The origins of the Nelson Street Society can be traced back to 16th November 1819 when Metheun’s Long Room was being used for early day meetings. In 1822, a preaching room was opened in Garden Street, Gateshead, and regular services were organised by friends from Newcastle. The extent of poverty in the area resulted in the room being closed and rooms rented around the town including the long room in the Brandy Vault’s public house on Church Street, from which the early Ranter’s were expelled for “being too noisy“!
A large chapel was eventually constructed on Mulgrave Terrace in 1838 however the treasurer absconded with the funds and the building had to be given up. Several more rooms were rented until the foundation stones were laid of the Nelson Street Chapel on 17th May 1853. The chapel, with seating for 400 was officially opened on 1st January 1854 by Ralph Fenwick.
In the early 1870s, an extension was provided for the Nelson Street PM Day School which catered for 185 children. At this time, the chapel was still in an ideal location but by 1886, surrounding properties had deteriorated and it was decided to sell the building and consider a move away from the town centre, to Durham Road.