Elton Primitive Methodist chapel - but there's a mystery

Ince Lane Elton CH2 4RY

The first Elton Primitive Methodist chapel, in residential use
Chris Wells

The pictures on this page taken by Richard and Elaine Pearce show the Primitive Methodist chapel in Ince Lane, Elton. There are several places called Elton in the UK, and this one according to Google Maps is 8 miles from Chester by the shortest route.  As one of the pictures shows, the chapel carries the date 1845. The pictures were taken in March 2017 and the chapel building is very much still in existence.

That’s fine; however, the Primitive Methodist magazine for October 1852 contains an account by Robert Hill of the opening of Elton Primitive Methodist chapel – and he describes Elton as 7 miles from Chester. These are the main points Robert Hill (no relation!) makes:-

  • Primitive Methodists first missioned the village in the spring of 1832, by “holding a camp-meeting, at which several persons were awakened to a sense of their guilt, depravity, and danger”.
  • The society met first in the house of John Joinson, then in a rented place, and by 1850 they were meeting in the end of a very dilapidated barn.
  • Henry Lowe of Sutton Hall, gave the society a piece of freehold land and a chapel 18′ x 20′ was built at the cost of £86/10/5 of which £37 had been raised.
  • The chapel opened on the 9th of May, 1852, with sermons by Henry Brining and John Vernon.
  • Particular thanks were due to Henry Lowe for the land; to Mrs. Lowe, to Mr. Peter Brown, to Mrs. Turner and Mrs. Newton, and to the neighbouring farmers, for carting the materials.

The chapel in Ince Lane matches Robert Hill’s description – two windows on the front. Sutton Hall is not far away just to the west of Ellesmere Port.

What confuses us is that the building very clearly carries the date 1845 rather than 1852.  Can anyone explain? Are these the same or different chapels? Is it the correct Elton? Is the tablet incorrect?

All photos taken March 2017 by Elaine and Richard Pearce.

Chris Wells took up the challenge of resolving our confusion and telling more of the story.  Download the supplementary information, which includes more about “The White House”,  to learn more.


Primitive Methodist magazine October 1852 pp.623-624



Comments about this page

  • I’ve added supplementary information provided by Chris Wells to tell the fuller picture of the chapel – and cast a bit more light on the datestones.

    By Christopher Hill (16/07/2023)
  • The problem is solved by looking at the Calendar of Trust Deeds relating to Charities etc. (1871)

    The Trust for the Wesleyan chapel was set up in 1845 (1845, 130,12). The Trust for a piece of land for the Primitive Methodist Connexion was set up in 1851 (1851, 195, 3)

    As the accounts in the Primitive Methodist Magazine state, a chapel was opened in 1852, but in 1861 the better-situated Wesleyan chapel became available, and was acquired. The building illustrated was, therefore, built for the Wesleyans in 1845, but bought by the Primitive Methodists in 1861. The Primitive Methodists then set up a new trust (enrolled as 1861, 23, 14).

    The reason the Wesleyan chapel was for sale may have been because the members had chosen to become Free Methodists. The UMFC also set up a trust in Elton in 1861, but that is another mystery for another website!

    By Philip Thornborow (12/07/2023)
  • May I suggest that Nina looks at the records again – I think her GG-Grandmother and -Father lived in Elton, near Congleton, which according to Vision of Britain, had a Wesleyan Chapel (see https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/3605)

    By Chris Wells (10/07/2023)
  • I can’t shed any light on this, but have just discovered that according to the 1861 census my gt gt grandmother and father Hannah and Thomas Sherwin lived here in the Weslyan Chapel. He was a railway porter, but here is another mystery, as wikipedia tells me that the Ince railway station was only opened in 1863..

    By Nina Dodd (05/07/2022)
  • Both chapels, that illustrated and the one bought from the Wesleyans, were in the same village according to the Registrar General in 1867. See Registration 1867, Cheshire, elsewhere on this site

    By Philip Thornborow (03/09/2020)
  • Another pebble to drop into the pool.  The Primitive Methodist magazine of February 1861 (page 117) contains an account of the purchase for £95 of a former Wesleyan chapel at Elton in the Chester circuit. It was in a much better position than the old Primitive one.

    By Christopher Hill (21/03/2018)
  • Here’s a mystery; there’s an account in the Primitive Methodist magazine of the opening of a chapel that contradicts the date stone on the building itself.  Do we have wrong dates?  Is the village name incorrect?

    Can anyone cast light?

    By Christopher Hill (23/03/2017)

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