Rookhope (Bolt's Burn/Boltsburn) Primitive Methodist chapel

Front Street, Rookhope DL13 2AQ

Rookhope (Boltsburn) Wesleyan Methodist chapel of 1863. It still stands further north on Front Street
by kind permission of Dr. Christine Seal
Return from Rookhope Primitive Methodist chapel in the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious Worship
transcribed by David Tonks 2020
Bolt's Burn Primitive Methodist chapel

The opening of Bolt’s Burn (Boltsburn) Primitive Methodist chapel in the Westgate circuit is described in the 1839 Primitive Methodist magazine by John Day.  The opening took place on November 10th 1838 when the preachers were Messrs W Young and T Parker.

Mr Vickers let the society  have as much ground and stone as they wanted for five shillings – but the deed cost £5. The chapel measured 24′(l) 18′(w)  and there was a house under the chapel.

The Return from Rookhope Primitive Methodist chapel in the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious Worship was completed by Cuthbert Fairless, who was a local preacher. The chapel help 115 people, 65 in free seats, and on Census Sunday 31 people attended in the afternoon and 16 in the evening.  There was also a Sunday school with 12 scholars in the afternoon and, interestingly, 2 in the evening.

Ordnance Survey maps show a Primitive Methodist chapel on Chapel Row (now Chapel Terrace) in 1861. Interestingly, by the 1895 and 1896 maps, the chapel moves to the opposite (western) side of the road. It is still there in 1953 but there is no label on the  1977 map.  The principal name of the settlement also changes from Bolt’s Burn to Rookhope.

On the ground now there is a residential building of the same footprint, of the same age and with chapel like features  – dressed corner stones and blocked up round headed windows in the end wall. Was this the chapel?


Primitive Methodist magazine 1839 page 374


Comments about this page

  • Yes, you are describing the former Primitive Methodist Chapel. It was deconsecrated many decades ago and was, for a long time, used as a Council depot. It was first converted for residential use in 1985 and then again in 2005. The only remaining evidence of the chapel are the blocked-up round-headed windows in the North Wall.
    I have sent a current photograph to the engleseabrook address.

    By Jamie Johnson (31/03/2023)
  • Thanks to David Tonks for pointing out that the chapel picture was incorrectly labelled as Primitive Methodist but was actually the former Wesleyan Methodist chapel.

    Now all we need is a picture of the correct chapel, together with confirmation that it is the same building!

    By Christopher Hill (09/11/2022)

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