Royton Fir Lane Primitive Methodist chapel
Fir Lane Royton OL2 6TY
There is an account of the opening of Fir Lane Primitive Methodist chapel in the 1865 Primitive Methodist magazine.
The chapel building and society are still active in 2019
“Chapel Opening, Fir Lane, Rochdale Circuit. — For several years the Independent Methodists worshipped in the old room just vacated by us, but not being able to make headway they sold the furniture to our people, who since then have had repeated manifestations of the divine presence and power, as also the approval and patronage of the inhabitants of the place.
It was, however, thought by a few, that a connexions! place of worship for the neighbourhood was a thing scarcely possible, though desirable, and we are much gratified that in due time, a friend was raised up to make us the present of 150 square yards of freehold land, in a good and eligible position. Thomas Grime, Esq., of Beursil, Rochdale, is the generous donor, to whom, with, his kind family, we tender our very sincere thanks.
The corner-stone was laid last March by Mr. James Howard, of Rochdale, and the opening sermons were preached May 28th, June 4th, and June 6th, by John Lees Buckley, Esq. , of Woodley, and Selina Shimwel, of Youlgreave. The attendance on each occasion was large to over-flowing, and the collections exceeded the expectations of our friends. The amount realised was upwards of £20.
The building is a plain brick one with cavity walls throughout, is 27 by 33 feet, with open roof stained and varnished. The cost of the erection will not exceed £200, and the debt will be £100. The names of the numerous friends who have been up to the help of the Lord we would gladly record, but we know the editor’s space cannot afford it, and we thank all our friends in the name of our great Master. William Inman.”
Chris Wells has researched more of the chapel story (March 2023):
The chapel can be seen on the 1890/91 25” OS map. It lies 3 miles south-east of Rochdale and just over a mile west of Shaw.
John Manus Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (in ‘A Vision of Britain’) described Royton like this:
‘ROYTON, a large village, a township-chapelry …. The village stands at the terminus of the Manchester, Oldham, and Royton Railway …. ; is a place of some antiquity and note; ; carries on industry in large cotton factories … a church, three dissenting chapels, a national school … Pop. in 1851, 6,974; in 1861, 7,493. Houses 1,562.’
‘No. 43: Firlane (sic), Preaching room, Rochdale District.’
1869: Slater’s Trade Directory for Rochdale lists thirteen PM Places of Worship including Fir Lane (see ‘Rochdale and Area PM Societies and Chapels’ on this website’).
1926: The 10 July edition of the Rochdale Observer reported ‘On Saturday and Sunday last, diamond jubilee celebrations [were held] in the Primitive Methodist Church, Fir Lane, Royton.
1940: The Register of Methodist Buildings: District 222. Rochdale (South) lists:
Fir Lane: Primitive Methodist; Brick; 108 seats; Form seats; 2 halls; 1 room.
Primitive Methodist magazine 1865 page 627