Swinscoe Primitive Methodist Chapel

Swinscoe Chapel
Swinscoe Chapel opened in 1835
Swinscoe Chapel porch added 1935

Already included in the 1812 Tunstall Circuit Plan, Swinscoe was an early centre of Primitive Methodism. Constant growth of the movement was evident here when Samuel Heath, a visiting preacher, noted with delight in his Journal “two souls professed to find the Lord” during his visit at the start of the 1820s. By then Swinscoe belonged to the Ramsor Branch of the Tunstall Circuit, as shown in the 1821/1822 Circuit Plan.

For years, services were held at local farms but, with the increase in the congregation, work began to build a chapel. A local farmer, Thomas Howson, conveyed the stone for it by horse and cart and helped in the construction of the chapel. In August 1835 James Bourne, Hugh’s brother, preached at the opening of the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Swinscoe.

A letter to the Primitive Methodist Magazine in 1868 however stated that two local Primitive Methodist farmers had been given notice to leave their farms. One of these farmers was Thomas Howson whose granddaughter, Ida Bull née Prince, told how they had to move because of their activities as Primitive Methodists.   

Nevertheless the Chapel in Swinscoe continued to thrive and in 1919 it was registered for solemnising marriages. The Chapel also held an annual tea-party at Whitsun, as reported in the Derby Mercury in 1860. These gatherings continued and for much of the twentieth century were attended by descendants of the Howson family who returned each year to their ancestors’ place of worship. In 1935 a porch was added to the building to mark the centenary of the Chapel. 

However the Chapel was closed in June 1981 and sold the following year. 


Comments about this page

  • This page has been updated to add a history of the chapel by David Swinscoe.

    By Jill Barber (02/06/2017)
  • Please can you tell me the source from which you give Thomas Howson as one of the two farmers given notice to leave.   I think this occurred in the time of Revd Glennie 1860-1869 but the Thomas I have stayed at his address after this time.



    By david swinscoe (26/05/2017)
  • The P.M. magazine for 1856 includes a report by Richard Jukes, travelling preacher,  of three neighbouring chapel openings in Staffordshire, the then Ramsor circuit. These were Swinscoe, Stanton, and Waterhouses- all villages to the immediate west of Ashbourne. At Swinscoe James Bourne was one of the preachers at the opening.

    By David Leese (22/02/2017)

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