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I have a notebook belonging to my grandfather F B Firth which starts ” I will now narrate the adventures of the boys in Dormitory No 1 at Elmfield College York in the year 1902″ It goes on to describes the antic and punishments of the boys in Feb/March 1902. Would this be of interest to you – it does not name the boys but mentions “the Governor ” Mr Crombie and various other masters. If not of use to you can you suggest who I may contact.
There’s some really interesting information on Thomas Simmons, his conversion to Methodism, his preaching style, his extensive circuit, his departure from the Primitive Methodists and uniting with the Free Gospellers in an article “A History of the Original Methodists” in “The Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society v36.1- a History of the Original Methodists – pages 24 to 25: https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/whs/36-1.pdf. If anyone ever comes across a photo of Thomas or his son John, also a PM lay preacher, I’d love to see them as I’ve found nothing so far!
Do we know if there any plans for the buildings / who owns them? I hate to see them sat there abandoned, they have so much potential.
Another clue to what might have happened is that William Morris states that the building was erected “about” 1825. In other words there was some doubt: quite correctly as both Petty and Kendall tell us that the area was missioned from Motcombe in 1834. If any circuit plans from the Motcombe Circuit come to light they might list this place of worship. The Circuit baptismal register from 1843 has been deposited with Dorset Record Office and this would reveal whether any Primitive Methodists from Winterbourne Whitchurch were baptised. The chapel appears not to have been registered in 1867.
William Morris himself was baptised on the 7th May 1797 in Lychett Minster, and he was buried on 12 March 1888 in the parish churchyard in Winterbourne Whitechurch. He was a carpenter, then wheelwright and appears on the census living at various locations in the village: “a cottage”, “North side road”, and “Queen’s Square”. This, then, is the only evidence of both the chapel and of William Morris as a Primitive Methodist.
The Primitive Methodist chapel was in Market Street. It can be seen on the 1969-73 OS map at the junction of Market Street with Princes Road and Ellacombe Road. It was demolished in the 1970s. There was also a Primitive chapel in Babbacombe ( a district of Torquay) which was built in 1868. It appears on the OS map of 1890 on Babbacombe Road.
Full details of all Methodist chapels including photos in the Torquay area are given on the website – Methodist chapels in Torquay-Terry Leaman. It may be that your position as researcher at the Englesea Museum would carry more weight than myself in a request for permission to use his material !
Thanks for the information Mark. I’ve added a location map.
Transcription errors are very common Mark – especially when you remember poor handwriting and limited literacy. The other consideration is that often the word “chapel” was used loosely. It is not uncommon for what is recorded as a chapel to be another building used as a preaching place – a cottage, a barn, a shed – and as such would not leave a specialised building as evidence.
I’ve looked at maps from the 1880s and cannot see a Primitive Methodist chapel.
The chapel is on the hillside on the south side of the A357 by the traffic lights at the bridge. It was extensively refurbished as a private dwelling a few years back. I hope this helps.
I have been in touch with a former resident of Whitechurch whose family were stalwarts of the Wesleyan chapel there from its earliest days. He has never heard of a Primitive chapel in the village and sent me this comment: I see that the census was typed. Would this be a copy as may be the writing on the original was not easy to read ? The Morris family if it is the same one lived in the house adjacent to the Wesleyan Chapel on Blandford Hill.
The Primitive Methodist magazine of September 1898 (page 714 reports on legal difficulties encountered in lifting restrictions on the character of the building they could erect, especially to do with light.
In the end it went to court and the Trustees were saddled with debts of £150. in addition to the £3,500 cost of the new building. They were appealing for help from the Connexion.
There is a note in the 1898 Primitive Methodist magazine (page 475) telling us that the Institute, which had been used as a place of worship and minister’s residence, had been sold to the Roman Catholics for £5,000. £1,500 of this covered debts and the remaining £3,500 would be used to build two new chapels one further west in Chester Road and the other in Hylton Road, which would replace the chapel in Millfield.
The Builder, vol. 19, page 828, Nov., 30th, 1861 :
Bradford. – The Primitive Methodist chapel in Manchester-road burnt down at the beginning of the year, is about to be rebuilt. The contracts for the necessary works have been let as follows:- Masons, Pyrah & Wray; joiner, Thomas Taylor; plasterer, J. Duckworth; slater, Hill & Sutcliffe, J. Scholefield; plumber. The joint contracts to be about [£]1,200. ………………………….. Bradford, West Yorkshire Archive Service. ref. 59D96/1, Bradford, Manchester Road, Primitive Methodist Church, baptisms 1824*-1861, 1861-1904. ………………………… * implication : Kent Street.
Bradford, West Yorkshire Archive Service. ref. DB39/C32/4, Bradford Central Hall. Primitive Methodist, Manchester Road, papers found under foundations of the hall during demolition 1892.* 1 bundle. * date: viewing the bundle may clarify or not if 1892 refers to a previous building or not.
ref. DB39/C32/4/3, Notice of the laying of memorial stones of the Primitive Methodist Central Hall, Bradford, by Issac Smith, J.P., 23rd. July 1892.
Bradford, West Yorkshire Archive Service.
ref. DB70/C5/2. Primitive Methodist Preachers Plans for the……. Bradford Circuit, 1856, 1858, 1867.
Bradford, West Yorkshire Archive Service: Deeds. ref. WYB259/2/1/1. Property: to include a parcel of ground situate at Greengates, Eccleshill, whereon to erect a chapel and school for use of the members of the Primitive Methodist connection of Greengates, 7-8 Dec., 1836.
ref. WYB259/2/1/4. Property: to include the Primitive Methodists at Greengates, 26 Aug., 1869.
The Builder, vol. 99, issue 3517, page 22, July 1910 : 2nd. July. – A new Primitive Methodist Church is being built at Immingham at a cost of [ £] 1,000. The architect is Mr. G. H. Allison. ……………… Regards, Ray & Marie.
The Building News & Engineering Journal, vol. 17, July to December 1869 .- Page 159, August 20 : The foundation stone of a new Primitive Methodist chapel was laid at Harton Colliery near Sunderland on Saturday. The building will be of red brick, faced and ornamented with white brick. The cost will be about £400. Mr. J. Tillman of Sunderland is the architect and Mr. Robson, South Shields, is entrusted with carrying out the work.
Hereford shire Archive Service:
Proposed Primitive Methodist Church at Richards Castle. Plans by Ford & Bettering, architects, year 1923, ref. K21/333.
Thank you Christopher. Herefordshire Archives Service Catalogue, ref. X70/1 lists CWM Primitive Methodist 1828-1837, contents not viewed.
Thank you Christopher. Vowchurch indeed in Herefordshire, the text copied in the Builder magazine has found [apart from £, etc.] yet a bit of a puzzlement.
Listed in a Herefordshire Archive Service catalogue is CWM Primitive Methodist 1828-1837. It has the ref. X70/1.
Raymond Ella contributes the following extract from The Builder. Although it specifies Vowchurch in Flintshire, the evidence of the Cwm circuit accords with Vowchurch in Herefordshire.
“The Builder, vol. 21, issue 1074, page 643, Sept., 5th., 1863 : Vowchurch ( Flintshire ).- A new Primitive Methodist Chapel has been opened at Vowchurch* in the Cwn circuit. The edifice is of brick and an unprentending structure. Its total cost was about [£]190 (?). This is the third Chapel the people of the Cwn circuit have opened in twelve months.
Thanks for the extract from The Builder Raymond. I’m pretty sure that, despite the mention of Flintshire, it does relate to Vowchurch in Herefordshire because:
1. I can find no Vowchurch in Flintshire and 2. the Cwm circuit was based on a farmhouse in the parish of Clodock, also in Herefordshire
I*’ve added the comment to the Vowchurch pages as well as here to see if anyone can clarify.
The current OS map shows Cwm Farm at Grid Reference SO 31729 26515.
StreetView does not get within a kilometre of it!
The Builder, vol. LXXIX, July to December, 1900 : * * [vol. 79]. Page 15, July 7th. PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHAPEL, NORTON SUBCOURSE, NORFOLK.- The foundation stone of a Primitive Methodist chapel at Norton Subcourse was laid recently. Messrs. Kerridge & Sons of Wisbech are the architects and Mr. W. Wynes of Thurlton the builder.
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