Leicester Claremont Street Primitive Methodist Church

Belgrave, Leicester

Belgrave Old Chapel, built 1838
Claremont Street Church and Schools, 1930
Interior of Claremont Street Church
Leicester; Claremont Street Primitive Methodist Sunday Schools with the Church in the background. This was one of the venues for the 1907 Primitive Methodist Conference
Primitive Methodist Conference Handbook 1907
Claremont Street Primitive Methodist Sunday School; the church formerly stood on the car park nearest the camera
Christopher Hill February 2016
Claremont Street Primitive Methodist Sunday school, Leicester
Christopher Hill February 2016
Sunday School foundation stone at Claremont Street Primitive Methodist chapel
Christopher Hill 2016
Leicester; Claremont Street Primitive Methodist Church
Handbook of the Primitive Methodist Conference 1927; Englesea Brook Museum
Hallam Memorial School interior
Claremont Street Book of Remembrance

George W Meadley, ‘Minister’s Message’, Quarterly Guide: Claremont St Methodist Church, Jan-Apr 1940

‘In the year 1820 – five years after the Battle of Waterloo, and when the country was seething with discontent – a few poor labouring people met in a cottage on the village green of Belgrave, to tell each other that they had been “washed in the blood of the Lamb”. Standing on the bare brick floor, they proudly proclaimed that they were heirs to all the riches of God.

Their numbers soon became too large for the cottage kitchen, so they promoted themselves to a disused cowshed in Crane’s yard on Checkett’s Road.

Then in 1838 they bought a plot of land and built a little Chapel. In 1877 the land on which the present building stands was bought, and Claremont Street Church was opened on February 26th, 1880. In 1904 the “Hallam memorial School” was built.

The present property is valued at £22,100. There are 260 Members, 19 Class Leaders, 450 Sunday School Scholars, and 69 Teachers.

How has it been done? The chief explanation is simple: they had a desperate concern for the souls of men. They were fanatically zealous to proclaim the power of Christ to save men to the uttermost. This was how it was done.

How should the Diamond Jubilee of a Church with such a history be celebrated? Surely by emulating the spirit of the founders.’

The chapel was demolished in 1994 and the site is now a housing development.


For a full history of the church, with photographs of many of the members, see: G W Meadley, ‘A Book of Remembrance 1880-1930: Claremont Street Primitive Methodist Church’. There is a copy in the Library at Englesea Brook Museum.


Comments about this page

  • In 1861 the first Belgrave Society and Sunday School were growing so they added a gallery with gas lighting. It cost £47.

    Mr.Broadbent (Wesleyan) and Rev. C. H. Boden, of Loughborough were the speakers at the re-opening on October 14th.

    Source – Primitive Methodist magazine January 1861 page 49

    By Christopher Hill (14/04/2018)
  • The society and Sunday school at Belgrave were growing in the 1850s so in October 14th 1860 they re-opened the chapel after the addition of a gallery to hold 50 more.  They also added gas lighting and various other improvements at a cost of £47. Re-opening preachers were Mr.Broadbent (Wesleyan) and Rev. C. H. Boden, of Loughborough.

    John Brownson reports the events in the Primitive Methodist magazine of January 1861 page 49.

    By Christopher Hill (15/03/2018)
  • Follow this link to the obituary of Harriet Hallam, nee Hilton, in whose name the memorial school was built.

    By Geoff Dickinson (23/11/2017)
  • The Primitive Methodist Magazine of April 1857 contains an account by William Cutts of the improving state of Primitive Methodist chapels in the Leicester First Circuit.  He includes a section on the Belgrave chapel where “on account of bad trade, dearness of provisions etc the finances of this chapel had become embarrassed”.  A tea meeting raised £10 “so the funds are relieved”. Congregations were rising and the prospects cheering. “We are just building a new chapel at a place we have recently missioned, towards which a gentleman has promised us £100.

    By Christopher Hill (10/01/2017)
  • Contrary to the final sentence, part of the church premises built in 1877 still stands and is still the home of Claremont Methodist Society.  The original sanctuary did suffer roof spread and was demolished but the smaller central section (visible in the photo) is now the worship area.  The larger school rooms are home to the Soar Valley Music Centre.

    By Rachel Parkinson (06/05/2015)

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