Swansea Tower Lane Primitive Methodist Chapel

the first PM chapel in Swansea, built 1836

The first Primitive Methodist society in Swansea was formed in 1834, as a result of the missionary activities of Henry Higginson, known as the ‘Roving Ranter’.

On 18 March he preached in a house in Murton, where he had a good congregation, and the people were ‘melted down’ and begged him to return. The next week he returned and preached to a large congregation in the Wesleyan Chapel on the Green.

In 1836 they built a chapel in Tower Lane, off the High Street in Swansea. It was opened on Friday and  Sunday 23rd & 25th December 1836. Speakers included Mr W Driffield,  Mrs West, Rev W Jones (Ind.), Rev W Woodhouse (Countess of Huntingdon), Rev R Roff,  Rev D R Stephens (Baptists) assisting ministers from Swansea. Joseph Hibbs tells us in the Primitive Methodist magazine that it was “pleasant to see the unity that prevails in this town among the ministers of different congregations.” The new chapel which measured 33′(w) x 46′(l)  x 23′(h, was lit with gas and located “amid a dense population of poor people”.  The Sunday school commenced with 120 scholars.

At the time of the 1851 religious census the church steward was John Rees Brenton, who lived at 26 Goat Street.

The Chapel was destroyed by a fire, and replaced in 1860 by a much grander affair in Pell Street.


Primitive Methodist magazine 1837 page 268