Houlsyke Primitive Methodist chapel

Houlsyke YO21 2LJ

The Primitive Methodist magazine for December 1852 contains an account by T Southron of the opening of the Primitive Methodist chapel in Houlsdyke in the Whitby circuit.

Houlsyke, a small hamlet, in the parish of Danby, was missioned by the Primitive Methodists around 1848-9 after which regular services were held in Mr. James Smith’s shoemaker’s shop until September 24th, 1852, when a small (“but sufficiently large”), Primitive Methodist chapel was opened on a plot of land donated by J Dale. Sermons were preached by Mr. M‘Kechnie, from Pickering. On Sunday, September 26th, five sermons were preached, two of them in the open air, by Messrs. M‘Kechnie and T. Southron. On September 27th there was the obligatory tea-party followed by a public meeting with eight sermons.

The cost of the building was about £100, towards which between £40 and £50 had been raised by subscriptions and the proceeds of the opening services. “And, although the population in the vicinity is not large, and is much scattered, nearly the whole of the sittings are taken”.

The chapel is still marked on the 1894 1:2,500 Ordnance Survey map where it is labelled Zoar chapel and the village is called Howlsike. By 1973 it is marked as Houlsyke Methodist church and the village name is has changed to the modern version. This bars remarkable evidence to the strength of the faith of the members – a small chapel in a sparsely populated area witnessing for well over 100 years.

On Google Street View in May 2015 it has been converted to a two-bedroomed house – The Old Chapel. You could have bought it in 2013 for £249,950.

Thanks to Pat Donnor for providing the pictures.


Primitive Methodist magazine December 1852 p.747


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