Prior's Marston Primitive Methodist chapel

Keys Lane Priors Marston CV47 7SA

former Prior's Marston Primitive Methodist chapel
Anne Langley
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Prior's Marston Primitive Methodist chapel

The 1851 religious census reports the congregation meeting in a barn with seats for 30 people and an attendance at the morning service of 25 but there was no Sunday School. The form was filled in by ‘Precher’ Charles Adams, a brickmaker from Stockton.

A Primitive Methodist chapel was opened in 1862; the story is told in the Primitive Methodist magazine by G Wallis.

“We have lately purchased a chapel of Mr. Gilbert, which has been occupied, by our society on rent for the last four years. It is a good substantial chapel built of back and stone, covered with blue states, properly pewed, with a small gallery. Altogether it will accommodate with seats 130 persons. The cost, including deeds, enrolment, &c, is a little over one hundred pounds. The re-opening services took place on Sunday, August 17th, 1862, when two sermons were preached by an old friend, the Rev. J. Mules, of Brigg. The weather was very unpropitious, as the rain descended copiously, but still the congregations were as good as could be expected.

On Monday, the 18th, 130 persons sat down to a well arranged tea, after which a public meeting was addressed by Messrs. E. Young, J. Bull, G. Roberson (Independent), T. Assup, and J. Mules ; Mr. G. Russell was in the chair. All the services were of an interesting character, and the collections good. Mrs. Spencer and other female friends brought the handsome sum of £3 4s. 7½d. received for needle work. Mr. Spencer, and other friends, with cards, collected £4 2s. 2d.

About three years ago Mr. Cook, of this place, a member of society, died and left £50 towards a chapel. That sum, and what has been collected will place the society in easy circumstances, leaving only £40 debt upon the place. Mr. Spencer has introduced a harmonium, which we find to be a great addition. We beg to tender our thanks to all our kind friends.”

The chapel had 120 sittings and cost £104; the debt had been paid off by 1895. There was a Sunday school active from at least 1895 until 1927 and a Band of Hope in the 1900s. Their Christian Endeavour Society had united with the Wesleyans and Moravians by 1918.The accounts of the chapel mention a pulpit, cushions, an organ, hymnals, lamps, a stove and the wherewithal to make tea. 

The chapel is recorded in Warwickshire trade directories from 1872-1932 and on the 1st and 2nd edition OS maps (1880s & 1900s) but it had ceased to be a chapel by the 1950s.

The building still stands off Keys Lane in good condition. Looking at the end wall of the house (now called ‘Chapel End’) I suspect that this may actually be part of the original barn, converted first into a chapel and later on into a house of red brick with a slate roof. It was part of the Leamington Circuit (possibly Rugby later on).

Sources:

religious census HO 129.407.1.17.25; WCRO: circuit records CR 1688/53 & 59, accounts CR 1688/126, 1905-33; site visit 2017

Primitive Methodist magazine  1863 page 111

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