Distington Sunny Brow/Common End Primitive Methodist Chapel, Cumberland

Grid ref NY004226

Sunny Brow chapel was built of stone in 1839 at a cost of £108. In 1851 there were 58 free and 52 free other sittings  but by 1863 there were 66 lettable and 50 free sittings. At the time of building it had 28 members which had fallen to 11 by 1863 when Sunday attendances were 40. In 1940 the Chapel had 60 sittings on forms and no other rooms. It had been closed by 1980 and is now in residential use.

Additional information (CH 01/22024)

The opening of the chapel is reported by J Burroughs in the 1840 Primitive Methodist magazine.  It was in the Whitehaven circuit at that time.

Sunny Brow is a small place in the immediate neighbourhood of Distington, in the county of Cumberland, and the inhabitants are principally coal-miners. Our people had preached there for a number of years with but little success. Too often had they to take up the language of the prophet and say,” Who bath believed our report, and to whom bath the arm of the Lord been revealed ?“ But in the summer of 1838, the Lord sent an awakening influence among the people. When the word was preached and prayer offered, the showers of grace descended, the heavenly winds began to blow, and the principal inquiry with many was,” What must I do to be saved ?“

A chapel was soon wanted; and the Lord put it into the hearts of the young converts to make some noble efforts towards the erection of one. The friends of Primitive Methodism in the neighbouring places, came forward and took a lively interest in it; and great praise is due to them for the same. The object of their wishes was at length accomplished in the erect ion of a neat chapel, in a good Situation; twenty-two and a half feet by eighteen ; built of stone, and covered with blue slate, and lighted with three circular topped Windows. It Was Opened for divine worship on Sunday June 2, 1839, and the collections and subscriptions were good. This chapel seats about one hundred and twenty. Its total cost was one hundred and eight pounds. The sittings let very well. It is settled on the Connexion, and is likely to be a blessing to the place.”


Cumbria Archive Service, Whitehaven YDFCM2/382-387 Station reports, 1840- 1912

The National Archives HO129/171/1 /2 1851 census of religious worship

Carlisle Library, 1A287, Methodist Property Statistics 1940, 1980

Site visit 24.05.2016

Primitive Methodist magazine 1840 page 408

Comments about this page

  • I’ve added a brief account of the opening of the chapel from the 1840 Primitive Methodist magazine.

    By Christopher Hill (01/02/2024)

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