Melbury Cann Common Primitive Methodist chapel

Cann Common Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 0DF

Melbury Cann Common Primitive Methodist chapel
Keith Guyler 1993
Melbury Cann Common Primitive Methodist chapel

Keith Guyler’s notes which accompany this photograph simply say “Melbury, Cann Common (Shaftesbury section), (SE of Shaftesbury)”   and that is not very precise.

There are references to Primitive Methodist activity and more than one chapel in the area, so this chapel in the picture could be one of several:

  • Kelly’s Directory of 1895 says that there are two Primitive Methodist chapels in Cann Parish.
  • National Archives say that Melbury Abbas Primitive Methodist chapel was closed in 1953.

Initially I wasn’t sure where to look – Melbury Abbas?  East Melbury?  Cann Common?

However, the chapel in Keith Guyler’s picture still exists in 2017, although not in use, on Dinah’s Hollow, south of Cann Common.  It is marked as a Primitive Methodist chapel on the 1888 and 1929 Ordnance Survey maps of the area . 

There is a further complication.  Whilst working through accounts of chapel openings in the Primitive Methodist magazine, I came across the following account of a chapel opening at Melbury (“about two miles from Shaftesbury”):

At Melbury, a village about two miles from Shaftesbury, we had a society and a considerable congregation worshipping in a cottage for some years ; but on April 5th, 1846, a newly-erected chapel was opened by brother Rowland Hill, from our Sherborn branch. The congregations were large, the collections satisfactory, and the services powerful.

The chapel is neat, well lighted, quite suitable for the village, and is connexionally conveyed to trustees ; the seats are all let, several persons have promised to collect sums of money to lower the debt, the trustees are in easy circumstances, and the chapel is well situated for a congregation and Sunday school, there being no other chapel in the village”

Is this the chapel in the picture?


Primitive Methodist magazine 1846 page 434

Comments about this page

  • We would like to see that please! Could you email us a copy to ?

    By Christopher Hill (19/11/2018)
  • I have finally tracked down a photo of the old chapel that used to be on Bozley Hill, Cann, Shaftesbury Mill Lane SP7 0BN.

    By David Coyle (18/11/2018)
  • I’ve been going over the old deeds and the new and I have records of the sale of the Methodist chapel and a very long list of the people involved.The site on which the Methodist chapel was built on you can not still to this day brew alcohol or gamble on the site. I’m still trying to locate old photos if anyone can help the site is bozley hill/mill lane.cann dorset


    By David Coyle (02/10/2017)
  • Thanks David; any thing you want to add to this site about the chapel and the people linked to it would be interesting.


    By Christopher Hill (27/11/2016)
  • Hello, I’ve just moved into Shaston Cottage on Bozley Hill, Cann. The other chapel is now my garage made from the bricks of the old chapel on it’s site. If you would like more info please let me know. Cheers Dave

    By david coyle (26/11/2016)
  • Thanks Adam.  With your guidance I’ve tracked it down on both the 1946 one inch Ordnance Survey map and Google Street View in 2011 and added the location map to the site.

    It boasts a satellite dish so is probably in use as a house.

    By Christopher Hill (26/08/2015)
  • This chapel closed c.1953 and was converted into a house soon after, it is just outside the village of Melbury Abbas on the road towards Shaftesbury.

    By Adam Miller (24/08/2015)

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