Normanton-by-Derby Primitive Methodist Chapel, Old Hall Farm, Browning Street


From the early 1820s until 1876, the Primitive Methodists rented a building as a ‘chapel’, which was part of the outbuildings of Old Hall Farm, owned by the Edge family. These buildings were in Browning Street (which was originally known as Turner Lane, then Cabbage Square, later as Vicarage Lane).

The chapel stood about 25 yards up the west side of Browning Street, between the old barn and the first of Malvern Cottages. It was a two-storeyed building with a centre door, a window on either side, and a window for the upper room. The lower or ground floor, which was the part used as a chapel, consisted of one room with two windows looking onto Turner Lane. The upper floor contained a fireplace and was almost certainly used as a dwelling place, but the only access was by a set of stone steps constructed on a stone causeway in the farmyard at the rear. The ‘chapel’ building and the barn pre-dated the adjoining cottages by more than 60 years.

The building may have been the cowhouse and stables bought by William Edge in 1789, which mentions the ‘causeway on the north and west of the cowhouse and stables including the ground on which the steps to the room over the Buildings stand’.

The first reference to the building being used as a Chapel is in the will of Frances Edge, the widow of William Edge, in 1825. 

‘I also give and devise all that my building now used as a Meeting House together with the rooms over the same … to the use of my son George Edge.’

When George Edge died in 1857, his will also includes a mention of the Chapel. 

‘I give and bequeath … all that my building now used as a Chapel by the Primitive Methodists … to my dear wife Sarah.’ 

It is not known when the Primitive Methodists began renting the building for use as a chapel, but the first recorded payment is in a notebook kept by Sarah Edge: 25 March 1858 ‘Received for the rent of the Chapel £2 1s 0d’ from John Page, Littleover. The next payment was made by Ellen Tabberer, who continued to pay the £2 1s 0d each March until 1876.

What happened after this?  It seems that the Primitive Methodists either ceased to meet, built a chapel elsewhere, or joined with another society.  The building was then rented by the parish church as a Reading Room and Institute.

There is another document among the Edge family papers whose meaning is unclear.  It is undated, but seems to have been written by Thomas Edge (born c1780), son of William, and bears six signatures, all in the same handwriting.

‘The Expenses of the Chapel £38 10s 6d. With Addition to another spout witch is not yet come and so long as this people will come they are to Preach in it undisturbed by aney one. Wee are witnesses that William Edge hath put this to his Will the rest is 5 per cent for is money this building is willed to is son Thomas Edge.  William Edge, John Radford, William Peach, Samuel Hunt, William Edge, Thomas Edge.’

Whatever this refers to, it is nice to know that the Prims were to be allowed to preach in the chapel undisturbed!

The building no longer exists. In 1958 the outbuildings were sold, and replaced by houses and bungalows.  Only a small detail of an old photograph (in Derby Record Office?) remains to show what the early PM Chapel in Normanton-by-Derby was like.


Article by Edward J Wheatley, ‘The Primitive Methodist Church at Normanton-by-Derby’, kindly supplied by Celia Renshaw.

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