Tean Primitive Methodist chapel

chapel with a dishonest builder

Tean Primitive Methodist chapel

The 1863 Primitive Methodist magazine contains an account by W Rooke of the re-opening of a Primitive Methodist chapel. The chapel dates from 1836, but twenty or so years later the roof and some of the walls collapsed.

Here’s the account from the 1863 magazine:

“Tean, Ramsor Station. — Tean is a very respectable village, possesses a large tape factory, which employs a large number of hands, and contains a population of about 2,000 souls.

A Primitive Methodist Chapel was built here in the year 1836; but, from what has happened, it appears that deception and dishonesty were practised by the builder. One morning, some months ago, the roofing gave way, and fell with so tremendous a crash that it startled the inhabitants of the place. The falling of the roof carried away part of the two gable-ends, and a side-wall down to the bottom of the window-sills, dashing the door and windows to pieces, and leaving the chapel a complete wreck. It lay for weeks in ruins. Finally it was decided at a quarter-day, to re-build it.

When authority was given, Brother A. Hawley set about it with might and main, and begged through the station for funds. A builder was employed ; the work set out, and the chapel has been re-built. It has four beautiful windows, with ornamented stone heads ; a new door and frame ; a new boarded floor, and considerable improvement in the form of the pews. The ceiling is plastered, and very tastefully cornished and bedded. The walls are built of brick, and furnished with a new inscription stone, and the front is very nicely dressed down, which makes the chapel look like a new one. It is one of the neatest chapels now in the station.

The chapel was re-opened on Lord’s-day, August 17th, 1862, by Brothers Tomlinson and Charlesworth; and on Sabbath, October 5th, by Miss Buck. The collections amounted to £11 11s. The total cost of the re-building is about £70 (exclusive of the painting). Towards this sum we have raised by donations, public subscriptions, &c, £63 19s. ; and we in tend to persevere till the whole be paid off. We hereby acknowledge our gratitude to Brother and Sister Hawley and Mrs. Nutt, for their diligence in soliciting donations, and to all who have assisted us in saving this house of God, and we trust that great grace may rest upon them all. W. Rooke.”

But that’s not the end of the story: on the 1881 Ordnance Survey map, a disused Primitive Methodist chapel is shown in Upper Tean, not far from the tape factory. It is on the north side of St Thomas’ Road, about halfway between the junctions with New Road and Hollington Road. In 1901 there is a Catholic School on the site. What happened?


Primitive Methodist magazine 1863 pages 172-173

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