Thurston Magna Primitive Methodist chapel

The Primitive Methodist magazine of August 1851 contains an account by D Mossop of Hawkesbury Upton of the opening of Thurston Magna Primitive Methodist chapel.  It appears the place had a fearsome reputation as ” proverbial for wickedness; moral darkness and vice of almost every kind prevailed to an awful extent”.

The village was missioned in 1849 by brother H Platt and a foundation stone for the new chapel was laid on 7th October 1850 by J Hunt of High Wycombe with the opening services on 18th May 1851.  The chapel measured 33′ x 27′ and was 10′ from floor to wall plate.  The cost was £170.

Preachers at the opening services included J Hunt (High Wycombe), R Hill (Southampton), Revs Therry, Knight and Osmond; donors included J Hunt, J. Humphries, Mrs Reed, T Miles (for giving the stones) and Mr Stratton.  Farmers gave their time to carry the stones.

So fearsome was the reputation of the village that the name has disappeared from current maps.  Mr Mossop tells us that it was ” a few miles from Malmesbury in the County of Wilts.” Does anyone know where it was?


Primitive Methodist magazine of August 1851 pp 498-499


Comments about this page

  • I think this must be an error for “Sherston Magna” – according to old maps, the name of the parish of which the present Sherston village was part. A Primitive Methodist chapel of approximately those dimensions and a datestone of 1851 stands on Grove Road (formerly Back Lane) in Sherston at 51.570955, -2.211499. There are some details on the Wiltshire and Swindon History website here: The chapel was still open in 2009 according to Google StreetView, but Google now states “Permanently closed”. It was registered for marriages on 13 October 1915.

    Other denominations clearly wanted to do something about the “wickedness and moral darkness”: 19th-century maps show Congregational, General Baptist and Particular Baptist chapels within a few hundred yards of the Methodist chapel!

    By Matthew Davis (11/08/2023)

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