Middleton Morton Street Primitive Methodist chapel

Morton Street, M24 6AN

Middleton Morton Street Primitive Methodist chapel
From the booklet ‘There is Holy Ground’ – A History of Methodism in Middleton 1760-1950 (Middleton Library) Illustration by Syd Robinson

Morton Street was the successor to the chapel in Irk Street.

1881:  The booklet ‘There is Holy Ground’ – A History of Methodism in Middleton 1760-1950 (Middleton Library) has a page giving a brief history of the Morton Street chapel:

‘In 1876 the Rev. Miles Dickenson (minister appointed to the circuit 1875-8) obtained a plot of land in Morton Street.  He leased some of it to … a builder and in 1879 sold the whole plot to … a schoolmaster.  He [the schoolmaster] started building a day school … but in 1880, being in financial difficulty, mortgaged the land and uncompleted buildings to Mr. Joseph Sidebottom for £1000 … Mr. Sidebottom foreclosed the mortgage, and in 1881 sold the land and buildings to trustees of the Primitive Methodist Morton Street School and premises for £900.  Whether the original lease was obtained by the Rev. Miles Dickenson for the purpose of building a church cannot be ascertained.

The organ which had been used in the Irk Street chapel for 21 years was re-erected in the new building and served for a further 52 years.’

The building can be seen on the 1889 OS Town Plan labelled ‘School, Boys and Girls’, and scales at about 84ft x 33ft.  The 1915 25” OS map shows the same building labelled ‘P.M. Chapel’.  It looks from the image above as though it was a two-storey building with the chapel upstairs and school downstairs.

The Preaching Plans for Middleton Circuit from 1872 Q3 to 1889-90 Q4 show a Middleton chapel as the first ‘Place’; this was presumably Irk Street until it was replaced by Morton Street in 1881.

From the Middleton Albion of 12 November 1881:

‘The annual tea party and stall for the Primitive Methodist Ladies’ Sewing Society, took place in the new schoolroom, Morton Street, Middleton.  … The proceeds, which are in aid of the new chapel fund, amount to about £18.’

1886:  The Heywood Advertiser of 19 March 1886 reported on a meeting of the Middleton Band of Hope Union whose membership included 100 from the Morton Street chapel.

1889:  The Middleton Guardian of 5 January reported:

‘PRIMITIVE METHODIST. — On New Year’s Day the annual children’s party in connection with the above school was held in the schoolroom, Morton-street, when about 300 of the scholars and friends sat down to tea.’

1891:  From the Middleton Guardian of 16 May:

‘Primitive Methodist, Morton-street. – Founded 1823 [this was the Irk Street chapel].  Minister, Rev. W. Goodman … Scholars – male 116, female 146, total 262; teachers – male 19, female 20, total, 39; books in library 223; Band of Hope 100.  Friday, with Sunday-school Union to York and Scarboro’; Saturday, meet at school, then proceed to a field for play, kindly lent by Mr. H. Heywood, J.P.’

1940:  The chapel was listed in the 1940 Methodist Church Buildings Report Districts ‘M’, Circuit 825 Middleton. The following information was provided:

Morton Street: made of brick; seating 370; pews; two halls and two other rooms.

1947-60:  The original Marriage Registers for this period are held in Manchester Central Library, M275/845/1-2.

1961:  The Manchester Archives give the date of closure as 1961 and this is confirmed by Genuki.

The site of the chapel is now a yard between Bemus Construction Services, Brook House, and Burns Rubber Ltd, Unit 1A, Systems House, Morton Street, M24 6AN.

Comments about this page

  • My Grandparents were married here in 1898 and I would be very appreciative if there is a photo of this church. With thanks

    By Margaret (02/10/2023)
  • We can see in Google Street View that most of the right-hand (north) wall of the chapel still exists, as do the steps up from Boarshaw Road which meet Morton Street immediately opposite where the chapel front doors used to be (see sketch above).

    By Chris Wells (12/09/2023)

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