Twyford Primitive Methodist chapel

Motcombe circuit

In the Primitive Methodist magazine of 1861, George Fowler tells us about the opening of Twyford Primitive Methodist chapel.

The Lord graciously visited our society at Twyford, about the beginning of last February, and several souls were saved, so that the house of Brother John Merrifield, wherein the Primitive Methodists have conducted Divine service for the last thirty-three years, was too small to hold the congregation. Brother John Merrifield kindly gave a piece of his garden on which to erect a chapel, which is 30 feet long by 16 feet wide, capable of seating 100 persons.

It is built of brick and stone, has six windows, and is properly ventilated ; the floor is boarded. Most of the stone was given by a farmer in the neighbourhood ; the pulpit was presented by the Baptist Society at Ewern; a portion of the timber was given. Most of the materials were conveyed gratuitously, and at least one-half of the labour was free. We raised, by subscriptions and donations, £18 Is. Id.

The opening services were held October 4th, 1860, when a sermon was preached by the Rev. G. Warner, after which about 360 persons took tea in a booth erected for the occasion. In the evening a public meeting was held, when ad dresses were delivered by Messrs. S. Timmins, G. Fowler, J. Davidge, G. Warner, and T. Powell. On Sunday, October 7th, two sermons were preached by Mr. S. Timmins. T

The proceeds of the services amounted to £9 9s. 4ld. ; the debt remaining is about £5. Promises have been made for the amount required to liquidate the whole debt, and the money to be paid within a month. Much credit is due to the friends who have acted so praiseworthily in this matter. To God be all the glory. George Fowler

There are at least nine places called Twyford, but as this one was in the Motcombe circuit, I’m locating it in Dorset.

You can read about the preceding domestic preaching place at Bere Knap here.


Primitive Methodist magazine January 1861 page 47


Comments about this page

  • Thanks for the information Martin. Primitive Methodist magazine accounts give lots of fascinating detail, but rarely tell us where a new chapel was actually located.

    By Christopher Hill (03/08/2019)
  • Twyford Primitive Methodist chapel was at Bere Knap, a hamlet about half a mile east of Twyford and about one and a half miles west of the village of Compton Abbas. The Grid Reference is ST 860189
    The 1875 Post Office Directory for Compton Abbas makes a reference to Bere Knap, ” a hamlet of a few houses and a small place of worship for Primitive Methodists” This would have been in the Motcombe circuit.
    The 1861 Census for Compton Abbas lists a John Merrifield living at Bere Knap, so the chapel would have been built in his garden there,
    Chapels are normally marked on O S maps 1:2,500 but nothing is indicated on O S maps of the area for 1888, 1902 and later, so it appears the chapel had closed.
    On the 1980 OS map one dwelling is marked at Bere Knap on Drones Lane. The postcode is SP70JQ
    Further research is needed to confirm when the chapel closed and if any evidence remains of its existence.

    By Martin Reeves (02/08/2019)

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