Runswick Primitive Methodist chapel

Whitby Circuit

The Primitive Methodist magazine of June 1854 contains an article by Daniel Gates reporting the opening of Runswick Primitive Methodist chapel in the Whitby circuit.  The opening services started on Friday April 7th 1854 and preachers included Mr Southron, Mr Elstob, Daniel Gates, and Mr Venis of Fryup.  On the following Monday a tea meeting for 150 persons was held.

Runswick is a fishing village; the chapel is described as “plain but comfortable and substantial”, measuring 30′ x 24′ and with a Welsh slate roof.  It accommodated 72 persons.

The village “stands on an acclivity …(a slope to you and me)…making it impossible for a horse and cart to convey the materials, so that 140 loads of stone and the sand and lime used in the erection were carried on the heads of the wives and daughters of the fishermen” with the exception of the heavier stonework which was taken by the men on handbarrows.  The stone was carried 150 yards and the sand about 300 yards.  They were determined to get their chapel.

A Methodist chapel is marked on 1:2,500 Ordnance Survey maps of Runswick in 1894 to 1928, although the branch of Methodism is not specified.  It was known as High chapel, whilst the Congregational chapel, nearer the sea, was known as Low chapel.

Thanks to Pat Donnor for photographs and further information:

Excessive rainfall in the winter of 1872 to 1873 caused a major landslip at Runswick. The Northern Echo, 8 February 1873 reported:

Primitive Methodist Chapel at Runswick “The trustees of the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Runswick, acknowledge the receipt of £10 from Mr H Pease, and of £5 from Mr A Pease, toward the repair of the chapel injured by the late landslip.  These generous gifts will enable the trustees to put in a stone also.’

The Methodist Statistical Returns 1940s  record the former Runswick Primitive Methodist chapel in the Staithes Circuit as being stone built with seating in pews for 85 people.

Pat’s photographs were taken taken in January 2023 when the former chapel was self catering accommodation..   Under the white paint there does appear to maybe be some wording, above the windows and between the two pieces of wood.



Comments about this page

  • I’ve added photographs and further information provided by Pat Donnor

    By Christopher Hill (11/12/2023)

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