West Hartlepool Whitby Street Primitive Methodist chapel

In 1861, West Hartlepool was a rapidly growing place with a population of 14,000; ten years previously there were “but a few houses in this place”.

William Lister, one of the preachers, describes the laying of the foundation stone of West Hartlepool Primitive Methodist chapel in the Primitive Methodist magazine of 1861. The stone was laid by Dr. James Atkinson, of West Hartlepool on August 12th 1861. Celebrations included a procession from Church Street to the new site and a public tea for 360 in New Market.

As usual, the magazine article gives little information about where this chapel was.  Thanks to Holly Cochran – Durham Records Online – in the comment below for identifying it as the Whitby Street chapel that in time became the head of a circuit.  You can see the six societies in the circuit on the  1900  West Hartlepool circuit plan – see here.


Primitive Methodist magazine October 1861 page 616


Comments about this page

  • Many thanks for the clarity and additional information Holly. Only five more chapels in the circuit to explore!

    By Christopher Hill (20/10/2019)
  • The Hartlepool newspaper says that in Aug 1861, a new site was chosen for a PM chapel at the corner of Reed & Whitby streets in West Hartlepool, and a foundation stone laid. It seems likely that this was the Whitby Street chapel, and it was in use by 1864 when Hartlepool became its own circuit, split from Stockton circuit. Before that, I believe this congregation met in a chapel on Dock Street. The Durham Chronicle of February 7, 1851 says that the Primitive Methodists of West Hartlepool had purchased a “convenient site” on Dock Street to build a new, larger chapel. This is probably also the same congregation that met earlier in “the tripe shop on Ann Street” (1840s).

    By Holly Cochran - Durham Records Online (https://www.durhamrecordsonline.com/ (20/10/2019)

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