Woburn Sands Primitive Methodist chapel

Woburn Sands, Aylesbury Circuit

A new gallery having been erected in our chapel at this place, the re-opening services were celebrated on Sunday, February 24th, 1861, when Mr. S. Turner preached morning and evening, and Mr. J. Wilson in the afternoon. On the day following at three o’clock, the Rev. S. Cowdy, (Baptist), preached in the Wesleyan chapel ; at half-past four, about 120 friends sat down to an excellent tea in our own chapel ; after which, a public meeting was held, presided over by Mr. J. Hopkins, and addresses were delivered by Messrs. Butler, Underwood, Alcock, Marriott, Wilson, and the writer. The congregations were large, and the donations and collections amounted to £15 1s. 7d.

Samuel Turner

On the 1881 1:2,500 Ordnance Survey map, a Primitive Methodist chapel is marked on Aspley Hill. It is still marked as a chapel in 1972 but on Google Street View has been converted into a house.  I wondered whether this re-opening relates to the same chapel: thanks to Tim Banks (see Tim’s comment) for pointing out that Wooburn Sands and Aspley Guise had separate Primitive Methodist chapels and the one on Aspley Hill is actually Aspley Guise Primitive Methodist chapel. Confusion comes from boundary and name changes.


Primitive Methodist magazine 1861 pages 305-306


Comments about this page

  • The main problem with following the history of the chapels in Woburn Sands is that the settlement straddled the county boundary, the main street being in Wavendon parish in Buckinghamshire, and Aspley Hill being in Aspley Guise parish in Bedfordshire.
    It appears, however, from C.E. Welsh’s Bedfordshire Chapels and Meeting Houses: Official Registration 1672-1901 that Aspley Guise Primitive Methodist chapel was registered on 27 November 1849, being a building belonging to Benjamin Herbert, William Mayne and others. A trust was enrolled in 1849 for “Two cottages for the Primitive Methodists at Hogstye End” The return for Aspley Guise Primitive Methodist chapel in the 1851 Ecclesiastical Census states that the chapel was erected in 1849, and had 80 sittings. All of which suggests that Aspley Guise chapel was in Hogstye End, i.e. what became known as Woburn Sands. The lists transcribed by Welsh also include one of places of worship in 1908: this states that there was a Wesleyan chapel in Aspley Guise, and that the Primitive Methodist chapel in Aspley Guise was situated in Woburn Sands.
    For some reason The Primitive Methodist Magazine records the opening of Woburn Sands as being in 1854, but then there is a further report of a re-opening on 24 February 1861 following rebuilding and the erection of a gallery. The chapel at Woburn Sands was registered for worship on 18 December 1860. In the 1867 list of places of public worship there is a Wesleyan chapel in Aspley Guise, but the Primitive Methodist chapel is listed as being in Woburn Sands.
    Elsewhere on this site are two articles published in 1919 in the Christian Messenger on the Leighton Buzzard and the Wolverton Circuits, and these suggest that the chapel on Aspley Hill was known as Woburn Sands at that time.

    The Wesleyans built a chapel on the Buckinghamshire side of the boundary in the 1870s, and that is the one called Woburn Sands in the 1940 list of Methodist chapels. Might Methodist Union have been the occasion of renaming the Primitive Methodist chapel on Aspley Hill? It would have made sense at the time, but hasn’t helped anyone looking back! Is this the answer?

    By Philip Thornborow (02/03/2020)
  • Thanks for the clarification Tim. I have amended the wording on this page and moved the map to the Aspley Guise page.
    Do we know where the Woburn Sands chapel Mr Turner writes about was and whether it still exists?

    By Christopher Hill (05/02/2020)
  • The chapel on Aspley Hill is actually Aspley Guise Primitive Methodist Church which is recorded under Bedfordshire https://www.myprimitivemethodists.org.uk/content/chapels/bedfordshire/a-j/aspley_guise_primitive_methodist_chapel

    The Bedfordshire Community Archives website explains how boundary changes led to that chapel transferring from Aspley Guise to Woburn Sands in 1965 http://bedsarchives.bedford.gov.uk/CommunityArchives/AspleyGuise/PrimitiveMethodismInAspleyGuise.aspx
    Woburn Sands was originally named Hogsty End and part of Wavendon until the Bedford to Bletchley Railway was opened.

    By Tim Banks (02/02/2020)

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