Cirencester's Primitive Methodist chapels.

Lewis Lane and Ashcroft Road GL7 1RA

Ashcroft Road Primitive Methodist Church. | Photo taken in 2016 by E & R Pearce
Ashcroft Road Primitive Methodist Church.
Photo taken in 2016 by E & R Pearce
Site of the Lewis Lane Primitive Methodist Chapel, now a car park | Photo taken 2016 by E & R Pearce
Site of the Lewis Lane Primitive Methodist Chapel, now a car park
Photo taken 2016 by E & R Pearce

The Primitive Methodist magazine for June and November 1851 contains updates on the beginnings of Cirencester Primitive Methodist chapel. The foundation stone was layed on 10th April and the chapel opened for business on September 21st.

The chapel measured 40′ x 25′ with an impressive 19′ height from floor to ceiling.  Overall it could accommodate 275 souls.  It also possessed a vestry sized 20′ x 10′. 

Rev A Warcup, superintendant of the Cirencester circuit, says in the foreword to the handbook of the annual six-day synod of the Primitive Methodist Church for the Brinkworth and Swindon district held at Ashcroft Road Church, Cirencester in 1916, that  “the Primitive Methodists made a vigorous attempt to get a permanent footing (in Cirencester) in 1824, but did not then succeed. In 1845, the Cirencester Circuit was made with only one chapel, which was at Oaksey, seven miles away, all other preaching places being in rented rooms or the open-air. A settled dwelling-place was found for our people in 1851 by the erection of the sanctuary in Lewis–lane. Forty-five years afterwards a bold step was taken in the building of a minister’s house, church and school in Ashcroft-road, an ideal situation at a cost of£1,864.”  By 1916, the Connexion still retained its first chapel at Oaksey, having also properties in seven villages and a rented mission-room.

In June 2014 Google Street View shows the Lewis Lane site as a car park. The Ashcroft Road chapel is now the joint Methodist URC Ashcroft Church on the corner of Ashcroft Road and Ashcroft Gardens.


Reference:

Primitive Methodist magazine for June and November 1851 pp. 376; 698

Brinkworth District Synod Handbook 1916 accessed online August 25th 2016 at:

http://www.wiltshire-opc.org.uk/Items/Oaksey/Oaksey%20-%20Primitive%20Methodist%20Synod%201916.pdf

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