Rochdale Drake Street Primitive Methodist Chapel

60 Drake Street, OL16 1PB

Rochdale: return from the Primitive Methodist chapel to the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious worship. Return no: 476 4 1 2
transcribed by David Tonks 2021

The return from the Primitive Methodist chapel in Drake Street, Rochdale to the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious worship was completed by Robert Kaye, the minister who lived at 49 Great George Street, Rochdale.  He reports that the chapel was erected in 1842 and was a sizeable building, holding over 540 people.

Three services were held on a Sunday: attendance in the morning was 100, in the afternoon 140 and in the evening 300. There was a morning Sunday school with 120 scholars.

The return locates the chapel in the parish of Rochdale, the township of Castleton and the hamlet of Marland.  Where was the chapel and what happened to it and its people?  I cannot see a Prim chapel on Drake Street (a continuation of Manchester Road) on late Nineteenth Century Ordnance Survey maps.

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Chris Wells took up my challenge and researched the history of two Primitive Methodist chapels in Drake Street – the one in the 1851 Census was the second chapel on the site.  You can read part of the story in Chris’ comment at the foot of this page Chris identifies the site as 60 Drake Street, OL16 1PB which in 2021 is shown on Street View as occupied by Rochdale Connections Trust, 

You can read what Chris found in his fuller research in the two documents here to download.


Comments about this page

  • I have an image from an 1851 OS map taken from before they removed their maps from the public domain. It shows the PM chapel (labelled) on the west side of the road nearly opposite the west end of Water Street where Rochdale Connections Trust, 60 Drake St, OL16 1PA now stands.
    From Genuki, Lancashire, Rochdale, Churches:
    ‘About fifty years ago [about 1826] missionaries from Manchester visited Rochdale and preached in the open air, and services were also carried on in a cellar in Cheetham-street, near where the “Three Crowns” public-house now stands. … The Primitives next rented a large room in Packer Meadow, at the top of King-street, where they sojourned for seven or eight years. The congregation increasing, it was decided to build a chapel, one storey high, in Drake-street, opposite Water-street, which cost about £400. In the course of time this place was not large enough for the ever-increasing worshippers, and the old chapel was pulled down and a larger one built upon the site, the cost being about £1,200. In 1863 it was determined to have a still larger chapel, more convenient and better lighted, and one was built in Smith-street, at a cost of £2,500.’
    The Smith Street chapel was built in 1864 so presumably this is when the 2nd Drake Street chapel was sold or demolished.

    By Chris Wells (21/08/2022)

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