Rochdale and Area Primitive Methodist Societies and Chapels

open and closed chapels of the former Primitive Methodist connexion.

Map of former Primitive Methodist chapels in the Rochdale area, both open and closed.
Chris Wells 2023

John Bartholomew’s 1887 Gazetteer of the British Isles (in ‘A Vision of Britain’) described Rochdale like this:

Rochdale, parl. and mun. bor. and par., SE Lancashire, on river Roch and Rochdale Canal, 10 miles NE. of Manchester …  Rochdale is a place of great antiquity; there was a Roman station in the vicinity.  It was early noted for its woollen mfrs., which in the time of Elizabeth had attained to great prosperity; it is still a seat of the woollen trade, chiefly flannels, but to a greater extent it is a seat of the cotton trade, chiefly calicoes; it also has foundries, machine shops, a paper mill, &C., and in the neighbourhood are quarries of free-stone and pavement, and extensive collieries.    The parish church (St. Chad’s), of 12th century, situated on an eminence, is approached from the lower part of the town by a flight of 122 steps. …  Rochdale is the centre of the co-operative movement, which originated there in 1844. …’

In March 2023, the MyPrimitiveMethodists website does not have any Preaching Plans for the Rochdale Primitive Methodist Circuit so the table below shows all of the chapels that might have been in it.  Some of the more distant chapels may have been members of adjoining circuits: Knowlwood to the north, Oldham to the south and Bury to the west.

My main sources are the following three lists:

1867:  The following places were listed in the Rochdale Registration District of the 1867 Register of Non-Conformist Chapels (Primitive Methodist):


Brickfield, Bacup

Croft, Littleborough

Fir Lane (Preaching Room)



Newhey, near Haugh

Rochdale, Smith Street

Shawclough (Preaching Room)

Shore, near Littleborough

(Chapel and two Preaching Rooms)

Small Bridge

(Chapel and three Preaching Rooms)

Stubley, near Littleborough

Summit (Chapel and Preaching Room)

Three Lane Ends, Wuerdale (sic) and Wardle, Rochdale (A room in the occupation of Robert Taylor, Hatter)


1869:  Slater’s 1869 Rochdale Trade Directory p. 767 listed Places of Worship in Rochdale; the following places were listed under Primitive Methodist:

Elliott Street (Rochdale)

Crawford Street (Rochdale)

Smith Street (Rochdale)







Fir lane [Royton]





1870:  Report in the Rochdale Observer, 6 August 1870:

‘LITTLEBOROUGH BAND OF HOPE FESTIVAL.- Last Saturday, the 2nd annual demonstration of the Littleborough United Bands of Hope was held, and seldom has such a pleasing scene been witnessed by the inhabitants of the village.  Upwards of 700 persons joined in the procession (principally youths), representing various bands of hope in the neighbourhood.  The procession was headed by the Darwen Temperance Band, which performed a programme of music in excellent style.  The following is the order in which the schools came in the procession:- Primitive Methodists, Featherstall; Primitive Methodists, Summit; United Methodist Free Church, Littleborough; Wesleyan Methodists, Temple; Wesleyan Methodists, Littleborough; Wesleyan Methodists, Dearnley; Primitive Methodists, Shore; Primitive Methodists, Greenshill.  The procession was embellished with banners and bannerets, with very appropriate mottos, indeed, the affair altogether was a decided attraction.  The route, as shown on the bills, was all along the principal thoroughfares, which, as the young army of teetotallers passed, were crowded with spectators.  After parading the village, the procession went to the Wesleyan Chapel, where a meeting was held on the spare ground adjoining.  … The meeting was afterwards addressed by the Rev. J. Hill …  At intervals the band played selections of music, and the children enlivened the proceedings by songs, which they rendered in good style.  The whole affair passed off well.’

Birtle-cum-Bamford, Kenyon Fold, chapel18351925170
Clough, Greenhill, Clough Road1866260
Croft, Littleborough chapel1830s?1866?
Crompton Fold 1st chapel18211842?
Featherstall Sunday SchoolBefore 18691950s??
Newhey – Haugh Preaching RoomBefore 1851?
Newhey – Haugh Chapel1856After 1950s?200
Rochdale 1st societyBefore 1810?
Rochdale 1st Drake Street chapel1830/11842?
Rochdale 2nd Drake Street chapel18421864540
Rochdale Smith Street chapel18641930s520
Rochdale Crawford Street, Oldham Road chapel18541875144
Rochdale Durham Street chapel18751960350
Rochdale, Elliott Street chapel18581874?
Rochdale Jarvis Street Sunday SchoolBefore 18842015?
Rochdale Jarvis Street chapel18872014250
Royton, Fir Lane Preaching RoomBefore 1867?
Royton, Fir Lane Chapel1865108
Royton, Oldham Road, 1st chapel18671897250
Royton, Oldham Road, 2nd chapel18971970400
Shaw, Refuge Street, 1st chapel18351891-1907150
Shaw, Refuge Street, 2nd chapel1891-19071957380
Shawclough Preaching Place1851 or before?
Shawclough Zion chapel1868/91959120
Shore, Littleborough, Preaching Place1851200
Shore, Shore Road, Littleborough Chapel1867After 1960400
Shore Edge, 1st chapel18421873250
Shore Edge, 2nd chapel1873Active240
Smallbridge 1st society1824?
Smallbridge Preaching Place1836300
Smallbridge, Matthew Street chapel1865/61918300
Stubley, 1st chapel, Stubley Hall18301856250
Stubley 2nd chapel18561978330
Summit, Todmorden Road chapel1866Before 2014200
Whitworth, Tong Lane chapel18501940s300
Wuerdle and Wardle, Three Lane Ends Preaching RoomBefore 1867?
Wuerdle and Wardle, Three Lane Ends Chapel18691876??



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