Leeds Holdforth Street Primitive Methodist chapel

Holdforth Street, New Wortley

Holdforth Street Primitive Methodist Chapel, Wortley
Handbook of the Primitive Methodist Conference 1898; Englesea Brook Museum

Holdforth Street Primitive Methodist Chapel in Wortley was enlarged in 1879/80. It has an Italianate design of brick and stone by architect T Howdill. It was one of the chapels used when the Primitive Methodist Conference came to Leeds in 1898. A Sunday School was added in 1907.

The chapel closed in the 1950s and was included in demolition and redevelopment plans for the Wortley area.  Holdforth Street itself is not on current Google maps.

In the Primitive Methodist magazine, J Jobling describes the laying of the foundation stone of New Wortley Primitive Methodist chapel. Those involved with the ceremony included J. H. Morgan (Independent), S. Hulme (New Connexion), J. Kirsop (U. M. Free Church), J. Harvey, and C. Hallam (Leeds first circuit), J. Jobling and T. Dearlove (Leeds second circuit.). Rev Thomas Dearlove preached, and you can read  the full sermon, including an account of the growth of Primitive Methodism, in the magazine.

The stone was laid by Alderman Thomas Botterill and his words show that not all Anglicans feared the growth of the Prims. “I cannot say that I know very much about your body, but I do remember well, when but young, the influence for good, exerted by this community, in the agricultural districts. I do most heartily approve and applaud your diligence and attention to open-air services ; and only hope that the Church of England, to which I belong, having begun may continue in this respect to copy your example, for I am quite sure it will increase its influence and usefulness.”

Thanks were given to “W.Briggs, Esq., and his lady, for the gift of the land and cost of its conveyance to the Connexion”

The actual opening is recorded by TN  in the April 1861 magazine. Preachers at the opening celebrations from 2nd December which included tea in the Zion school for 240  included W Briggs (who gave site), H. J. M’Cullock (York), Rev J. N. B. Shrewsbury (Wesleyan), Rev. J. Maylard (Shipley), T. E. Plint, Esq., (Independent), Revs. J. Maylard, J. Harvey, C.Hallam, I. Rumfitt and J. H. Morgan (Independent).

Overall they had raised £225 towards the cost and planned to start a Sunday school

The 1879 Primitive Methodist magazine contains a note recording  the laying of the foundation stones for a new Primitive Methodist chapel at Holdforth Street, New Wortley.  The chapel would seat 800 and cost £3,000. This presumably is the enlargement referred to above.


Primitive Methodist magazine for June 1860 pages 362-365

Primitive Methodist magazine for April 1861 pages 234-235

Primitive Methodist magazine 1879 page 637

Comments about this page

  • Thanks Colin.  I’ve added detail of the actual opening in 1860 to the previous information.

    By Christopher Hill (27/03/2018)
  • Originally the society met in a cottage which passed to the Wesleyans when the first chapel was opened in Holdforth Street in 1860, to which school premises were added in 1869.

    All was replaced in 1878, architect being Thomas Howdill.  Subsequent to the photograph being taken, additional school premises built on the site of the forecourt were opened on Saturday, 19 May 1906, the architects being T.A. Buttery & L.S. Bird of Morley.

    Closure came in 1954 and demolition c1964.

    By Colin Dews (02/03/2018)
  • Does the detail I’ve added about the laying of the foundation stone in 1860 of New Wortley Primitive Methodist chapel relate to the same chapel as the enlarged 1879/80 one in the picture?  It probably does, but can anyone confirm it?

    By Christopher Hill (22/01/2018)

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