Highworth Primitive Methodist chapel
The Elms, Highworth, Wiltshire SN6 7DD
In The Primitive Methodist Magazine for October 1851, Edmund Rawlings records the opening of Highworth Primitive Methodist chapel on July 27th 1851. It reports that Highworth was missioned in 1830 and the first chapel built in 1838 under Bro. Preston. As the society grew, this chapel was taken down and rebuilt. The change is captured by the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious worship of March 1851.
The new chapel was 28′ x 28′ and 19′ from floor to ceiling. It cost £178/1/11 and the debt at opening was £210. However, the society was optimistic that the annual income would be greater than annual expenditure.
Mr Horton laid the Foundation stone in August 1850 and Rev Gilbert preached the sermon. The chapel came into use in November 1850 – sermons by Revs West and Cummins and Edward Hunt Butler Esq. Opening sermons were preached by Rev. Preston and H James. Practical gifts were given by Miss Gibbs, Miss Matthews, Mr Drew and Mr J Garner.
The souvenir Official Handbook of the Brinkworth and Swindon Centenary District Synod held in 1910 records that:
Highworth Church was built in 1850, and at one time was the head of a Circuit.
Number of sittings: 250
Number of members: 27
Total cost: £286
Present debt: Nil
This chapel closed and the Primitive Methodists joined with the Wesleyan Methodists in a brand new building in 1964. In Google street view the building is shown as used by Highworth Silver Threads (July 2008). It was later advertised for sale.
Primitive Methodist Magazine for October 1851 pp. 626-627 – contains much more detail
Official Handbook of the Brinkworth and Swindon Centenary District Synod 1910