Gateshead Hedgefield Primitive Methodist chapel
In an 1870 Primitive Methodist magazine article updating on the development of the Connexion in Newcastle circuit, WR Leighton tells us about the recent opening of four chapels.
Included amongst them was Hedgefield Primitive Methodist chapel. This was the first chapel in the village and was big enough for all 200 villagers to fit inside the building.
It took a while to track down where Hedgefield was. It turns out (probably!) to be on the south bank of the river between Ryton and Stella where the name Hedgefield does appear, although not as a separate village. The first shafts at Addison pit were sunk by the Stella Coal COmpnay in 1865 and the Primitive Methodist chapel was erected by the colliery owners but fitted out by Prim members. It was the basis of many social activities including Addison Male Voice Choir.
The chapel is marked on OS maps at the east end of Low Row – adjacent to and interesting mixture of the pit magazines and an electricity substation. It is marked on the maps until the 1963-1969 maps by which time the whole block of terraced housing has disappeared. In 1954 it is marked as a mission hall. The area in 2019 is woodland.
In the tracking down David Tonks suggested it might have been the Prim chapel that the 1914 O.S. 25″ map shows to the west of Newcastle city centre at the junction of Maple Street and Cambridge Street at NZ237635 across from the present site of Newcastle College. Now we know it is not – so what is the story of that chapel?
Further information and evidence welcome!
Primitive Methodist magazine 1870 page 697
https://www.gateshead.gov.uk/article/4454/The-history-of-Addison-and-Hedgefield-Woods accessed November 21st 2019