Swindon; Lower Stratton Primitive Methodist chapel 1830
Swindon Road, Stratton St Margaret, Swindon SN3 4PU
The village of Stratton St Margaret is just outside Swindon: it is also known as Lower Stratton. It was missioned early with meetings held in 1825 in Mr Habgood’s carpenter’s shop at Stratton Park Cross Roads.
The first chapel building erected in 1830 in Swindon Road, SN3 4PU was not entirely welcomed; “slates were broken to pieces by some ill-disposed person or persons“. It was later enlarged and is now two cottages.
The opening of what is called Stratton chapel in the Brinkworth circuit is described by John Ride in the 1830 Primitive Methodist magazine. The foundation stone was laid by Mr W Pinegar on May 31st, when the preachers were Mr and Mrs J Ride, and the chapel was opened on 27th June – only a month to build it! Preachers at the opening were Brother Jukes and Sister M Cutler.
There were 40 members in the society and the numbers were rapidly rising. The new chapel measured 20′(w) x 26′(l) x 15′(h).
This chapel is recorded in the 1851 Census of places of Public Religious Worship under the name Stratton St Margarets – and the ‘s’ is often still added to the name locally. The return was made by the chapel steward, Richard White.
Enlargement of the chapel was described by G Wallis in the Primitive Methodist magazine of 1856. There were services, including one in the Baptist chapel, and a tea meeting. Preachers were . B. Breeze (Baptist), Mr. J. Humphries, C. Morse, J. Hunt, J. Mapson, and J. Tuck. Named donors were . R. White, Mr. C. Morse, W. Collett, S. Davies, D. Trotman, R. Wilkins, and the Misses White, Collett, and Morse.
In 1884 a new chapel was built by Thomas Colborne as the congregation grew. You can read about it here. For a while the old chapel was used for the Sunday school, until the new school accommodation was built behind the new chapel. The December 1891 Primitive Methodist magazine records the start of work on the new school. Optimistically, they hoped it would be free of debt by the time of completion.
The old chapel building was sold and converted into two cottages.
Primitive Methodist magazine 1830 p.358
Primitive Methodist magazine August 1856 p.498
Primitive Methodist magazine 1884 page 252
Primitive Methodist magazine December 1891 page 759