Fifield Primitive Methodist chapel

High Street, Fifield OX7 6HL

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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.

Reference

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

 

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