Writhlington Primitive Methodist chapel

Writhlington Primitive Methodist chapel
Jeff Parsons 2021
datestone at Writhlington Primitive Methodist chapel
Jeff Parsons 2021
Writhlington Primitive Methodist chapels

Writhlington is a small settlement on the road out of Radstock towards Frome and in the coal mining area of the former North Somerset Coalfield, with collieries at Lower Writhlington, Foxcote, Huish and Kilmersdon (Haydon), close at hand.

Cottage meetings had been held in Writhlington since 1841 and the small group erected their first place of worship in 1878. It was one of the early “Tin Tabernacles” which sprang up country wide (and even further afield), to serve such groups and was located on the old Coaching Road to Frome at the delightfully named Green Parlour.

By the turn of the century the congregation had outgrown the “Tin Chapel” and with major changes to the area in housing development and a new road system bypassing Green Parlour from Radstock to Frome, it was decided to move to Upper or Higher Writhlington in the village area itself. In 1913 a new chapel was erected and Lord Hylton of Ammerdown Park performed the opening ceremony.

The site of the new Church was large enough for the old Tin Chapel to be erected and this became the Sunday School and Function Room., until, in the early 1980s it was deemed unsafe and had to be demolished.

The trustees for the new venture were T Elford, J Higgs, E Cottle, C Swift, G Montague, H Biggs, W Ryall, H Plummer, G Drewett and H Gough.

Initially in the new church the music was provided by a pedal harmonium. When the Frome Hill (formerly Primitive) Chapel was closed in 1965 the Sweetland organ from that church was transferred to Writhlington .

Howard Bray, who had played that organ at Frome Hill transferred to Writhlington and continued to play until just four days before he died at the age of 93, a total of 71 years playing service.

In later years due to dwindling congregations, services were held on the fourth Sunday of each month.

An amalgamation of Westfield, Radstock and Writhlington took place in 2013 under the banner of Trinity Methodist Church.

Writhlington finally closed its doors in 2016 and was sold for development; a conversion of the chapel to a dwelling and a building plot of the site of the former Sunday School building.


Centenary booklet of Writhlington Methodist Chapel 2014.

Comments about this page

  • The Brierley Methodist church website has a full account of the history of both the Primitive and Wesleyan chapels that united in 1932 to form the current society – and it refers to “James Chivers of Barnsley, an insurance agent and a local preacher popular at the Brierley camp meetings”

    You can read it here. And I’ve added a page about Brierley Primitive Methodist chapel to this site.

    By Christopher Hill (18/01/2022)
  • My 2x Great grandfather James Chivers lived in Writhlington. On the 71 census his occupation is given as Coal miner and Primitive Lay preacher. The family moved to Yorkshire and on later census he became an Insurance Agent and Primitive Lay preacher connected to Brierley chapel.

    By Carol Cooper (18/01/2022)

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