Lancaster, Moor Lane Primitive Methodist Chapel

Moor Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1QH

Lancaster Moor Lane Primitive Methodist chapel
Keith Guyler 1996
Jill Barber, 16.9.2015
Jill Barber, 16.9.2015
Jill Barber, 16.9.2015
Jill Barber, 16.9.2015
Lancaster: return from the Primitive Methodist chapel to the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious worship. Return no: 485 3 5 9
transcribed by David Tonks 2021

The first Lancaster Primitive Methodist chapel dates from 1836 and was a converted coach house. There were problems to do with the title deeds and disagreement amongst the trustees (“Barkerism” is blamed, whatever that was) which meant the chapel was lost for a time,

The return from the Primitive Methodist chapel to the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious worship was completed by Stephenson Stobbs, the minister.  It locates the chapel in Damside Street and describes it as  a separate and entire building, used exclusively as a place of worship except for a Sunday school that held 260 people. The Census numbers show there was a Sunday school that met three times in addition to two services for the adults.

With the arrival of Thomas Bennett in 1852 numbers rose and a new chapel, named Ebenezer, was built in Moor Lane. The foundation-stone was laid on Whit Monday, 1854, by E.Dawson.

In the January 1855 Primitive Methodist magazine, Thomas Bennett provides an account of the opening on Sunday October 29th and following days.  Sermons were delivered by Revs. J. Macpherson, W. Antliff, W. Rowe, and Mr. Harrison (Independent).

The chapel accommodated 230 people, measured 14 yards by 11 yards and was high enough for a gallery. It was built of stone, rock faced. The cost was £430, of which a third had been raised. “Mr.T. Jackson, one of the trustees, will lend on notes of hand, at four per cent, all the money we require”. The account gives a list of other donors, including the vicar of Lancaster

In 1895 it was rebuilt as a large Gothic chapel seating 520 with a large perpendicular style window in the Moor Lane frontage.

The first World War memorial contains the following names connected with the church:

James Blackburn; Thomas Mawson; Arthur Nelson; Reuben Nicholson; Ernest Stone; John Sturzaker; David M Wilson

It was closed in the 1960s and at the time of Keith Guyler’s photograph was being gutted for development.  Google Street View in 2009 shows it used as a community centre and performance space.

Comments about this page

  • A distant ancestral cousin Thomas Yewdall Bickerstaff (1850-1929) is mentioned as having connections with this chapel (source: Lancaster Archives).

    By Julie Johns (04/08/2021)
  • Lancashire Archives.

    Ref. MLA 17/4/1: Printers Blocks, for programme of opening of new Chapel, Nov-Dec 1895 (2 blocks). Cover design block Diamond Jubilee Handbook ‘, portrait of Revd. Stanwell, and for a group of people picture. For Moor Lane Primitive Methodist Chapel, Lancaster.

    By Raymond E.O.Ella (18/07/2018)
  • I saw this chapel on a visit to Lancaster yesterday. It is now a Creative Learning Centre for Young People, run by The Dukes Theatre. I have added some photos of what it looks like now.

    By Jill Barber (17/09/2015)

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