New Gateshead, Crawshay Street Primitive Methodist Chapel, Co. Durham

New Gateshead was a name given to an area of the Town in what is now South Shore Road or the Saltmeadows area. It was fully developed in the 1850s and 1860s by Hawks Crawshay as model dwellings for their employees but began much earlier in 1830 with the building of Hawks’ Cottages. These were designed by John & Benjamin Green and survived until 1960 when the Council ordered their demolition though the residents claimed that the houses were still fit for habitation.

The Primitive Methodists had been at work in the area from the 1830s (the Wesleyans didn’t seem to venture here) and on 28 March 1831, Thomas and George Gibson gave a plot of land for the building of a new PM chapel. Sadly, no records survive from the chapel itself but from the Circuit Schedules we see that they enjoyed all the usual services, camp meetings, love feasts, Sunday School etc. until around 1867 when with falling membership and reduced income, the chapel was closed.

The buildings were let to a Church of England mission and three months later the CoE bought the premises for £300. The funds were transferred to Nelson Street on condition that a chapel be provided on the east side of the town. Later records show that the money was applied to the construction of Sunderland Road PM Chapel, in 1877.

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