Fifield Primitive Methodist chapel
High Street, Fifield OX7 6HL
Although Fifield was not missioned until 1854, village people occasionally attended services in nearby Idbury and Milton. From 1854 prayer meetings and then services were held in a cottage which soon became too small and a piece of land in High Street was bought for a chapel from Thomas Dearing, a carpenter.
Fifield Primitive Methodist chapel in the Witney circuit opened from Tuesday July 13th 1858. Preachers at the opening services and tea meeting included Rev S Hooson and Rev H Platt, Mr Brooks, H Harrison and Mrs Jackson. The opening is described in the Primitive Methodist magazine by T Jackson.
The chapel measured 26′ x 20′, was stone built with a slate roof, and had a boarded floor, a rostrum, rail backed seats and plain benches. It cost £120 of which they believed they would raise one third and borrow the rest at 5%. Mr Preston gave the front gate.
Support for the Primitive Methodists with what the rector John Mayow Talmage (1843–83) called their ‘godless spirit of irreverence’ faded as a result of population decline and of the reported antipathy of the new owner of Manor Farm, Frederick Matthews. By 1891 the chapel was used by the rector as a parish room, and later as a village hall. On Google Street View in 2011 it appears little altered apart from the addition of a substantial porch.
Primitive Methodist magazine October 1858 p.619
Victoria County History Oxfordshire (2015) texts in progress accessed April 29 2017 at: https://www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/sites/default/files/work-in-progress/fifield_relig_web.pdf