Elphinstone Primitive Methodist chapel
Castle Hill, Elphinstone
What was then the small colliery village of Elphinstone was first missioned by the Prims in 1866. It was “notorious for drunkenness and other gross immoralities.” Despite opposition from local clergy which prevented them using the village schoolroom for services and being evicted from a cottage where they met, a society was established.
Lord Elphinstone leased a piece of land for 99 years at a shilling a year and allowed the miners to take stone, for free, from his quarry. The foundation stone for a new chapel was laid on July 1st 1867 by James Watson of Tranent. Revs J Vaughan and John B Rayner preached.
The chapel was opened on October 7th 1867. Preachers and speakers at the opening activities -which included a soiree – included Rev BB Rogers (Motherwell), John Rayner, John H Hope, J Dyson, A Christi and W Bell.
The chapel was 26’ x 17’ and seated 140. It cost £135 17s. 7d. of which they had raised £102 13s. 7d.. Donors included Sir George Grant Suttie, James Stenhouse, Earl of Wemyss, Lord Polworth, Lady Mary Oswald, Lord Ruthven, John H Hope, James Watson, David Denholme, JL Fortune A & C Christie and GW Holmes
We learn about this in as article by John B Rayner in the Primitive Methodist magazine.
On StreetView the chapel still exists in 2012, although in poor condition. It is at the junction of Castle Hill with Bellyford Road.
You can see a picture of it in 2019 here:
Primitive Methodist magazine 1868 page 178