Coniston Primitive Methodist chapel

a notoriously wicked place: Cat Bank LA21 8EY

Coniston Primitive Methodist chapel
Pat Donnor 7 October 2021
Coniston Primitive Methodist chapel
Pat Donnor 7 October 2021

The opening of Coniston Primitive Methodist chapel in the Kendal circuit is described by Sampson Turner and John Holden in the Primitive Methodist magazine of 1859. Coniston was “a notoriously wicked place” where slate mining and working was the main employer but the society grew from the arrival in 1857 of a Cornish miner and local preacher who actively missioned amongst his fellow workers. Coniston chapel is described as being on the slope of  the “Old Man of Coniston”

The foundation stone was laid on July 15th 1858 and a year later almost to the day on July 3rd 1859 opening services took place.  Speakers were Rev G Herod (Preston), H Phillips (Westgate), JA Bastow (Alston), Rev J Parrott, Rev J Myers (Baptist), J Atkinson (Stokesly) J Taylor (Whitehaven), G & W Rashforth and M Taylor.

J Barratt gave the ground and powder to blast the rocks and tools to quarry stone; transport was costly – no local farmers to do it for nothing. Overall the building cost £260 of which £140 had been raised by the opening, meaning £100 had to be borrowed borrowed at 4%.

There is a Primitive Methodist chapel – Mount Zion – marked on the 1890  1:2,500 Ordnance Survey map. By the 1913 map the label has disappeared. On the 1977 map it is simply labelled “Hall”.

There is a picture on the GenUK website. It says the chapel closed in 1900.

On Google Street View in 2011, the former chapel has been converted to residential use.


Primitive Methodist magazine October 1859 pages 627-628


Comments about this page

  • Cumbria Archives (Barrow branch):

    Ref. BDTB/23/1: Coniston Primitive Methodist Records, 1857-1900.

    Ref. BDTB/54/32: Conveyance (Title to Property with Plan, Enrolled in Chancery 11, 1859). John Barratt to Joseph Millican a plot of land at Coniston for the purpose of a Chapel or Meeting House for the Primitive Methodists, year 1858, Enrolment in Chancery, 1859.


    We (Mr. & Mrs. Ella of Cumberworth, Lincolnshire) have such an Indenture/Title with Plan for our former Primitive Methodist Chapel with coloured wax seals still intact, Chancery enrolled year 1859). 

    By Raymond E.O.Ella (28/05/2018)

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