Bowbridge Primitive Methodist chapel

Bow Bridge Askrigg LEYBURN DL8 3DX

Bowbridge Primitive Methodist chapel as it was in 2003
Keith Guyler 2003
Inscribed name on the 1908 Bowbridge Primitive Methodist Chapel
Pat Donnor April 2022
Memorial stones at Bowbridge Primitive Methodist Chapel
Pat Donnor April 2022

The first opening of this chapel was noted in the Primitive Methodist magazine of 1858 when it was called Low Abbott Side Primitive Methodist chapel.

Low Abbot Side is north of Bainbridge. Low Abbott Side Primitive Methodist chapel in the Middleham circuit opened on Sunday May 9th 1858. Bro John Parrish preached the first sermon; later ones at services and a tea meeting were preached by Miss Davies, JH Allen of the Hawes, G Robinson, Rev JA Wood, Thomas Rutherford of Sunderland  and R Cordingley, who described the occasions in the Primitive Methodist magazine. Thanks to Andrew Souter for bringing the two names together.

The note on Keith Guyler’s picture says the chapel was opened in 1908.

The Primitive Methodist Leader  March 14, 1918 gives the following account

“Clearing a Chapel Debt.

The Bowbridge Sunday school, Middleham Circuit,  has established a record in its school festival on Ash Wednesday. At the teachers’ annual meeting it was decided to give the proceeds of this effort to the extinction of debt on the trust property. Two of the leathers, Miss M. M. Thompson and Miss A. Middleton, were appointed to collect subscriptions. The remit of their efforts amounted to over £.30. Rev. Dr. Scurrah, a former scholar and member, promised to make up what was required in memory of the jubilee of his conversion in the Bowbridge  Revival, a revival which lives in the memory and experience of the Dales people. In the afternoon Dr. Scurrah preached an eloquent sermon. There was a good attendance.  In the evening the Doctor spoke with much feeling of/the revival in 1668 when the whole Dale came under its influence.  He, with others, formed a mission band, and walked miles to proclaim Christ. They were eager to promote the work of God, and realised great success.  The Bowbridge Society has always been under the influence of that gracious revival. The Doctor’s father was its first superintendent of the Sunday-school, and the members are this descendants of the honoured parents of those days. During these days of war a number of young ladies of the society have come forward and given themselves to the work of preaching. A training class was started by the circuit minister, and the class has been greatly appreciated. During the evening there we special singing under the leadership of Mr. J. H. Lomax. Councillor Wright, of Thirsk presided, and the circuit minister gave the closing address.  The report of the school was given by Rev, J. M. Ridge.  The proceeds amounted to over £40, clearing the debt and leaving a balance of over £20 in the trust fund.”

An account of a Women’s Missionary meeting in the Methodist Leader for 1931 also tells of an interesting place: “the sale of two Missionary Lambs was of a lively character, particularly as one wanted to be among the congregation”

The chapel was closed in 1962 and is now a house.  Thanks to Pat Donnor for an April 2022 update.  Pat comments:

  • The house is now named Fossings
  • The door frame looks original but the area above the door has been altered; it was possibly a round headed window.
  • Likewise, the area above the two windows either side of the door appears to have been altered.
  • Names of the benefactors have been inscribed along the front at the base of the building. Unfortunately, they look now illegible. This was quite a common architectural detail on a Chapel of this date in North Yorkshire.
  • Kelly’s Directory of 1913 tells us “Low Abbotside is a small township of a few scattered farmhouses on the north bank of the river Ure or Yore in Wensleydale adjoining Askrigg. There is a Primitive Methodist Chapel. “
  • The 1881 Census for Abbotside tells us that No 16 was the Primitive Methodist Chapel
    and No 17 Bowbridge was home to the Atkinson family. Mr Atkinson was a joiner.


Grid reference: SD 9339 9102


Primitive Methodist magazine August 1858 p.500

The Primitive Methodist Leader  March 14, 1918  accessed Jan 22 2015


Comments about this page

  • Thanks for the additional information Andrew here and on the page reporting its opening as Low Abbott Side Primitive Methodist chapel.  I’ve incorporated all the information here.

    By Christopher Hill (26/08/2017)
  • The first chapel to be built was in 1858, the great revival was in 1868. The chapel closed May 1962.

    By Andrew souter (26/12/2016)

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