Charlton Primitive Methodist chapel, near Kilmersdon
Charlton Rd, Bath, Radstock BA3 5TN
“Charlton, Radstock Circuit.—Charlton is a pleasant little village, about ten miles from Bath. The Primitive Methodists missioned this place in 1838, and their labours were owned of God. About ten years ago, through the good offices of Mr. and Mrs. John Cox, a cottage was rented, and it was converted into a chapel at a considerable expense.
The Lord smiled on His servants, but the place was too small to accommodate the increasing congregation and Sabbath-scholars. Arrangements were made to see the Rev. T. R. Jolliffe, who is lord of the manor, to know if he would sell us the chapel and ground attached to the same. After much delay, we succeeded in procuring a lease for ninety-nine years, at the annual rent of £1. The old chapel was immediately taken down, and the foundation stone of the new chapel was laid July 30th, 18451, by the Rev. T. Drew, of Bristol, who delivered an address on the occasion. The tea and public meeting were good, and the proceeds amounted to £10 12s.
This sanctuary was opened for divine worship on Sunday, November 17th, 1861; the Rev. T. Barker preached in the morning, the Rev. J. Rought in the afternoon, and the Rev. J. Davis in the evening. The congregations were very large. On the l9th, two sermons were preached by the Rev.T. P.Bellingham of Bath, and a public tea meeting was held, at tended by 223 persons. On November 24th, three sermons were preached by the Rev. E. Powell : the entire collections amounted to more than £19, and a few precious souls received the blessing of salvation.
This chapel is built of stone, is covered with blue slate, has six large windows, four are circular headed, with circular headed fanlight over the doors of chapel and school-room. The school is under the chapel. The chapel front has a beautiful appearance ; it is built of white lias stone, hammer dressed random range work, and pointed with black mortar. The windows and door-jambs, plinth, string courses, and quoins are of Bath stone, with red brick relieving arches over the windows and doors, give the whole a very beautiful effect. The chapel is palisaded in the front with a flight of ten steps to the side entrance. It is 32 feet by 25, and from floor to ceiling it is 18 feet; a neat moulding, and a beautiful ventilator in the centre : the walls are finished with rough stucco ; the pews and seats are stained and varnished ; there is a gallery at one end and a rostrum at the other, the fronts of which are painted oak and varnished. Mr. J. Lambert, of Bristol, the builder, kindly assisted at all the opening services.
We owe a debt of gratitude to many friends. The farmers have helped us. in leading stone, lime, and other materials ; and the trustees, with others, have worked hard to get up this house of God; the ladies very generously assisted us with our work. May the great Head of the Church reward all our helpers. The cost will be above £300, towards which we have raised £96. and shall, we hope, very soon get considerably more than one-third of the entire expenditure. May this house be the birth-place of many souls, is the prayer of John Wilson’.”
from the Primitive Methodist magazine
The chapel is shown on Ordnance survey maps on the south side of the main road through Charlton, just west of an unnamed side road. It is on the 1904 map, but by 1958 it is marked as a ruin – just before the lease was due to run out. There is a house on the site now.
Primitive Methodist magazine February 1862 pages 114-115