Bedworth Heath Primitive Methodist chapel (i)

29 Goodyers End Lane, Bedworth CV12 0HS

Thanks to Anne Langley for the following information:

“Bedworth Heath A Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1833 on Goodyers End Lane (opposite the entrance to Topps Drive) in Bedworth Little Heath. It appears in the 1851 religious census: there were sittings for 140 people; 120 adults attended the evening service on census day and 50 children the Sunday School. The Minister was James Prosser (a superintendent minister living in Harnall Terrace, Coventry, who was the sub-treasurer for the Missionary Committee).

In 1852 they were holding afternoon and evening services on Sundays plus an evening one on Mondays. They were to have Missionary and Protracted Meetings and a Watch Night service on December 31st; B. Pratt was the Society Steward.

In 1854 they were holding a camp meeting and a love feast. It was part of the Coventry circuit. The chapel appears in some trade directories (White, 1850 & 1874) and on the 1st edition OS 25” map (1880s). The building is still there on OS 2nd edition maps (1900s) – though possibly not in use”

Anne originally thought that the chapel had been demolished by the 1950s; by then it had been replaced by a new Methodist Chapel nearby (at the opposite end of Topps Drive) that has itself since been demolished.

Maps tell a little more. The 1888 Ordnance Survey map labels the Primitive Methodist chapel  on Goodyers End Lane.  On the 1902 and 1913 maps the building is there with the same footprint, but is not labelled.  Had it fallen out of use?

It is still there, unchanged and unlabelled, on the 1936 map  – and there is a new housing development to the east of Topps Drive with a new Methodist Church labelled at the other end of Topps Drive, at the junction with Topps Heath.  Street View shows modern bungalow on the site in 2009.

The story is brought up to date by Jeff and Ana Day who now live in the house – see Jeff’s comment below and the pictures in the gallery.

The 1950’s photos taken from the neighbouring property, show the rear meeting room, which was demolished in the 70’s and then rebuilt onto the building at the front, which Jeff presumes was the Sunday school buildings

Jeff confirms that only the front 12’ was demolished, the rest is still standing, and has been extended to the rear.  The property is a family home and it’s good to hear that City Church Coventry have held some church gatherings in the former chapel.  The intension is to carefully reveal the original structure and preserve and restore it.  They will also try to get the building listed as it’s now the one of the oldest buildings in Bedworth.

The pictures of the room show that it formerly had painted brick walls, and white bricks between the joists, with the floor boards acting as the ceiling also painted white.

The Bede village newsletter dated July 1992 included an interview with  Edgar Hastilow who lived at The Tea Gardens 29 Goodyers End from when he was 10 years  old in 1931 until 1953. He said it had three bedrooms and three rooms on the ground floor, and a large pantry with a brick floor raised on either side. Outbuildings included a large workhouse with a sink and cold water tap and a large copper boiler for the family washing, and a storeroom with a bakers oven and a loft.  He said “I have never seen anything as primitive as the three-seater toilet at the tea gardens”.  He also said at the bottom of the entry was a well then a coalhouse and dairy.

Anne Langley’s sources:

religious census HO 129.399.1.4.18;

Michael Harris:

PM Preachers’ Plan Coventry Circuit 1852-3;

trade directories and OS maps;

Coventry Archives: 628/8/2/2,

site visit 2019.

 

Bedworth Heath Primitive Methodist chapels

Comments about this page

  • I’m delighted to hear that the chapel still exists and look forward to hearing more of Jeff’s splendid efforts to restore some of the original features.

    By Anne Langley (18/11/2021)
  • A substantial part of the original building remain, and it definitely dates from the 1830’s dated by the wire cut nails used to hold the 10” wide floor boards down, supported by old beams from a ship, along with an original fireplace and also the original handmade doors.
    The front of the building was demolished in the 1950’s when the road was straightened, and the rear meeting hall was joined onto the remaining front section in the 1980’s. By all accounts the demolished front was symetrical from the side elevation around the chimney stack.
    An external view of the chapel can be seen here on Google Streetview.

    By Jeff Day (15/11/2021)

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