Dedham Heath Primitive Methodist Chapel

Long Road East Dedham CO7 6BW

By Keith Guyler, 1988
Dedham Heath Primitive Methodist Chapel

This chapel was built in 1863 in a simple 19th century Gothic style with red brick and white dressings and diamond-shaped patterns above the windows and door. By 1963 it was evident that extensive renovations were needed and these were carried out between 1963 and 1992. Attendance has always been reported as quite high even into its 125th anniversary year. However, congregations have got much smaller in recent years and in 2011 it was reported that closure seemed highly likely. Fortunately, in 2013 the chapel is still open for worship, having become a joint Methodist, Anglican and United Reformed Church.

Additional information (CH 01/202)

See Martin Broom’s comment below for an update and correction.

There’s an account in the Primitive Methodist magazine of 1864 of the laying of the foundation stone for a Primitive Methodist chapel in Dedham.

“FOUNDATION-STONE LAYING AT Dedham, Colchester Station.— For the last four years we have laboured at this place with varied and pleasing success, but for want of a suitable place in which to hold our services, our efforts have been greatly retarded. In order to meet the wants of the society and congregation, it has been found necessary to build a neat and substantial connexional chapel, for which purpose an eligible site of land has been purchased, and several pounds are promised towards the building fund.

On Monday, November 2nd, 1863, the foundation services were held. The Rev. O. O. Britain preached a sermon, and after wards laid the stone in the name of the Holy Trinity, and deposited in a cavity prepared for that purpose a variety of Connexional and station documents, including a list of the trustees, the names of the builders, and the names of the circuit ministers. Afterwards about sixty persons sat down to an excellent tea, provided in Mr. Felgate’s barn.

At seven o’clock the barn was well filled at the public meeting, which was addressed by 0. 0. Britain, J. B. Lamb, J. Elsden, W. Stoggles, J. Nunn, K. Pratt, and — Abbott. The entire proceeds of the day were about £5, although the rain fell in torrents the greater part of the time. We will not murmur, but thank God and take courage.  O.O. Britain”

Than ks to Martin Broom for confirming this is Dedham Heath chapel and further information.  Martin lives next door in Chapel cottage and has researched the history of both. He has copy documents and names can be checked. Mr Felgate sold the land to the Trustees.

It is thought that a previous chapel stood in East Lane, a short distance away, but this may only have been a cottage or barn.


Primitive Methodist magazine 1864 page 116

Comments about this page

  • As Martin Broom says, there was never a formal union, but as the URC in Dedham closed in 1979, some of the members transferred their membership to the Methodist chapel.
    For many years the Peck family were prominent in the church, and one member organised the Colchester rose show every year.

    By Brian Clow (25/04/2020)
  • Some of the information on Dedham Heath Chapel is incorrect. I live next door in Chapel Cottage( under one ownership until 100 years ago).
    I have researched the history of the Chapel and our cottage. I also worked for local Solicitors and did all the legal work for the Manningtree and Harwich Circuit for several years including the sale of this chapel.
    The chapel closed in December 2008.It never became a shared church but is now occupied by Brethren.

    By Martin Broom (10/01/2020)
  • When I came across in the Primitive Methodist magazine the account of the laying in 1863 of the foundation stone of Dedham Primitive Methodist chapel, I wasn’t sure whether it was the same chapel as this one on Dedham Heath. For a while there there were separate pages for the two.

    By Christopher Hill (02/12/2019)

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