Birtley Primitive Methodist Chapel, Station Road

Co Durham

Birtley Primitive Methodist Church, 1899
Postcard from collection of Revd Steven Wild
Birtley Primitive Methodist Choir
Postcard from collection of Revd Steven Wild
Birtley Primitive Methodist chapel
Christian Messenger 1923/236
Birtley Primitive Methodist chapel
Christian Messenger 1901/305

The Birtley Primitive Methodists or ‘Ranters’ first met in Simpson’s Yard near St. John’s Church. Their first chapel was built in Orchard Street in 1867 at a cost of £700. The second chapel, this one, was built in Station Road at a cost of over £3000 in 1899. A minister’s house was added in 1904 and an organ installed in 1906.

The architecture is remarkable for a Primitive Methodist Chapel, its rather eccentric gothic style betraying pretensions of grandeur!  The corner spire has amazing gargoyles, which were purely decorative rather than being used as drainpipes.

A war memorial plaque on the side of the building has elaborately carved lion and lamb heads with a cornucopia underneath. The sculptor was W Pickering, who was at Rutherford College during the war and had been working on the piece as a memorial tablet, but later was unfortunately killed himself.

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