Haugh Primitive Methodist chapel

64A Huddersfield Rd, Newhey, OL16 3RL

In the 1856 Primitive Methodist magazine, James Cheetham writes of the opening of Haugh Primitive Methodist chapel.

This village is three miles from Rochdale, lying about half way between the latter place and Oldham. Our people have devoted their labours to it for nearly thirty years; but, not having sufficient accommodation, the cause has generally been low. However, about fifteen months ago God made bare his arm, and converted upwards of twenty souls, many of whom are still with us. Before the above revival we had only about six members in society; now we have thirty. To God be all the praise!

We opened a new chapel at this place on the 10th and 17th of February, 1856. On the 10th Mr. A. Mills (Wesleyan) preached in the morning, and Mr. S. Longdin, of Manchester, in the afternoon and evening; and on the 17th Mrs. Lynn (New Connexionist) in the morning and afternoon, and the writer at night. The collections and donations amounted to nearly £24. This we consider excellent for a small village.

The chapel is built of beautiful stone, rock faced, covered with good blue slate, is 36 feet by 27 feet inside, 10 feet from the floor to the square, and open to the top. We have a good vestry, 4 yards square. The land is leasehold, for 999 years; and the deeds Connexional, and regularly enrolled. Our outlay at present is £225, towards which we have got, from all sources, £123 17s. 10d. …

We tender our sincere thanks to our numerous friends in the neighbourhood, and in the town of Rochdale, who have so nobly assisted us in monetary matters ;- to Thomas Heap, Esq., for a donation of £5, and to his three sons for £5 among them; and to Henry Kelsall, Esq., for a donation of £5. But, most of all, do we thank God for the abundance of his mercy, both in temporal and spiritual things.”

Raising the money wasn’t easy; by the time of chapel opening “We are still in want of a fence, and a few other conveniences, and we purpose in a short time having a few pews. These things will amount to about £50, most of which we expect to be able to raise without adding to the debt.”

The chapel became New Hey Methodist church. On the site by 2008 is a residential care home.

Chris Wells provides more detail of the story:

1851:  The PM society in Haugh provided an 1851 Census Return for a Preaching Place in a ’chamber over a house’ (see here).

1856:  The opening of the new chapel and schoolroom was also reported in the Rochdale Observer of 23 February 1856….

1865:  The same newspaper of 30 December reported that ‘The Primitive Methodists in Haugh held their annual tea meeting on Christmas Day, when upwards of 280 persons sat down to tea.  After which …’

1867:  The 1867 Registrar-General’s List of Places for Public Religious Worship: Lancashire includes

‘No. 56: Haugh, Rochdale District.’

1869:  The Slater’s Trade Directory for Rochdale lists thirteen PM Places of Worship including Haugh (see ‘Rochdale and Area PM Societies and Chapels’ on this website’).

From about 1880 onwards, the chapel stopped being referred to in the newspaper as Haugh Chapel and became Newhey Chapel.

1891:  The chapel can be seen on the 25” OS map (here).  It looks as though the schoolroom lay across the back of the chapel, scaling at about 60’ x 30’.

1910:  There were 83 reports in the Rochdale Observer on events at the chapel between 1910 and 1926.  The last one, on 29 December 1926, reported on the Christmas Day “At home” tea and concert held in the Sunday School.

1940:  The chapel was listed in the 1940 Methodist Church Buildings Report Districts ‘B’, Circuit 222 Rochdale (South). The following information was provided:

Made of stone; seating 200; pews; one hall and three other rooms.

1952/61:  The chapel is shown with a plus sign on the 7th series 1” OS map


Primitive Methodist magazine April 1856 pp.243-244


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