Fishponds Primitive Methodist chapel

Bristol circuit; stone laid by Wills tobacco family member?

There is an account by Robert Hartley of the laying of the foundation stone for a replacement Primitive Methodist chapel in Fishponds  in the Bristol circuit in the Primitive Methodist magazine. The stone was laid on February 1st 1859 by HO Wills of Bristol – presumably of the tobacco manufacturing family. A document of unspecified content was placed in a cavity by the stone.

Services of commemoration were held in the in Wesleyan chapel and a celebration; tea in the old chapel. Speakers included J Holmes, Robert Hartley, Rev J Hall, W Dyer, W Jones., G Hopton and J Butler. 

The new chapel, which was to measure 36* x 22* had a budgeted cost of around £300; they had £70 raised by the stone laying ceremony and £122 by the opening. 

It was Early English Gothic and Walter Masters made a model to show it off. Henry Masters (Bristol) was the architect and John Lambert the builder.  Henry Masters and the solicitor gave their professional services and John Wesley Hall gave the glass

Five months later, in September 1859, a further report from Robert Hartley tells of the opening of the chapel on June 10th 1859. Speakers at the opening services and tea meeting included  Rev Gervaise Smith (Wesleyan), Handel Cossham, (Independent), Rev J Burder (Independent), Thomas Pethick (Wesleyan), Rev M Dicke (Presbyterian), J Hall (Baptist)), PT Tanner, W Jones.

Where was the chapel – and its predecessor – and what happened to it?


Primitive Methodist magazine 1859 pages 242-243

Primitive Methodist magazine September 1859 pages 557-558


Comments about this page

  • Details of the actual opening of the first chapel in 1859 have been added – but I still don’t know where it was.

    By Christopher Hill (24/10/2017)

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