Stoke Newington Primitive Methodist chapel

16 Northwold Road, Stoke Newington, London, N16 7HR

Stoke Newington Primitive Methodist chapel
Handbook of the Primitive Methodist Conference 1908; Englesea Brook Museum
Return from Stoke Newington Primitive Methodist preaching room in the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious Worship
provided by David Tonks

In 1851 Stoke Newington Primitive Methodist society rented a room in a yard off High Street, which previously housed a Baptist chapel. Attendance on Census Sunday in 1851 was 27 in the morning, 48 in the afternoon and 66 in the evening.  It closed soon after 1871.

There was a Primitive Methodist chapel at no.3 Barrett’s Grove in 1860.

The Primitive Methodist magazine for February 1856 p.116 contains an account by J Wilson of the opening of the Primitive Methodist chapel on Stoke Newington Common on November 18th 1855 – see attached document.  It is not clear how that fits with the information above, but Mr Wilson does say that the new chapel was “recently occupied by another section of the church.”

One significant feature of the account is the involvement of other denominations in the opening festivities. They included John Chubb, Esq. (Wesleyan), R. H. Cooke, Esq. (Congregationalist), Mr. Lamb, of the Second London circuit, Luke H. Wiseman (Wesleyan minister), and Messrs. Bishop and Mossop, our circuit ministers, Rev. John Jefferson, minister of Abney chapel, Rev. Thomas Aveling, minister of the Congregational church, Kingsland.

The 1870 Ordnance Survey map shows the Primitive Methodist chapel in the same location as the Primitive Methodist chapel and school in the picture which was built in 1875. It is an unusual octagonal shape and has a lantern on top of its roof.

The 1893 Primitive Methodist magazine records that the Hoxton station in North West London had gained a “beautiful and commodious chapel ” in Stoke Newington. Located opposite the entrance to Abney Park cemetery, it replaced the previous small chapel.  There is a little more in the February 1894 edition.  The new chapel which seated 500, cost £3,500 exclusive of land, and they had raised all but £900. The March 1894 magazine tells us it was debt free.

The 1898 magazine reports they were planning “a considerable enlargement of the chapel and the addition of several classrooms to the school premises”.  Membership at the point was 300 and the buildings were debtless.

Attendance in 1903 was 129 in the morning and 142 in the evening.

The chapel was badly damaged in the Second World War.  For a while it was derelict but was extensively repaired and renovated by a Jewish congregation in 1953, becoming  Northwold Road Synagogue.  After the synagogue closed in 1989 it was used as Sunstore Women Only Gym, but on Google Street View in October 2015, Sunstone House is empty. What has happened to it since?

More information about the chapel can be seen on the Hackney Local List website.

Editor’s note: thanks to Amir Dotan for correcting the location of this chapel and providing additional information.


Primitive Methodist magazine for February 1856 p.116

Primitive Methodist magazine November 1893 page 700

Primitive Methodist magazine February 1894 page 157

Primitive Methodist magazine March 1894 page 237

Primitive Methodist magazine October 1898 page  792




Account of the opening of Stoke Newington Primitive Methodist chapel from the Primitive Methodist magazine of February 1856

Comments about this page

  • Thanks for the update MIchelle.

    By Christopher Hill (08/12/2018)
  • Hello, I came across the page about the building at 16 Northwold Road while doing some research about the history of this building. In answer to your question about what happened to it after the Sunstone Gym closed, the building was empty for several years. Early in 2018 it was purchased by the Tower Theatre Company and converted into a theatre. The first show was performed in the new theatre in September 2018. (

    By Michelle (08/12/2018)

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