King's Lynn London Road Primitive Methodist chapels
London Road, King's Lynn, PE30 5PY
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