Bolton Bethesda Primitive Methodist chapel

Higher Bridge street

Bolton, Bethesda: return from the Primitive Methodist chapel to the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious worship. Return no: 468 10 1 6
provided by David Tonks 2021
Little Bolton Primitive Methodist chapel

S Tillotson tells us about the opening of Little Bolton Primitive Methodist chapel in the Primitive Methodist magazine of 1837. Opening services started on 30th October 1836 and the preachers included Messrs Armitage, Jones, Garner and Brailsford.

The chapel seated 700 people and had a large vestry. The society started a Sunday school. The Magazine does not tell us where the chapel was, but we get more detail in the 1851 Census which places it in Higher Bridge Street.

By the time of the  1851 Census of Places of Public Religious worship, the chapel had average attendances of 70 in the morning, 90 in the afternoon and 140 in the evening services. There was a morning Sunday school with 124 average morning attendance and 146 in the afternoon. The return was completed by the chapel steward, John Henshaw of Waterloo place.

The Census Return also  declared that there were seats for 166 and room for another 200, which is some way short of the initially declared 700.

The 1849 Ordnance Survey Plan shows a Primitive Methodist chapel at the northern end of Higher Bridge Street, at the junction with what was then Wood Street and became Egyptian Street with the construction of the Egyptian Mill. The 1890 OS plan shows a larger Prim chapel on the site with a Sunday school behind it. In 1939 it is labelled simply as a Methodist church and it is no longer labelled a chapel by the 1954 plan. The building disappears by the 1966-70 map.


Primitive Methodist magazine 1837 page 145

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