Abbotsbury Primitive Methodist chapel 1845

Red Lane

Abbotsbury: return from the Primitive Methodist preaching place to the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious worship. Return no: 274 4 2 4
provided by David Tonks 2021
Abbotsbury Primitive Methodist chapel

The return from the Primitive Methodist preaching place in Abbotsbury to the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious worship was completed by Robert Vincent, a local preacher. The society had been meeting in the same accommodation from 1845. It had 40 free seats and on Census Sunday 31 people attended the single service which was held in the evening.

It did not have a Sunday School.

The 1901 Ordnance Survey map shows a Primitive Methodist chapel behind the School at the junction of Market Street and Back Street, accessed via Red Lane.  Street View does not give a view.  but the satellite view implies that some evidence of the chapel remains. What happened to it?

Clarification comes from Martin Reeves, with information from Nigel Melville and Peter Evans

The original chapel as shown on the 1889 OS map was situated behind the old school and was approached by a lane to the right of the cottages in Red Lane
After 1925 when the new chapel was opened (see later) the old chapel was used as an annexe to the school but after the school was moved to nearby Portesham village in 1981, it was then used as a store and after that fell victim to a fire. The remains are said to be still there in the garden of the Old Schoolhouse Tea Rooms at DT34JP but this needs to be confirmed.

The building itself was constructed in 1799 originally as a Congregational chapel and it is known that the building was shared with the Methodists at some time. Certainly the 1851 Census of Places of Worship indicates that the Primitives started worshipping here in 1845 but in a reply to the question on whether it was used exclusively as a place
of worship the answer was no. This seems to indicate a shared place of worship with the Congregationalists.

After the new Congregational chapel was built nearby in Back Street in 1870 the Primitives probably then were the main (or sole?) users of the building until their new chapel was opened in West Street in 1925. That is why it is marked as a Primitive Methodist chapel on that 1889 map

You can read about the 1925 chapel here.

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