Hull George Lamb Memorial Chapel

opened 1894; destroyed by fire 2015

George Lamb Memorial Chapel in Lambert Street, Hull, was opened by the Primitive Methodists in 1894. The laying of the foundation stones  is noted in the Primitive Methodist magazine of November 1893. It was expected to cost £4,000 of which they had raised a quarter.

It was named after George Lamb, who died in Hull in 1886, and spent 21 years as a Primitive Methodist Minister there. President of Conference twice, he was greatly respected, and involved in every aspect of the life of the town.

However, the story goes back further.  The 1888 Primitive Methodist magazine tells us that services had been held held in  in a stable and coach house as it records the laying of memorial stones for a  school room in St John’s Wood, Newland.  St John Wood was the name of the housing development at the southern end of what is now Newland Avenue.

The school building was located at the back of the site, and this is shown on the 1893 Ordnance Survey map, with a large space in front of it, clearly waiting for the chapel which was added in 1894.

A Grade II listed building, in 1999 the Church building was put on the Listed Buildings at Risk Register. When the church closed it was sold to a private developer, and sadly left to deteriorate.

In the early hours of Wednesday 15 April, a fire broke out, and it took 35 fire officers to bring the blaze under control.  Most of the interior has been destroyed, and engineers have been brought in to see if the building can be secured.

The Hull Daily Mail carried several reports about the fire, and included comments from local residents:

‘Stephanie Wilson, of the Avenues and Pearson Park Residents Association, said she was still hopeful the chapel could be salvaged. “It is a very long and sad tale of neglect, which has resulted in the situation today,” she said. “The chapel is a very special building that has great historical significance to the non-conformist religious movement in Hull. It has a noble edifice, which stands out from the other houses in that street. I do still hope some part of the beautiful façade can be saved if at all possible.”

Resident James Shakesby was devastated to see the destruction caused by the fire. “I used to spend a lot of time there in the late Eighties attending the church and the Boys’ Brigade,” he said. “I have so many good memories of that building and now they have all gone up in smoke. It’s a huge shame that people didn’t do more to save it from ruin.”‘

You can read about one family’s link to this chapel here.


Primitive Methodist magazine 1888 December page 759-760

Primitive Methodist magazine  November 1893 page 700

Comments about this page

  • In September 2020 the front is still propped up by extensive scaffolding with no sign of any work having been undertaken since the erection of the scaffolding.

    By Christopher Hill (18/09/2020)
  • I’ve added to the page information from a note in the Primitive Methodist magazine about the laying of the foundation stones for the Sunday school which predates the chapel.

    By Christopher Hill (06/09/2020)
  • In August 2017 the facade of the chapel, which is Grade 2 listed, still stands.  It is supported by extensive scaffolding, as shown in the picture above

    By Christopher Hill (11/08/2017)
  • On 1 June 2015, the Hull Daily Mail reported that the chapel could not be saved, and would have to be demolished. Part of its distinctive façade has already been removed because of fears over its stability in high winds. It was hoped the rest of the front of the Victorian Methodist chapel could have been saved.

    By Jill Barber (04/06/2015)

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