The history of Methodism in High Littleton is interesting in as much as the Wesleyans got their foot in the door first, followed by the Prims; but it was the Prim Building which survived for the longest as in 1955 the two congregations amalgamated and continued using the former Prim building.
I understand that some of the earlier failings of the Prims in High Littleton may have been due to a particular situation at the local Greyfield Colliery (Earl of Warwick) when many miners were put out of work, but the upturn of colliery business brought members back to their Primitive church.
The Primitive Chapel buildings have undergone extensions and alteration and in the 1990s were subject to a major refurbishment. Sadly the size of the congregation diminished to an unsustainable point when the Society ceased to meet in 2016, members joining other local groups.
The building has continued to be used for a local playgroup and the Scouts and the sale of the building to the Scouts seems imminent.
The picture attached herewith is taken from the cover of the service sheet for the final service on August 28th 2016.
Methodism in High Littleton Timeline
- 1771 First meetings
- 1779 First indoor cottage meeting
- 1821 Wesleyan Chapel opened
- 1955 Central Methodist (former Wesleyan) Chapel closed (August)
- Pre 1831 possible meetings but no building- worship in tents at Stall Ground, Rotcombe Lane
- Subsequently meetings in house at end of Rotcombe Lane opposite current Church building
- 1857 Piece of land purchased from Capt Scobell for £23 – 6th July 1857 and a piece of land from Mr James Grey 12 March 1868
- 1868 First Primitive Chapel built
- 1880 Closed due to financial difficulties servicing loan of £200
- 1882 Re-opened
- 1900 Additional piece of land purchased from Mr George Brice for £24, 24 May 1900
- 1909 New chapel completed and opened. Foundation stone laid by Mrs Hall, wife of Greyfield Colliery manager. Cost £700
- 1955 Amalgamation with Central Church
- 1961 Further purchase of land from Messrs Gregory and Chivers 18 Nov 1961
- 1965 Extensions and car park created
- 2016 Chapel closed
- 2021 Sold to Scouts Association (pending)
“A History and reflections” by a Chapel member – undated
“Notes on the History of High Littleton Wesleyan Methodist Chapel” by Michael Browning – undated