Skipton Bridge Street Primitive Methodist Chapel

Chapel with built-in cottages

Unidentified PM Date plaque in Craven Museum, Skipton - but probably from Skipton Bridge Street Primitive Methodist chapel
GW Oxley 2019
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Bridge Street Skipton Primitive Methodist chapel

There is an account by WL in the 1836 Primitive Methodist magazine of the opening of Skipton Primitive Methodist chapel on 26th October 1835 when the preachers were Bros W Clowes, J Hutchinson, J Bywater and W Carthy.

The chapel, which was in the Silsden circuit, measured 33′ wide by 56′ long and 26′ high with galleries at each end and on the front side. There were two cottages built under the end galleries and the cost of land and building was £700.

The chapel was replaced in 1878-9 by a huge building in Gargrave Road. Find out more on this page.

I was unsure at first as to where this chapel was. In 2018 Howard Richter identifies it still in existence as The Old Fire Station in Bridge Street:  see  here. Howard’s evidence is:

“A building named ’Providence Chapel ’ is shown on the 1856 1:1056 – five feet to the mile – Ordnance Survey map at about SD 9879 5171
https://www.old-maps.co.uk/#/Map/398792/451712/13/100454
This is now the ‘The Old Fire Station’, as shown on the 1989 1:1250
https://www.old-maps.co.uk/#/Map/398792/451712/13/101329

I suspect that this is the (1835) chapel  because:

  1. It is indeed built “over a stream”[as in the magazine account] , the Eller Beck
  2. If I squint, I think I can make out the text ‘Primitive Methodist’ on the 1856 map noted above
  3. On the next available OS map – the 1891 1:500, this chapel is not named, and the map shows, only a few yards to the north-west , another PM chapel. This immense building, now vanished, is the 1878-9 Gargrave Road chapel.

The magazine account of the opening says that “The chapel, which was in the Silsden circuit, measured 33′ wide by 56′ long and 26′ high with galleries at each end and on the front side. There were two cottages built under the end galleries”

This Streetview looking south-west shows one cottage to the left-and-below of the large ‘CAFE’ sign.

This Streetview, looking south-of-east shows what I think must be the blocked front-door of the other cottage behind the left-hand green lid. (Note, incidentally, the ‘Weak Bridge’ sign to the left of the bin).”

Reference

Primitive Methodist magazine 1836 p.268

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