Whitchurch, Castle Hill, Primitive Methodist Chapel Shropshire

Date of this chapel seems to be 1866

Elaine and Richard Pearce July 2015
Elaine and Richard Pearce July 2015
Elaine and Richard Pearce July 2015
Engraving published in the Christian Messenger 1867
The former Primitive Methodist chapel in Whitchurch in use as the Masonic Hall
Tim Macquiban Nov 2021

Castle Hill Primitive Methodist Chapel was built as a replacement for an earlier building which was pulled down, maybe to build the present chapel. In 1924 an extension was built probably at the back. (see photo 1) During the first half of 2012 all the windows of the chapel were boarded up.

In 2015 there is little indication on the building as to this being a Primitive Methodist chapel. We know that there was a Primitive Methodist chapel on Castle Hill and that it was the head of the Castle Hill Circuit in the statistical records of the Methodist Church in the early 1940’s. Over the doorway there are some very weather-worn words which are very difficult to decipher. (see photo 3) There is a notice for the North Shropshire Masonic Rooms, at the front so some parts of the chapel may still be used.

Photos taken July 2015

OS Map Ref:117:SJ541415


Information about this chapel can be viewed by following the link to Shropshire’s Nonconformist Chapels.


The July 1842 edition of the Primitive Methodist magazine contains an account by Thomas Bateman of the opening of a number of chapels in the Burland circuit.  You can read it here:



Transcription of Article in the Christian Messenger 1867

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  • SHREWSBURY FREE PRESS, 23 June 1866, page 5.
    “Last week the foundation stone of a new Primitive Methodist Chapel was laid in Whitchurch. The site of the building adjoins the old chapel in Castle Hill. The edifice will be in the Gothic style; the architect is Mr. Denham, of Wem, and the builders are Messrs. Powell, of Prees. It is expected to accommodate 400 people with seats, and the cost of the erection will be about £700, independently of the site. After the ceremony was concluded about 400 people partook of tea in a tent on the grounds, on which occasion several interesting speeches were delivered.”

    SHREWSBURY CHRONICLE, 15 June 1866, page 6.
    NEW PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHAPEL. CEREMONY OF LAYING THE FOUNDATION STONE. On Wednesday afternoon last, the friends and well-wishes met together … Soon after two c’clock a processions was formed on the Castle Hill … They paraded the chief streets, and then went to the spot where the ceremony was to take place … the building will be Gothic in style … There is to be no gallery; the seats will be intirely on the flat … will call upon Mr. Heath to lay the stone. Samuel Heath, Esq., then laid the stone … The total amount laid on the stones was £26 18s. 6d. After the ceremony was concluded, a tea meeting was helf in a large tent, erected on the gound for the occasion.”

    CHRISTIAN MESSENGER, 1868, page 189.
    …When the old chapel trust accounts were closed, a balance of £12 10s. 4d. was paid into the building fund of the new chapel. The second effort was to buy a suitable site for the new chapel. On Castle Hill, in this town, was offered for sale a piece of land and three dwelling houses on it, whose annual rent was £17. But on account of the opposition of the high church party, our friends had to obtain the help of a gentleman from another town to buy it for them. And so the property was bought for the sume of £309 9s. 10d. including the cost of the deeds. Then these houses were pulled down that the chapel might be built on the ground … the third effort was to build a new chapel … The builder’s contract and bill of extras made the sum of £799 15s. Then the apparatus for heating the chapel by hot water, palisades, and gas fittings cost £62 10s. Bills for sundries and work for three persons, £24 5s. 2d. … The fourth effort was to sell the old chapel for the best price they could get. And in this they succeeded well, they sold it for the sum of £150, but the legal expenses connected therewith cost the trustees £10 15s. 2d. … at the trustees’ meeting in december 1867, all the accounts connected with the new chapel … were balanced, and the money expended was £1231 4s. 11d; the debt remaining is £779 15s. 7d; but the steward had a balance in hand amounting £33 14s. 4d.”

    By Janice Cox (15/11/2020)
  • I have added a transcription of an article about this chapel published in the Christian Messenger 1867.

    By Geoff Dickinson (20/12/2019)

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