Lavenham Primitive Methodist chapel

Lavenham Primitive Methodist chapel
Philip Thornborow, 2009
Lavenham Primitive Methodist chapel, showing the inscription
Carolyn Mann, 2009
Photograph taken by E & R Pearce
Lavenham PM chapel

The 1867 list of certified places of public worship lists a Primitive Methodist chapel in Lavenham “The old workhouse, near the Market Hill”.  This turns out to have been in the same range as The Guildhall, at no. 26 Market Place.

In 1861 a mediaeval timber-framed building of four bays, adjacent to the Guildhall, was converted to a chapel by removing the upper floors from two bays, leaving one bay to serve as a gallery, the end bay remaining as a cottage.

In the first photograph these are the four bays on the left. The second photograph shows the inscription, which reads  P | MC | 1861.

The photographs also reveal that the building is now a National Trust tearoom. According to the listing (as a Grade II listed building) this is a reversion to an earlier existence as ‘The Rose and Crown Inn’. The National Trust have restored the shop front. Not having entered the tea room I am unable to say whether any vestiges of the chapel remain.

I have been unable to find any account in Primitive Methodist sources of the conversion of this building into a chapel, or an account of the work in Lavenham. By 1940 the members had moved into the former Wesleyan Methodist chapel. Any further information would be welcomed.

Grid reference TL916493


Stell, Christopher An inventory of non-conformist chapels and meeting-houses in Eastern England. Swindon: English Heritage, 2002  p298

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