Ashleyhay Primitive Methodist chapel

Beighton Hill/Main Street, Ashleyhay DE4 4AJ

Ashleyhay Primitive Methodist chapel
David Leese

The  Primitive Methodist magazine for February 1852 contains an account by J Wilson of the opening of Ashleyhay Primitive Methodist chapel in the Kniveton circuit.

Mr Wilson describes it as a “remarkably neat and substantial chapel” which presented “an aspect of neatness and utility”.  Encouragingly, he also tells that it was legal. It was 24′ x 18′ built of grit stone with a blue slate roof.

The opening services were conducted by Mr J Smith of Butterley and the Rev S Nightingale (General Baptist) of Castle Donington. The following tea meeting on the 15 September 1851 was held in a “capacious” tent lent by Mr S Smedley of Lea. Overall Mr Wilson was positive – attendances were rising and a Sunday School had just been established.

A number of people were thanked for particular contributions, including not only Mr Smedley, but also Mrs Anable, Mr Bidcock (for land and stone), and the misses Ridcock, Mrs Anable and Mrs Hawkins (for canvasing the neighbourhood for subscriptions).

The total cost was £110 of which £58 was still owing, although income from seat rents would reduce that to £50 after 6 months.

The chapel continued to serve after Methodist Union, although there had also been a Wesleyan chapel in the village.  It is now closed and in residential use.

Comments about this page

  • Thanks to David Leese for a photograph of this chapel, now included on this page.

    By Christopher Hill (17/08/2018)
  • The 1992 commemorative booklet states that the chapel was founded on a piece of land gifted by a local farmer, together with a piece of wasteland. The chapel stone above the door stated “Primitive Methodist Chapel 1851, this ground and stone given by William Pidcock.” The chapel was part of the then Kniveton circuit, becoming the Wirksworth circuit in the late 1850’s.

    By David Leese (17/06/2018)

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