There is an account by W Mottram in the 1866 September Primitive Methodist magazine of the laying of the foundation stone of a new chapel in Bath.
Bath had been missioned in 1828 by W Towler. A house was bought in 1845 and part used for worship. Three years later the whole building was converted to a chapel but in time this became too small and unsafe. When congregation and scholars used it they feared for their safety, being in “imminent danger”.
The foundation stone for a new chapel was laid by JW Templer on 30th April 1866. The celebrations included tea for 500 in the Guildhall. Speakers included S Antliff, WH Dyer, Alderman Hunt, J Bromley, T Brooks and J Huntley.
The opening on November 24th 1866 is described in a further article – see the attached document. It describes the difficulties of growth in a small city full of other denominations and goes into glorious practical detail:
“It is a commodious, respectable chapel ; it is a model of neatness and simplicity ; its measurement is 49 feet 6 inches, by 46 feet ; it provides accommodation for 400 persons on the ground-floor, and 300 in the galleries ; it has a bold and commanding front age in one of our principal thorough fares ; there is a school-room on the basement floor of the same measurement as the chapel ; there are two good vestries, and the whole building is well drained, lighted, and ventilated. The chapel and school-room are warmed by hot air (Had en’s patent apparatus being employed for that purpose). We have a large boiler holding sixty gallons, for use at tea meetings, and attached to both chapel and school-room we have all necessary offices in convenient order ; the sanitary arrangements of the building are perfect. “
The account has lists of speakers at the opening celebrations and donors, including two on their deathbeds:
“The late Richard Osmond, Esq., one of the most devoted laymen Primitive Methodism has ever numbered, just before his lamented but rapturous decease nobly subscribed £100. A more genuine and large hearted philanthropist than the late Thos . Thompson, Esq., of Prior park, England, has rarely been known. This dear old gentleman thought upon us as he was quietly stepping down to the grave, and sent us £25. “
Ordnance Survey maps show a large Primitive Methodist chapel in Westgate Buildings, towards the junction with Kingsmead Square; was that it?
Thanks to Jeff Parsons for providing the answer below and the picture of the chapel from At Satan’s throne.
Primitive Methodist magazine September 1866 pp. 556-557
Primitive Methodist magazine 1867 pages 308-310