Ratley Primitive Methodist chapel

Town Hill Ratley OX15 6DS

former Ratley Primitive Methodist chapel
Anne Langley 2017
Ratley Primitive Methodist chapel

Anne Langley has provided the following information:

Ratley. A Primitive Methodist chapel was built on Town Hill in 1839. The 1851 religious census records 130 sittings and an attendance of 221 at the evening service; there was no Sunday School. It was part of the Kineton circuit. It appears in Warwickshire trade directories from 1850-1892 and on the 1st and 2nd edition OS maps (1880s & 1900s).

The chapel and an adjacent cottage were sold around 1900 and converted (with extensive alterations) into Hill Top House. Confusingly this has date stones of 1888 and 1901. The former was found in the garden, so may be unrelated, though could record a rebuild at that time. The latter marks the date of adding the upper floor during conversion into a house.

However, The 1850 Primitive Methodist magazine contains a brief account of the opening of a neat, commodious and substantial chapel at Rutley (sic). It opened on October 30th 1849 when the preachers were Messrs Turner, Mules, Brazier and Cox. Celebrations included a tea meeting for 200.

The chapel opening was followed by revival when “refreshing visitations… raised the tone of their piety. “

One snag – the Ordnance Survey does not recognise Rutley, neither does Google maps.  But there are clues. Of the ministers at the opening, Samuel Turner was based in Shefford and James Mules in Southam. Mr Brazier was a preacher at several openings in the Banbury area, so it showsthat Rutley is in the south midlands.  Then John Anderson found Ratley on Banbury Circuit Plans and clearly the typesetter of the Mag. misread the reporter’s handwriting. There is nonetheless a ten year difference in the opening dates …

Anne’s sources:

religious census HO;

site visit 2017

J. Ashby & D. Batchelor, Ratley: the story of a Warwickshire Parish, 2006, pp. 29-30.

Primitive Methodist magazine January 1850 page 52

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