Windhill, Shipley, Yorkshire - Bethel P.M. Chapel

Bethel PM Church
By permission of Steve Gaunt
Yorkshire CCL.12 (Baildon; Bradford; Idle; Shipley; Ordnance Survey Map 25 inch to 1mile. Revised 1934, Published 1936.
National Library of Scotland permitted under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC- SA) licence.’
Google 3D Satelite image - 13 April 2020
Google Maps
Sketch of chapel. Open the attachment to see the sketch annotated with construction notes.

The Windhill Primitive Methodist chapel was on Leeds Road. The chapel was opened on the 27th November 1868 and demolished in the late 1960’s. The 1941 Statistical Return records the chapel was built of brick and stone. It seated 462, had one hall and an additional five rooms.

The view of the main street through Windhill, (Leeds Road); Thackley to the East and Shipley to the West is shown on the map and Google 3D image.

Little has changed since 1936, with Christchurch and the surrounding houses still standing. However, the same cannot be said for the P.M. Chapel, which was unfortunately demolished in the 1960’s. It stood on the corner of Bethel Road and Leeds Road, opposite the motor company, where presently there is an empty field. An enduring indicator today of the Chapel‘s existence is in the name of the road, ‘Bethel‘, meaning ‘House of God‘ in Hebrew. It is at least fortunate that nothing was built on the site as it will be easier to rebuild this Chapel when the opportunity occurs.

This church has significance to me as my Great-Great Grandfather’s Uncle, Edward Watmuff, was not only one of the church leaders, but also signed the mortgage for it too.

The original records for the church are held by the West Yorkshire Archive Service, at their Bradford Office, Margaret McMillan Tower. Please find reference and link below;

Reference: 40D76/2/14
Date: 1862-1968:
Description: ‘includes baptism register, 1862-1934; leaders and trustees meetings minute books, 1865-1963; Sunday School journal, 1892-1895; miscellaneous deeds and correspondence etc’ 

https://www.catalogue.wyjs.org.uk/CalmView/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=BC76040%2f2%2f14

There is also an excellent local history website: ‘Calverly.info’, that has transcribed and uploaded the churches Baptism and Marriage records (link http://www.calverley.info/wind_prim.htm).

An aerial photograph of Windhill on the Bradford Museums website shows the chapel before it was demolished. Christ Church is more or less in the middle of the photograph with Windhill PM chapel to the left and across the road..

Downloads

A sketch of the Chapel based on a photograph from 1955 with annotations from a contemporary newspaper, Bradford Observer, regarding the construction process.

Comments about this page

  • The Building News and Engineering Journal, vol. 87, July to Dec., 1904, page 216 :
    Aug., 12th. Windmill Primitive Methodist Church will secure a new organ at a cost of £500.

    By Raymond E. O. Ella (02/09/2021)
  • Pauline,
    Thank you for the information in relation to the date of your mother’s funeral. The text has been amended to reflect this.

    By Geoff Dickinson (09/11/2020)
  • The church wasn’t demolished in ,1960 as my mother’s funeral was held there in 1966 and I also attended brownies and guides there after that year

    By Pauline Mitchell (07/11/2020)

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