Camden Town Primitive Methodist chapel

89 Plender Street NW1 0JN

former Camden Town Primitive Methodist chapel
Handbook of the Primitive Methodist Conference 1908; Englesea Brook Museum

When I first wrote this page in 2016, the former Camden Town Primitive Methodist chapel was still in active use as Camden Town Methodist church on the corner of Plender Street and King’s Terrace. However, in 2016 as the building was structurally unsafe and beyond the ability of its declining congregation to maintain, planning consent was sought to convert it into a hotel, but retaining a worship area and associated facilities.  What’s the present position?

The chapel had begin life as a Wesleyan Methodist chapel in 1824 on what was then called King Street (it became Plender Street in 1937).  When the Wesleyans built a new church at Camden Street in 1860, they sold their original chapel to the Primitive Methodists. The building was rebuilt in 1890 under the leadership of Rev. WH Allen. This was a substantial operation including school and classrooms. They bought several adjacent houses so they had a good frontage and secured the property on a 999 year lease. The cost was expected to be £5,500 of which they had raised £1,400 by the memorial stone laying.

On Methodist Union in 1932, the Primitive Methodist chapel was retained as the main church.  The Camden Street premises became a mission hall and youth centre, c.1939 until they were sold in 1959 and later demolished.

Additional information (CH 02/2020)

The above information was compiled in 2016, mainly  from the same source as the picture – the Handbook of the Primitive Methodist Conference 1908, held at Englesea Brook Museum; but I am a little confused as the 1866 Primitive Methodist magazine contains an account by John Phillips of the laying of a foundation stone for a new chapel on May 18th 1865 which tells a rather different story.

Mr Phillips tells us that the stone was laid “with a chaste and beautiful trowel”  by H Hodge of Hull (long way from London!). After tea for 300 in the Independent chapel school room in Charrington Street, there was a meeting with speakers including J Bickerton (Wesleyan) Revs George Lamb (also from Hull), and William Antliff, and Messrs Parkman, Berry, Richards and Thomas Burnitt.

Opening services took place on Tuesday December 26th 1865. Speakers included Revs W Antliff, George Lamb, William Lister, Dr Burns, W Landels, D Sheen and CH Hall.

The new chapel accommodated 450, cost around £1,000 of which £400 had been raised.


Handbook of the Primitive Methodist Conference 1908; Englesea Brook Museum

Primitive Methodist magazine 1866 pages 178-179

Primitive Methodist magazine December 1889 page 758

Primitive Methodist magazine May 1890 page 315

Comments about this page

  • Can anyone help resolve the difference between the two sources of the information about this chapel? It is not unusual for memories and facts to change over a 40 year period!
    And what’s the current position with the redevelopment?

    By Christopher Hill (12/02/2020)

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