Crockleford Heath Primitive Methodist chapel

Chapel Lane, Crockleford Heath, Colchester CO7 7BJ

Crockleford Methodist church, the former Crockleford Heath Primitive Methodist chapel
provided by Alan Went and taken in the 1970s by his father

Crockleford Heath is a hamlet in the village of Ardleigh. Crockleford Heath Primitive Methodist chapel was opened there on June 26th 1859. Preachers at the opening were Mr J Kemish and Robert (Church*), who described the opening in the Primitive Methodist magazine.

A tea meeting for 120 was held as part of the celebrations.

The new chapel cost £115 of which £55 had been raised by the time of the opening. Mr Ringe sold the society the land for the chapel on reasonable terms. Amongst the principal donors was Mr Fitch.

The chapel is in a remote location on Chapel Lane, but was still marked on Ordnance Survey maps as Crockleford Methodist church in 1961. On Street View in May 2009, it has been converted into a detached house, but still retains its chapel features.

Many thanks to Alan Went for providing a history of the chapel written by his parents, David and Audrey Went; download further down the page.

* the unclear surname is because the picture of the page in the Primitive Methodist magazine was obscured by my thumb in the image of the page!


Primitive Methodist magazine September 1859 page 560


Comments about this page

  • Anyone who would like a full history please contact me. Alan Went

    By Alan Went (27/09/2021)
  • Amongst other traditions that the chapel held on to, which have already been described by Mr Clow, Crockleford Heath also maintained use of the Methodist Hymn Book until its closure in 1997, never migrating to Hymns and Psalms.
    The story was told that, when a camp meeting was held in the meadow opposite, a man with a gun appeared through the woods, intending to attack the worshippers, but he was mesmerised by their words and was converted.

    By Michael R. J. Topple (25/04/2020)
  • This was a very strong cause until the 1960s, mainly due to the Cook and Went families being very numerous. The chapel closed in 1997, with the same church steward, who had been appointed in 1932!
    The chapel was renowned for many years for the small string orchestra (2 violins and a cello) that accompanied the organ during the hymns. The old P M custom of a Sankey hymn sung after the benediction was continued until the closure.

    By Brian Clow (25/04/2020)
  • The original purchase price for the land was £6.
    Membership was 21 at the opening
    The chapel was sold in 1999.

    By MARTIN BROOM (13/01/2020)

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