Wigan Primitive Methodist chapel (i)
The Primitive Methodist magazine of May 1852 contains an account by J Peet of the opening of what it names as Wigan Primitive Methodist chapel.
Wigan is described as a corporate town of around 33,000 people, of whom three-quarters were Roman Catholic. The town was missioned around 1830, but the society found the work hard. It met in the house of Henry Dodgin, a local preacher. With considerable effort they raised the funds to start a new chapel building and encouragement came from St Paul’s independent chapel and its minister, Rev W Roaf, Thomas Ashman, a Wesleyan who offered £20 if four others offering the same could be found (they weren’t!), Mr Esplin and Mr Asplin.
The foundation stone was laid on December 15th 1851 by Thomas Ashton. At the evening service in the Wesleyan chapel Rev W Antliff preached. The opening services were held from Sunday March 14th 1852. After considerable effort and tea meetings in total £134/3/9 was raised.
The chapel was located in Queen Street ward, where the only other church belonged to the Establishment. It measured 45′ x 30′, and 18′ high and was lit by gas It had a boarded floor and a good front door, a small vestry and six yards of spare ground on the south side.
Special thanks were due to the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists for giving up their use of the Temperance Hall lecture room so that the Prims could use it on many occasions.
The Magazine posting doesn’t tell us anything about the location of the chapel. However, thanks to Philip Thornborow (see the comment below) for pointing out that the chapel was registered before 1867 as being in Caroline Street. Caroline Street was just round the corner from Queen Street.
What happened to the chapel? Are there photographs? Does the building still exist?
Primitive Methodist magazine May 1852 pp. 313-315