Heworth Lane & Pelaw Primitive Methodist Chapel, Co. Durham

Heworth Lane PM Chapel c1900
Bede Circuit Archive Collections
Scout Group who met at Heworth Lane PM Chapel c1905
Bede Circuit Archive Collections
Architect's drawing for the proposed Pelaw PM Chapel (not built to this design)
Bede Circuit Archive Collections
The building today
Elaine & Richard Pearce, 2016
Return from Gateshead Heworth Lane Primitive Methodist chapel in the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious Worship
transcribed by David Tonks

The Primitive Methodists began meeting in the Bottle Works at Bill Quay, in 1824, and they missioned the Heworth Lane area in early 1833 resulting in a chapel being opened there at a cost of £118.  The debt of £98 16s at the time of opening remained with the Society until 1914 by which time they were in new premises at Pelaw.

The village of Heworth in 1833 consisted of 400 inhabitants of which 80 of them could regularly be found worshipping at the chapel. The South Shields PM Circuit Quarterly Meeting minutes state that the Society “gave them very little trouble” – indeed, the Quarterly Meeting did everything it could to support the growing Society. Several building alterations were carried out over the ensuing 30 years including raising the height of the ceilings to accommodate a gallery, levelling of the floor so that a kitchen and residence for a caretaker could be provided in the cellar and the installation of stairs to reach the vestry which until then had been only accessible via a ladder!

In 1900, a new tin chapel was opened on Cowpath Lane then, following major building work by the Co-Operative Wholesale in building their Pelaw Works, a new brick-built chapel was opened on Shields Road and known as Pelaw Primitive Methodist Church. A Sunday School hall was added to this building in 1959 however by 1982, with falling attendances and membership, the church closed.  The congregation joined their friends at Bill Quay (since closed).

Comments about this page

  • Thank you Judith for your nice comment.
    Regarding The National Archives ( formerly The Public Record Office) :
    In the Discovery search-box type Primitive Methodist, beforehand having selected date-boxes.
    Also see the holdings the NA have in their on-line catalogue.
    Such an abundance, !.

    By Raymond E. O. Ella (07/09/2021)
  • I was very interested to read Raymond’s comment regarding the architect of Pelaw Primitive Methodist Church. Mr J.W.F. Phillipson (son of Rev. Emerson Phillipson) was my grandfather and I’m currently researching PM Chapels that he designed. I had no idea about Pelaw so I’m very pleased that I do now!

    By Judith Rogers nee Phillipson (03/09/2021)
  • The following for Hebburn refers to Pelaw.
    The Builder, vol. 127, issue 4273, page 1033, Dec., 26, 1924 :
    HEBBURN.- The U.D.C. has approved plans prepared by Mr. J. W. F. Phillipson, architect of Gateshead, for the conversion of the old workmen’s club at Pelaw into a Primitive Methodist church and schoolroom.
    If converted it would have been probably completed year 1925,?.

    By Raymond E. O. Ella (25/08/2021)
  • I’ve added a copy of the Return from Gateshead Heworth Lane Primitive Methodist chapel in the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious Worship
    transcribed by David Tonks,

    By Christopher Hill (02/04/2020)
  • The Primitive Methodist magazine for 1834 (page 276) contains an account by John Lightfoot & William Shepherd of the opening of Heworth Lane chapel.  It opened on 02/02/1834 and 03/02/1834 when the preachers were on the Sunday Brothers Cosens and Hebbron and on the Monday Sister Newton.

    The chapel is described as small and neat, and was built to accommodate 120 persons and measured 20′(w) x 26′ (l) x 10′(h)

    By Christopher Hill (21/08/2017)
  • This page has been updated to include a picture of the church that was actually built, as it is in 2016. 

    By Jill Barber (14/01/2017)

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