Beck Row Primitive Methodist chapel

In the 1840 Primitive Methodist magazine J Bunn tells us about the opening a the first chapel in Beck Row in Mildenhall parish –  and how he was sent to jail in the process.  It was in the Mattishall circuit.

The magazine calls the hamlet Beek Row – presumably a typographical or transcription error.

“An opening presenting itself for a Chapel at Beek (sic) Row, in the parish of Mildenhall, in the county of Suffolk, I determined to have one if possible; and J. Memson determined to co-operate with me. A plot of land with two cottages was offered for one hundred and fifty pounds. But the premises being copyhold, I found there would be much trouble.

After a time, we bought a place far superior, for one hundred and fifty pounds. It consisted of a large piece of land, with three cottages. But our opposers, who were many, said we should never have a Chapel. I got trustees, and got the deed made according to the Connexional plan, and got estimates for the work.

The foundation was laid on Good-Friday, by the writer, and Brother Rudd preached. Our opposers laughed while the chapel was in building; and some said it would be turned into a barn, &c. The Chapel was however completed; and July 7, 1839, the day appointed for its opening, was ushered in by the arrival of the choir of singers from our Norwich Lakenham Chapel. They had promised me two years before, that if ever I got a Chapel in this country, they would come. They had travelled, with a vehicle, all the previous Saturday night to fulfil their engagement, a journey of above forty miles. The appearance of these Brethren induced people to flock from all parts; and even some who had been opposed to me. And the masterly way in which the musicians and singers performed their duty, together with their Christian conduct commanded respect ; and numbers said that beat all the singing they ever heard; and they did not think that Bunn had had such honourable men belonging to him.

Sermons were preached by Bros. Woolnough, Rudd and Symonds.   My kind Norwich friends stopped the Monday with me; and said they should like to see the Market place, where I had been pelted with eggs. So we set off with a number of friends, to Mildenhall and they sung a most excellent piece or two in the Market place  and the inhabitants were much delighted.  

In the evening I preached my farewell sermon in the Chapel, to a crowded congregation, On taking my leave of the people, I said, “this Chapel I have had much trouble after; and I am obliged to all who have helped in it. I am glad to know that I shall leave a good Connexional Chapel, in a country where I have suffered so  much.” 

The choir sung a parting piece; and after taking some refreshment, they set off for Norwich. And I am obliged to them for coming. .Much credit is due to them.  This Chapel is thirty-one feet by twenty-one, and thirteen feet high. The walls are white brick in the front; and the other parts are built of black flints and chalk stones. And it has Six sash windows. The whole cost including premises, deeds, Chapel, &c., is about two hundred and sixty four pounds; about twenty of which was begged. This Chapel is regularly settled on the Connexion”’ and is thought to stand in an excellent situation. I have since heard that all the sittings are and a good congregation attends.

J Bunn

PS We consider it a blessing to have a chapel in the parish; and not more than a mile and a half from the residence of the magistrate who sent our Mr Bunn to jail.”

On the 1903 Ordnance Survey map I cannot find a Primitive Methodist chapel, only a Wesleyan Methodist one.  What happened to the chapel and the society?


Primitive Methodist magazine 1840 page 446

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.