Hoe Benham Primitive Methodist chapel
The 1866 Primitive Methodist magazine says that the first Hoe Benham Primitive Methodist chapel in the Newbury circuit opened in 1836. However, there is an account by G Price in the earlier Primitive Methodist magazine of 1838 saying that the chapel opened for divine worship on August 20th 1837. We know it is the same chapel as the cost of building – £40 – is the same, even though the first report refers to it simply as Benham.
Opening preachers were Bro E Kerby and Sister H Maslin. The chapel was brick built, slate roofed and measured
In 1865 the chapel still carried a debt of £37 of the £40 it had cost them to build. In due course, with an initiative of £7 from Mr Holbrook, a new resident, the debt was cleared and a further £60 raised towards the building of a new chapel.
The foundation stone for the new chapel was laid on April 30th 1866 by Mr Holbrook. Speakers at the opening on July 1st 1866 and following celebrations (including the required tea meeting) included Rev J Moore (Silchester), T Waite (Reading) and Mrs Osmond. Mr Stapels provided the tent for the tea meeting – and helped to put it up.
The new chapel cost £160 and measured 30′ x 21′.
Where was this chapel? On Ordnance Survey maps from 1888 to 1968 on Hoe Benham Lane there is a Mission Room marked although it is not visible on Street View in 2009. However, a little further East, towards Wickham Heath, there is a former Primitive Methodist chapel now in residential use which appears to carry the date 1866, so that may well be it. The building is also around the correct size. That chapel already has its own separate page – under the name Wickham Heath. Click here to see it.
Primitive Methodist magazine 1838 page 258
Primitive Methodist magazine December 1866 page 747