South Shields Glebe Primitive Methodist chapel (i)

Cornwallis Street, South Shields

Return from South Shields Primitive Methodist chapel in the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious Worship
transcribed by David Tonks

There is an account written by J Branfoot in the Primitive Methodist magazine of the opening of South Shields Primitive Methodist chapel on 17th December 1821.

He describes the chapel as commodious and seating nearly 900 – a significantly large chapel for the time.

Although the magazine report doesn’t give any further clues as to which chapel it was, see the comments below which identify it.

In the 1846 Magazine J Day describes the re-opening of the chapel after repairs, painting and cleaning had been done to it. Re-opening services started on May 24th 1847. The account matches the earlier account the large size of the chapel, saying that it cost £1,600. However, there  is a small variation in the year of opening. Presumably the more accurate date is the one written at the time.

There is a further account (by JA) in the Primitive Methodist magazine of June 1866 describing the rebuilding of the chapel, but also giving further detail of the first chapel. Things had not been straightforward with it;  it had cost £1,600 and when it first opened they could not afford pews or other basics, and the first years were “hard struggle”. However, things improved, the society grew and the accommodation especially for the Sunday School was inadequate.

They started to build the new chapel in April 1865 and it opened on January 28th 1866. Preachers were Revs JA Bastow, M Lupton, CC McKechnie, J Petty, SM McClelland, J Atkinson, W Nation, Councillors Bird & Robinson, Messrs JR Anderson, A Thompson, R Murray and G Reed.

The new chapel measured 62′ x 42′, had a gallery and an alcove for an organ (yet to be installed), and was lit by a sunlight with 40 jets! There were classrooms, a yard and boiler house.  It held 600-700 and cost £1,400, of which £600 had been raised.

The chapel is shown on Ordnance Survey maps of 1858 at the junction of Cornwallis Street and Coronation Street.  By 1896 an engineering works is shown on the site.

You can see pictures of the later Glebe chapel on this page.


Primitive Methodist magazine 1824 page 116

Primitive Methodist magazine August 1847 page 504

Primitive Methodist magazine of June 1866 page 366-368


Comments about this page

  • Thanks David.  I’ve added the name to the page.

    By Christopher Hill (11/09/2017)
  • The Return for the Census of Religious Worship 1851 relating to Glebe Primitive Methodist Chapel, Cornwallis Street, South Shields (TNA HO 129/550/1/4/21) states that it was erected in 1823.  It had 300 Free Sittings, 600 Other Sittings and 150 Free Spaces.  Attendances on Census Sunday were: General Congregation, Morning 150, Afternoon 500, Evening 850 and Sunday School 230.  It was the earliest PM Chapel in South Shields for which a Return was made.

    By David Tonks (10/09/2017)

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