Southampton, St Mary Street Primitive Methodist Chapel

St Mary's Parish Office, 135 St Mary Street, Southampton, March 2020 | Vicky Green
St Mary's Parish Office, 135 St Mary Street, Southampton, March 2020
Vicky Green
Former Primitive Methodist Chapel, St Mary Street, side view | Vicky Green
Former Primitive Methodist Chapel, St Mary Street, side view
Vicky Green
Former Primitive Methodist Chapel from James Street | Vicky Green
Former Primitive Methodist Chapel from James Street
Vicky Green
Rear of St Mary Street Primitive Methodist Chapel | Vicky Green
Rear of St Mary Street Primitive Methodist Chapel
Vicky Green
Return from Southampton Primitive Methodist chapel in the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious Worship | Provided by David Tonks
Return from Southampton Primitive Methodist chapel in the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious Worship
Provided by David Tonks

The Southampton Primitive Methodist Chapel in St Mary Street was purchased in 1838. Its finances were always tight but by 1847 they had added a gallery, and “fitted up the school-room for a self-supporting school on the British system” (Hampshire Independent 15 May 1847).

The chapel was reopened after enlargements (more work on the Sunday School was not yet completed) 8 January 1854.

With the help of Robert Tasker of Andover, whose wife Elizabeth was a local preacher on the Southampton Circuit, two side galleries were added in 1863.

At the Quarterly meeting, 6 June 1881, the St Mary Street Society and Trustees were given “liberty to purchase three houses on South Front” The St Mary Street chapel was advertised for sale by private contract in July 1884: “The property is freehold, and being situate in one of the most crowded thoroughfares of the town, it affords a capital site for business, having a frontage width of about 30 ft. with 60ft. depth. There is a Schoolroom under the Chapel, and the whole site is excavated to a depth of about 7ft. below the level of the pavement. All fixtures are to be included.”

Editor’s note (CH 04/2020)

You can read about the replacement South Front chapel here.

Comments about this page

  • I’ve added a transcript of the entry for the Primitive Methodist chapel in St Mary Street, Southampton in the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious Worship It tells us the chapel accommodated 159 in free seats and 114 in other seats.  It needed most of these – average attendance was 140 in the morning services and 160 in afternoon and evening services.  There were 80 scholars in the morning and 40 in the evening. The return was completed by the minister, Rowland Hill (probably not the stamp man) of 28 Chichester Terrace, Northern Road.

    In the Primitive Methodist magazine of 1856 (pages 499-500) T Powell writes about the re-opening of the chapel after renovation. “Our chapel here has lately been very much improved, our kind friends, Mr. R. Tasker and Mr. R. Hill, having expended about £25 in improving the walls and repairing the ceiling. We have also had the whole of the pews, pulpit, gallery, door, etc., painted and grained, at an expense of about £27 and have also had a ventilator put in – an air-tight tube – to reach from the opening in the ceiling above the roof.”

    Celebrations including services and a tea meeting for 140 started on Sunday, May 18th, 1856, when the Rev. B. Hartley preached. Other addresses came from   Rev. A. M‘Laren, B.A., R. Hartley, Rev. Mr. Russell, from Glasgow, and Mr. Hill.

    (This information was previously on a duplicate page for this chapel.)

    By Christopher Hill (30/04/2020)

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