Moorhouse Primitive Methodist chapel

Where was Little Sodom?

former Moorhouse Primitive Methodist chapel: same footprint and same location as the original chapel
Christopher Hill 2018
rear view of former Moorhouse Primitive Methodist chapel
Christopher Hill 2018

In the 1856 Primitive Methodist magazine, Robert Ducker writes about the opening of Moorhouse Primitive Methodist chapel in the Wellow branch. Moorhouse is described as “a small hamlet, containing about 150 inhabitants, and up to a late period, was called “Little Sodom,” on account of the wickedness of the people. There is an old church there, where only one sermon a month has been preached for years.

The village had been unsuccessfully missioned by a number of denominations until an open-air meeting prompted a local farmer to give a piece of land and a donation for a chapel. The chapel was opened on 25th of May, 1856, by Mr. W. Lea, from Newark. On the following Tuesday a camp-meeting was held in the field adjoining the chapel, together with a tea. These were addressed by J. Robinson, J. Coridon, J. Lucas, W. Bomford, E. Masling, and Robert Ducker.

The chapel “is a neat brick building, 19½  feet long, 14 feet wide within, and 11 feet from the ground-floor to the ceiling. It has eight letable pews, and about thirty free sittings. All the sittings in the pews are let. The total cost of the building is about £53, towards which we have received £23

There is a bit of confusion, in my mind at least, as to where this Moorhouse and Wellow were. My preference is for Nottinghamshire  NG23 6LZ, East of Ollerton, although there are others in Lincolnshire. On the 1885 1:2,500 Ordnance Survey map the chapel is shown on Green Lane; by 1920 it is labelled as disused. Intriguingly, Google Street view in 2010 shows a disused farm building on the site, about the same size as the original chapel … …


Primitive Methodist magazine August 1856 pp.497-498


Comments about this page

  • It’s brilliant to learn the story of the chapel Lucy – thanks for confirming the location and providing the detail. We tend to think of chapels as fairly large and comfortable places. The building is a rare survival – and gives a clear indication of what many early country chapels would be like, when even a wooden floor would be a luxury.

    By Christopher Hill (21/03/2024)
  • I own the field and the building that was once a chapel. My mother in law, who is nearly 96, Margaret Saxelby has the stone which was above the door, in her garden – it has writing on saying Primatove Methodist Chapel. Margaret’s great great grandad, who was called Mr Price, from Egmanton, donated the chapel and land..Margaret and her friends Leaphia and others used to play in the chapel, in the 1930’s. Mr P Rose took over the chapel in about 1940 and put pigs in it. Later it was made into a cowshed., and since 2009 it has been used as an occasional shelter for my horses.

    By Lucy Saxelby (20/03/2024)
  • This is a good example of a common problem. There is clear evidence that Moorhouse chapel existed: as well as the account in the Magazine, it appears on the Circuit plans for the Wellow Branch of the Mansfield Circuit. There is clear evidence from the OS map that there was a PM chapel in this settlement. Beyond that, there is no official evidence: the chapel does not appear in the Registrar General’s list of places of worship or in any indexed administrative records. What might be worth looking at is that Moorhouse is a hamlet within the parish of Laxton. There was a group of Ranters meeting in Laxton in 1829, and the account of Laxton on the “Vision of Britain” website mentions a primitive Methodist chapel in Laxton in 1873: the page on this site about Laxton suggests that the known chapel was not in PM hands at that time, and it is also absent from the Wellow Branch plans from 1856 to 1870 (again on this website). Is there any significance in the fact that it is suggested that Moorhouse went out of use about the same time that the chapel in Laxton was acquired?

    By Philip Thornborow (27/05/2020)
  • Am I putting two and two together to make five?

    By Christopher Hill (24/05/2020)

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