Anne Langley has provided the following information:
Wellesbourne. The Primitive Methodists were meeting in Wellesbourne by 1853 and using part of a property in Church Walk by 1861. They rented a more suitable property in Cherry Orchard in 1869 (built in the 1840s) and converted it into a Chapel that is recorded in trade directories from 1874-1932 but only shown on the 1st edition OS map (6” 1880s).
It was made of brick with a slate roof and the trustees of the PM Connexion bought it (together with three adjoining cottages) in 1895. The sale documents reveal that the chapel had a balcony, it contained seats, a pulpit, stove and gas fittings and there was a shared pump in the back garden. The chapel belonged to the Leamington circuit.
An article about Thomas Parker, a Primitive Methodist lay preacher of Wellesbourne, has been published. He preached here and in various other chapels (including one 14 miles away) though was suspended on occasions for getting drunk or criticizing other preachers. He chaired the famous Wellesbourne meeting of labourers held by Joseph Arch in February 1872, helped Arch set up the Warwickshire and National Agricultural Labourers’ Unions and arranged for union meetings to be held in this Primitive Methodist Chapel. Later he also served on the Parish Council and was supported in his old age by the Primitive Methodist’s Lay Preacher’s Fund.
Some 19th-century accounts survive from 1877-1988. The Sunday School did not operate from 1883-1904 but then reopened. The chapel was sold in the 1960s to Mr Dennis Quayle and converted into two terrace houses (25A & B). The side wall of the house has a tiny pointed window as an intriguing indication of its history.
WCRO conveyance CR619/82 1895;
Warwickshire trade directories and OS maps;
Warwickshire History, vol. X, 2, ‘Thomas Parker’ pp. 47-70, 1996/7;
SCLA: Accounts DR703/69-99;
site visit 2017.