Allenheads (Bethel) Primitive Methodist Chapel Allendale Northumberland

This large stone built chapel was erected in 1848

This was a very large chapel built in a time when the population of this area was much greater. Now we look at it and say ‘Why ever did the ‘Prims’ erect such a large place for worship?’  The plaque unfortunately is un-readable.

It closed in 1952. It was used by the YHA and by 2015 it has become an outdoor  education centre – Allenheads Lodge.

Photos taken August 2015

OS Map Ref:87:NY853461


Allenheads was first served by a chapel opened on August 28th 1841. The occasion is described in the Primitive Methodist magazine of August 1841 by J Moore. It is transcribed by David Tonks in the attached document.

Names mentioned include W. Lonsdale (Bradford); J. Burroughs and Bro. Wilson (Superintendent).  The chapel was converted from three dwelling-houses. Was this in the same location – the hamlet of Dirt Pot – as the 1848 chapel in the light of the comment about the building at the rear of the 1848 chapel?

(added by CH Sept 2017)

The 1841 chapel was soon not big enough  so in 1848 the society asked the agents of TW Beaumont Esq  for a bigger site which was granted.  The new chapel, measuring 33′ x 30′ inside, was opened on July 1st 1849. Opening preachers included  CC McKechnie (Sunderland) and W Sanderson (Doncaster) J Wilson wrote the account.

(added by CH April 2022)


Primitive Methodist magazine of August 1841 pp.339-340

Primitive Methodist magazine 1849 page 564



account of the opening of Allenheads chapel, transcribed by David Tonks from the Primitive Methodist magazine of August 1842 page 339-340

Comments about this page

  • I’ve added a reference form the 1849 Primitive Methodist magazine about the opening of the chapel.

    By Christopher Hill (25/04/2022)

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