King's Lynn London Road Primitive Methodist chapels

London Road, King's Lynn, PE30 5PY

first King's Lynn London Road Primitive Methodist chapel | Keith Guyler 1987
first King's Lynn London Road Primitive Methodist chapel
Keith Guyler 1987
second King's Lynn London Road Primitive Methodist chapel | Keith Guyler 1987
second King's Lynn London Road Primitive Methodist chapel
Keith Guyler 1987
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The first King’s Lynn London Road Primitive Methodist chapel dates from 1826, with the foundation stone laid on 13th March 1826 and opening services on Sunday and Monday, July 2nd  and 3rd. Preachers were Brother W Hardwick and Mrs Olphin. The new chapel measured 30′(w) x 45′(l) x 12′(h). The occasion was reported in the Primitive Methodist magazine by WG Bellham.

On May 28th 1833, the roof of the chapel was taken off and the walls raised by 6′.  It was lengthened by 18 feet to make a vestry or schoolroom with a preacher’s house over.

There is an account by John Smith of the re-opening services in the Primitive Methodist magazine. Services on 19/07/1833 & 21/07/1833 were led by T Jackson, W G Belham, Mrs Jackson and W Ayre Esq [treasurer].

At the time of Keith Guyler’s photograph this chapel was used by Grimston, Solicitors,124 London Road. In 2016 it was offices for Vital Recruitment.

The second chapel, a little way further north and on the other side of the road,  dates from 1859.  This elegant yellow brick building was built on the site of the nave of the church of St James. The remains of the ruined crossing are still in the backyard.

The architect was JA Hillam. Early English-style lancets in cement punctuate the yellow brick Dutch-style gable. Pevsner describes this as an Italianate fashion. He also tells us that the gallery inside has Corinthian iron columns.

There is an account by OO Britain of the laying of the foundation stone of this chapel on Wednesday  August 25th 1858. Preachers were Rev Key of Rockland, JT Wigner, W Lift, who laid the stone and presented 20 sovereigns. After tea for 800 in the Stepney and Tabernacle school rooms, addresses came from T Thomas, R Howchin, TT Wigner, R Key and W Lift. The following day there was a procession and tea for children – plum pudding and roast beef.

On 9th September 1866 S Smith tells us it was reopened after extensive cleaning, staining, painting and varnishing. Speakers at the re-opening included  Rev J Oscroft  of Rochdale, (the minister who who first missioned Kings Lynn on  04/07/1821), W Wainwright (Lynn), S Smith and  Messrs Lincoln, White and Daw. William Lift (circuit steward) chaired a public tea meeting.

In 2012 I played for a Sunday afternoon concert here with Caroline Sharpe’s Enchanted.  The catering was memorable!

location: first chapel TF 622196

location: second chapel TF 622198


Primitive Methodist magazine 1827 p.141

Primitive Methodist magazine 1834 p.148

Primitive Methodist magazine November 1858  pp.686-687

Primitive Methodist magazine December 1866  page 754



Transcription of an article in the Christian Messenger

Comments about this page

  • Thanks David. Interesting that such a secession occurred. Would it happen now?

    By Christopher Hill (22/11/2018)
  • From c.1820 the founders of Primitive Methodism in Lynn had a meeting room for preaching services in a sail-maker’s loft in Black Goose Street. The first camp meeting was held outside the South Gate. The early years were fraught with disagreement leading to William Wilbur (itinerant preacher) splitting from the Society and securing a preaching room in Coronation Square. Seventy members seceded with him but the Society overcame this division and went on to open the first London Road chapel in 1825. (Source: History of the Borough of Kings Lynn by Hillen H.J. 1907.)

    By David Secker (21/11/2018)
  • I’ve just added some detail to this  page about the foundation stone laying – when there was a procession for the children who were then given tea of Plum pudding and and roast beef!

    By Christopher Hill (01/05/2017)
  • This page was modified on 11 June 2016 to add an article published in the 1903 Christian Messenger.

    By Geoff Dickinson (11/06/2016)

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