Ashbourne Primitive Methodist Chapels, Derbyshire

The 1862 Ebenezer Chapel in Dove House Green, c 1893. On the steps are the Rev John Redhead and family. The photo was taken soon after Rev Redhead's appointment to Ashbourne (see comment below).
David Redhead
1894 Beulah Primitive Methodist chapel in Station Road
Christian Messenger 1906/366
'Beulah' Ongregation at front of chapel
Archive photograph
John Redhead Life to 1910 Ashbourne 1
John Redhead Life to 1910 Ashbourne 2
John Redhead Life to 1910 Ashbourne 3

The photographs on this page show two Primitive Methodist Chapels in Ashbourne:

1. A chapel  built on Dove House Green. It carries the name Ebenezer in the photograph.  Circuit records date this as 1846 although other sources give the date as 1862

2. An 1894 Station Street chapel, known as Beulah. This closed in 1965, but the building was not sold till 1974.  It has since been demolished.

In addition,  the 1833 Primitive Methodist magazine (page 222) contains an account by J Horsman of the opening of Ashbourn (sic) Primitive Methodist chapel in 1832 although no date for the actual opening is given. The preacher at the opening was William Clowes.

The note says that it took them 12 years to acquire a plot of land and a neat, well finished  little chapel was built. It measured 21′ (w) x 27′(l).

As well as the Primitive Methodists, there was a Wesleyan chapel in Birch’s Woodyard, Compton, built in 1822 and a Countess of Huntingdon’s ‘Sion’  Connexion chapel from 1801 which became an Independent chapel.

This page has been amended in the light of additional  information (CH)

Comments about this page

  • Yes the photograph added is what was Beulah, the Station Rd. chapel.

    By David Leese (07/07/2020)
  • I’ve added the picture of what must be the third Ashbourne Primitive Methodist chapel. It comes from the Christian Messenger of 1906

    By Christopher Hill (07/07/2020)
  • The photo and pages from John Redhead’s Life Story relating to Ashbourne have been added thanks to his great grandson David Redhead, who says:

    ‘I do not have a definite date for the attached picture of a Primitive Methodist Chapel in or near Ashbourne. Examining the original with a hand lens I can make out the stonework above the door says “Primitive Methodist Chapel, Ebenezer” and the tattered poster on the fence says “Primitive Methodist Chapel, Ashbourne, Services Rev J Redhead”. Most of this was discernible with a 10X lens but I needed to purchase a 30X lens to make out the “Ashbourne” which is in smaller type. That is definitely the Rev John standing at the top of the steps. The four boys are almost certainly four of his sons, at the top Daniel Albert (b 12/01/1882) & Joseph Farrow (b 30/09/1884, my grandfather), lower down Bartholomew William John (b 18/07/1880) & John Fletcher (b 18/03/1889). The apparent absence of Thomas James (b 23/01/1893) may help in dating the picture. I have named the boys on size rather than appearance owing to the nature of the photo. The girl with the glorious hat sitting beneath the Rev John is presumably his daughter Margaret Jane (b 25/04/1886). Looking at the size of the children I would say this photo could have been taken in 1893/1894 i.e. not long after the family arrived in Ashbourne. Thomas is probably absent because he was not yet mobile under his own steam. 

    Looking at the photos of the Ashbourne chapels on the MPMA website this is not either of them – this is reinforced by the Rev John writing the Ashbourne Beulah chapel had “Beulah” rather than “Ebenezer” above the door. Also, from photos on the MPMA website, it does not appear to be the ones at Hognaston & Biggin the Rev John also mentions. So I can’t help wondering if it is the Ashbourne Chapel that the Rev John found on arrival and thought too small and out of the way, causing him to put his energies into building the new one which opened in 1895. 

    The bricked in windows intrigue me – did window tax (repealed in 1851) apply to places of worship!’

    By Jill Barber (01/02/2018)
  • My great-grandfather the Rev John Redhead was the Primitive Methodist minister at Beulah Chapel, Ashbourne between 1893 and 1898. According to his own account he was instrumental in raising the money for the new chapel and increasing the congregation ten fold.

    I have a photograph which I believe shows him standing on the steps of the chapel with five of his children. Also an account of his ministry which he wrote in 1910. Ashbourne seems to have been his favourite station at the time of writing. 

    Happy to supply a copy of the photo and his “life story” which also gives detailed information about his previous stations. 

    By David Redhead (10/01/2018)
  • David,

    Thanks for your comment. We would be delighted to receive a copy of his picture and account of his own story. Can you e-mail them to the Englesea Brook Museum – see about us/contact us to get the address.

    Have you found our page on John Redhead on this site? Click on the link. It would be great to be able to add his story as a document on that page.

    By Geoff Dickinson (10/01/2018)
  • The 1833 Primitive Methodist magazine (page 222) contains an account by J Horsman of the opening of Ashbourn (sic) Primitive Methodist chapel in 1832 although no date for the actual opening is given. The preacher at the opening was William Clowes.  

    The note says that a plot of land acquired after 12 years and a neat little chapel, well finished was built. It measured 21′ (w) x 27′(l).

    By Christopher Hill (28/08/2017)

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