I have worked my way through over 1,500 accounts (so far) of the laying of chapel foundation stones, chapel openings and chapel re-opening after alterations in the Primitive Methodist magazine. The accounts almost always tell us who preached, that there was a tea meeting and what the financial position was. Occasionally they tell us the precise location. I have now found one which omits to tell us in which town or village the chapel was; as the Magazine editor comments, “It would have been as well to have said where the chapel is situated“
The account by Isaac Hedges tells us that the new chapel was substantial: it seated 550 and cost £1,200 of which £600 had been raised although they were optimistic of raising much more. Another unusual feature is that instead of saying who preached at the opening services and celebrations, it lists ministers who were present at the opening events in April 1866 – Revs P Wilson (Selby), JT Shepherd (Doncaster), H Crabtree (Burnley), C Smith (Barnsley), H Simon, T Willis (both Congregational), Mr Balmer (United Methodist). Donors named were T Salt, J Horn, G Pearson, , R Moxon, J Hunt, Mrs Shields, Glassmen.
Is T Salt Titus Salt of Saltaire? He gave the largest donation of a generous £25 and it’s the right geographical and date context. Wikipedia tells us that donated the land on which the Wesleyan Chapel was built by public subscription in 1866–68.
Was this chapel in Saltaire? The nearest Primitive Methodist chapel on Ordnance Survey maps from 1891 until it disappears between 1960 and 1969 was located on Saltaire Road, immediately east of Wycliffe Schools (read about Shipley Primitive Methodist chapel here). There is a garage on the site in June 2018 (BD18 3HH). However, on the 1891 OS Plan it labels the chapel as seating 1,200, , bigger than the unnamed chapel.
Any idea where this chapel was?