Corsham Primitive Methodist chapel


former Corsham Primitive Methodist chapel, now Corsham Gospel Hall
Peter Sketch 5 Nov 2022
Return from Corsham Primitive Methodist preaching place in the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious Worship
Provided by David Tonks

Primitive Methodism was introduced into Corsham around 1835 when, in the face of stern opposition, a small society was established. For some years they met in a cottage, after which a small room in a cottage was rented before a chapel was opened in 1855.  The 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious Worship, completed by Solomon Hunt (manager), reports an average afternoon and evening attendance of 30.

The new Corsham Primitive Methodist chapel was opened on Friday, the 16th  November, 1855. Opening preachers were Revs. E. A. Telfer (Wesleyan), J. Wicks, J. Richards, and Mr. N. Badminton. The services were well attended, and on the Sunday evening many could not gain entrance.

The chapel and the opening is described by John Richards in the 1856 Primitive Methodist magazine. “The chapel is 33 feet long, 22 feet wide without, and 15 feet high from the floor to the ceiling. The front and side walls are built of freestone, the roof is covered with the best slate, and the floor is of red deal. It has six windows, and is lighted with gas, and nicely fenced in with iron palisading. It will accommodate 140 persons, and the outlay will be about £180” (of which £100 was borrowed).

Mr. W. Ball gave the land and a donation. Other noted donors were Mr. Hunt and family, Mr. C. Butler, Mr. S. Barrett, Mr. J. Richards. The chapel was built by Mr. J. Smith, of Chippenham “considerably under value.”

Our congregations have been much crowded since the opening, additions have been made to the society, and the prospect of usefulness is very encouraging.

In 1926 the chapel was sold to the Brethren to become a Gospel Hall, still its use on Google Street View in September 2015.

There is a picture of the chapel on the Wiltshire County Council Community website; see it here.  


Primitive Methodist magazine February 1856 p.115

Comments about this page

  • I’ve added a picture of the chapel provided by Peter Sketch and taken in November 2022.

    Peter comments: It looks like it used to have some form of date stone above the old front entrance, which is now bricked up and people enter via a back entrance that may or may not have been part of the original building. The date stone, if that’s what it was, is blank. I couldn’t tell if it was just very weathered or if it had been deliberately erased at some point.

    By Christopher Hill (06/12/2022)

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