Ramsbottom is a market-town lying on the River Irwell about 4 miles NW of Bury.
In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Ramsbottom like this:
‘RAMSBOTTOM, a small town and a chapelry in Bury parish, Lancashire. The town stands on the river Irwell and on the East Lancashire railway, 4 miles N of Bury; was the place where the first Sir Robert Peel established calico-printing; carries on cotton spinning, calico-printing, machine-making, rope-making, and iron and brass founding; … [has] a church, four dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel …’
1862: Barrett’s Directory of Bury, Heywood, etc 1883 p.304 Ramsbottom, states that ‘the PM chapel in Bridge Street was built in 1862’. It can be seen on the 1891 25” Town Plan and scales at about 41 feet x 30 feet with an extension to the back scaling at about 15 feet x 12 feet.
There are narrow alleyways between the chapel and no. 35 to the east and no. 37 to the west.
The first record found of no. 35 is in the 1861 Census: Roger Tattersall (greengrocer) and his family.
The first record of no. 37 dates from the 1850s when it was the Dyers Arms beer house; it was later renamed the Royal Oak and is now a pub named The Oaks and numbered 39.
1866: The Bury Times reported on 15 December:
‘OPENING OF THE PRIMITIVE METHODIST NEW SCHOOL, RAMSBOTTOM – TO-MORROW (Sunday). TWO SERMONS will be Preached in the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Ramsbottom … in aid of the Building Fund. The Committee earnestly solicit the presence and aid of the public on this occasion. The utmost economy has been observed in the outlay, the entire cost being £350.’
I have not found a building labelled Sunday School but there is a building behind the chapel scaling at about 49 feet x 30 feet – was this it? The 1869 entry below says that access to the School is via the chapel.
1867: A chapel (‘Bethesda’) appeared on the 1867 List of Places for Public Religious Worship, Lancashire No. 98, Bury Registration District.
1869: From the Bury Times of 5 June:
‘A GRAND BAZAAR for the Sale of Home-made, Useful and Ornamental Articles, will be held in the Primitive Methodist School, Bridge Street, Ramsbottom (Entrance through the Chapel) …’
1880: According to Barrett’s Directory of Bury, Heywood, etc, p. 256: description of Ramsbottom: ‘The Wesleyans have a large chapel situated in the Market Place, and the Primitive Methodist Chapel is in Bridge Street. The United Methodist Free Church have a chapel at Patmos.’
1883: Barrett’s Directory of Bury, Heywood, etc 1883 p.304 Ramsbottom, states that the PM minister is Rev. S.L. George [Bury Circuit], living in Buchanan Street [about 600 yards south west, off Bolton Street].
1890: A new PM chapel was opened in Bolton Street and presumably the 1862 chapel was closed and sold.
1893: According to ‘The Country & Church of the Cheeryble Brothers’ by Rev William Hume Elliot, published in 1893, p. 107: [the Primitive Methodist chapel is] ‘Now Mr. Holmes’ Furniture Warehouse and Ramsbottom Observer Office.’
Late 19th century: The frontage was altered when the building was converted to The Industrial & Provident Society, Furniture & Grocery Dept. Later the building was occupied by the Co-op and in 1957-1990 by the Ministry of Labour and National Service, becoming a Job Centre.
2006: The chapel building was taken over by Memories Antiques, who still occupy it: 37 Bridge Street, Ramsbottom, BL0 9AD.