Knighton Primitive Methodist chapel

Broad Street, Knighton

The Primitive Methodist magazine of October 1852 contains an account by Joseph Hutchings of the opening of Knighton Primitive Methodist chapel in the  Presteign circuit.

Previously the society had  been at a disadvantage because it met in “a room over some stables which, in the summer, proved very offensive.” In the winter of 1851-2 there was a revival, so the society went to “John Wilson, Esq., who gave us the land, laid the foundation-stone, and presented us with five sovereigns.”

The new chapel was opened on May 30th 1852 when sermons were preached by the Rev. J.Richards, of Pontypool, and the Rev. J. Middleton, 0f Ludlow. On the Monday, between 400 and 500 persons sat down to tea in the new buildings. They were addressed by the Rev. J. Richards, the Rev. B.Owen, Baptist minister, and the Rev.J. Middleton.

The chapel was 42 feet long, 24 feet wide, 16 feet high, built of stone and with a slate roof. The floor was oak – a quality above the usual board floor. Mr Bright of Woodhouse hauled the lime. It cost £185 of which they had raised £97. The rest was lent at no interest by the trustees. Special thanks went to John Wilson, Esq, to Charles Edwards, Esq., of Skyberry, and to the family of the late Mr.Bright, of Woodhouse.

It seems as though the chapel did not live long. In the December 1860 Primitive Methodist magazine laying the foundation stone of a new Primitive Methodist chapel is recorded. Whilst this might be an additional chapel, or an a different Knighton – there are several – there is an explanation in the account.  It appears the first chapel had to be demolished to allow the building of a railway line.

The stone was laid by James Notts of the Furlongs and H Lote (London) was the architect.  Preachers at the opening included J. Huff, Joseph Middleton, E. Williams, George Middleton (minister), T. Brothwood,  J. Nott, E. Cowdall, and the Revs. T. Brothwood,J. Hunt, E. Williams, and H. Higginson (Wesleyan). Isaac D. Butler, was the treasurer and John Wilson, secretary.

A Primitive Methodist chapel (which became a Methodist church in due course) can be traced on Ordnance Survey maps; it is still labelled on Ordnance Survey maps in 1977 but has disappeared by 1989. On Google Earth and Street View in September 2011 it looks as though the building still exists. Can you confirm this?


Primitive Methodist magazine October 1852 p.623

Primitive Methodist magazine December 1860 page 742-743

Comments about this page

  • Thanks for the clarification.

    By Christopher Hill (07/09/2018)
  • The first Methodist meeting place in Knighton was in a room above a barn in Temes green , Knighton . John Wilson owned the land and the land was sold to enable the building of the railway and buildings . John Wilson then provided the land to build a new chapel on Broad Street , so I believe . This was closed around 1979 and they then moved to Victoria Road , where they still meet.

    By Timothy Owen (05/09/2018)
  • Can anyone confirm that the first chapel was demolished 7 or s years after opening because of the construction of the railway?

    By Christopher Hill (13/02/2018)
  • This chapel was partially demolished and converted to housing in 1977 . It retains a stone tablet on the wall. I forget now what or who it is dedicated to. I will check today as I live in Knighton and actually went to this chapel, as did generations of my family before me. My great great grandfather (Thomas Owen) was a preacher and also moved to Stafford to continue this work. His father’s sister was married to Joseph Preston, who was also a preacher for many years. I have a copy of a book on the history of Primitive Methodists in Knighton in which there are some interesting articles about the Owen family and the arrival of the first Methodist minister, needless to say, he was not welcomed! Have to go now sorry but could tell you more!

    By Tim Owen (15/04/2017)

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