Horwich Moor Primitive Methodist Chapel Bottom-o'-th'-Moor Lancashire

The foundation stone for the building standing today was laid in 1869

There was a Primitive Methodist Society in Horwich Moor in 1834. A Sunday School was opened in an upper room at the end of a row of weavers’ cottages before the present building was erected in 1869.

In 1892 Horwich Moor Chapel was part of the Horwich Mission station which was part of the Manchester District Committee of the Primitive Methodist Connexion.

In 2014 the chapel was still open for worship. [Editor’s note: closed 2016 see below]

Photos taken October 2014

OS Map Ref:109:661111




Comments about this page

  • I’ve added the Return from the Primitive Methodist preaching place in Horwich to the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious worship. It confirms that the society met in its Sunday school premises – a room over a cottage built around 1836. The return was completed by Edward Haslam, the Superintendant (sic).

    By Christopher Hill (06/02/2021)
  • The following information was received on 24 May 2016:

    The final service was held at Horwich Moor Methodist Church, an ex Primitive Methodist Church, built in the shadow of the west Pennine moors, in the Bolton Circuit (BL6 6QF) on Sunday 15th May 2016 our Sunday School Anniversary, when we celebrated 182 years of the Sunday School.

    The Sunday School was openned in 1834 in an upper room in one of the weaver’s cottages, which still overlook the Church. Our worship was lead by Rev John Howard-Norman, Superintendent of the West Pennine Moors Methodist Circuit and previous minister of the Church

    The corner stone of the Church was laid on April 17th 1869 by A Mason of Montcliff and we have the trowel presented to him by the Trustees in commemoration

    We also have, what appears to be a stone post, on top of which are the initials PM – presumably Primitive Methodist ?

    A member’s family gave us a statue, reputed to be John Wesley, but a number of people over the years said it was not. The latest opinion is that it is of Martin Luther (1483-1546)

    Another member’s family gave us medals commemorating the centenary (1880) of the founding of Sunday Schools and 50 years of the Horwich Moor Primitive Methodist Sunday School, complete with their ribbons and pin.

    By 1892, the Church was part of the Horwich Mission Station, which was in turn part of the Manchester District Mission Committee of the Primitive Methodist Connexion

    The Church area consists of a worship area containing tiered wooden pews (unusual I believe) Under it is a cistern or ‘well’ of water.

    There is to be a Circuit service on July 10th @ 2-30pm, when we will celebrate the church’s 147 year history, Rev Paul Martin BA (Chair of the Bolton and Rochdale Methodist District) and Rev Jennifer McKenzie BA MA (Superintendent of the Bolton Methodist Circuit and present minister of the Church) will lead our worship and refreshments will be served after the service.

    I thought the above may be of interest to you.

    Mark Wright (Treasurer 1982- Present) Bolton.

    By Jill Barber (03/01/2017)
  • An update was received on 27 Dec 2016:

    Further to my earlier e mail concerning the closure of Horwich Moor, I have been tying up all the loose ends and thought you might be interested in an update.

    Just before Christmas I gave our minister (Rev Jennifer) my account books, paperwork etc. and she has/is going to put them, along with the minute books, registers etc. into the archives at Bolton Museum/Library.

    The Church was put up for sale and contracts were exchanged at the end of October and we understand that the purchaser intends to and has obtained permission, to convert it into a residential dwelling.

    The trowel and medals, along with our war memorials (WW1 & WW2) are now at the Heritage Centre at the Victoria Hall (Bolton Methodist Mission) in Bolton town centre.

    (We have informed both Bolton Museum/Library and the Imperial War Museum of the new location of the war memorials).

    The statuette, thought, to be of Martin Luther was given to our neighbouring Church, New Chapel URC Church. (Our minister said he was more relevant to their tradition, than ours)

    The stone post, with PM on the top, was too heavy to move and so remained in situ. I understand the purchaser intends to leave it in the garden, possibly as a seat.

    Fortunately, we were able to find new homes for most of our items of furniture, equipment, books etc., throughout the other Churches in our Circuit, District and Town.

    Whilst sad to see the Church close, at least the building will, now hopefully, quickly be put to a new use and not stand empty, falling into disrepair.

    Mark Wright (Treasurer 1982-2016)

    By Jill Barber (03/01/2017)

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