-693). The foundation stone had been laid on October 6th 1865. Mr Savin had bought the land for the chapel from Francis Griffiths. The foundation stones were laid , and donations given, by JK Lea (Bagley), Miss Green (Knockin), Mrs Parry, Mr Griffiths, D Davies (contractor) and S Ward. Preachers at the opening included Rev H Newman (Crewe) and JK Lea (Bagley)
I’ve added a picture of Hough chapel. It struck me that as the chapel has been used by Englesea Brook Museum of Primitive Methodism for the past few years, it really should have a picture on the website!
I think this is my Great Great Grandmother
I suspect the original Prims, with their motto of “Freedom, equality, fraternity” would be encouraged to see the former chapel in use as a community centre for the surrounding area of terraced houses – serving exactly the people that characterised the Primitive Methodists. When the Community Association moved into the chapel in 2008, it was a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I visited the chapel on April 4th 2019 to photograph the outside and found a welcome inside. The buildings retain some original features, including cast iron pillars. The tall, narrow part of the building (on the right in the photograph), which occupies the footprint of a terraced house, is in use as an office and store room. The large room (on the left in the photograph) is used for a range of social activities and, although it has a false ceiling, retains its gallery on three sides. When the Community Association took over the buildings, the larger room had a pulpit in the corner which has since been removed The lady who showed me round explained that the tall, narrow part of the Community Centre was the original chapel. However, I’ve looked at some early Ordnance Survey maps of the area. There is no chapel (or any Campion Street come to that) on the OS 1:2,500 map of 1884. On the 1899 map the larger part of the building (with the yellow painted walls in the photograph) is in place, but where the tall narrow part is, to the south of it, there is no building at all. There is just a gap before number 7 Campion Street. The gap is filled in by the 1913 map. One other thought is that if the tall narrow part was the original chapel, wouldn’t it have had a door at the front? The yellow part does have a central door on Campion Street, although it has been rendered over externally. So is the tall, narrow part an addition?
There is a series of 10 photographs of the outside of this chapel, taken in June 1990, which can be seen in Shropshire Archives, ref: PH/C/17/8-17, or on their website, just put Wrentnall Methodist into the search box.
This was my Grandfather, I was told that he was born on the day of Custers last stand (The battle of Little Big Horn.) This fact fascinated me as a young child brought up in an era where tales of the Wild West were common on TV and the cinema. His youngest son (my Dad, Cuthbert) was also a Methodist Minister. I have my Grandfathers diaries covering from some years prior to 1900 and throughout the 20th Century up to and including the 1940’s. Should a family member in the future wish to contact me regarding these diaries or want to get in touch please pass on my details.
I have discovered a lot more about Enmore Green and shall be putting it in a long section in my forthcoming book on “Primitive Methodism 1919-2019”, to be published, probably in July 2019, by Tentmaker Publications, Stoke-on-Trent.
Hello David, I am presently researching the Arblaster family clan, Clayhanger Brownhills. My Uncle Bill, William Arblaster of Ogley Crescent, Brownhills died 1972 was married in Cannock to Jane Watson, my aunt, of Birtley, Chester-le-Street Co.Durham. Her mother was Lilly Ada Allison of South Terrace, Birtley Co. Durham. Lilly married Adam Watson, my granddad. Hope it might be of interest. Arthur Newman.
My son has been working on church at Wrockwardine and has plaques. Would Patricia Howlett like them? Please contact me.
I’ve added information from an account of the opening of the chapel in the Primitive Methodist magazine of 1866. The account is an extensive one with lots of detail and names.
An unusual view of the interior of Mount Street Primitive Methodist Chapel, Penzance has been added to this page. Does anyone know what the occasion was?
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