NZ0737 : Converted Primitive Methodist Chapel, Front Street, Wolsingham

taken 7 years ago, near to Wolsingham, County Durham, Great Britain

Converted Primitive Methodist Chapel, Front Street, Wolsingham
Converted Primitive Methodist Chapel, Front Street, Wolsingham
Three-storeyed chapel, otherwise known as The Gallery, designed by local architect George Race, a prominent Primitive Methodist, and built in 1885. It was built on the site of a former blacksmith's shop, with stone quarried from the nearby Redgate quarry.
National Heritage List for England Entry Number: 1233234 LinkExternal link

The chapel went out of use in 1983 and its interior fittings were taken to the USA. It has been sensitively converted into three apartments.
The Black Bull pub is to the right NZ0737 : Black Bull, Market Place, Wolsingham
Wolsingham
Wolsingham is a small market town in County Durham situated where the Waskerley Beck joins the River Wear. It styles itself as the 'Gateway to Weardale'. It is an interesting and friendly place, bustling with life, but with many old and interesting buildings. It now serves a predominantly agricultural community but once had a thriving and important steel works.

My descriptions have been aided by the local book: Wolsingham: Gateway to Weardale by Elaine Ridley, Margaret Shepheard and Vivien Welsh (ISBN 0 953074 97 B)

Wikipedia: LinkExternal link

English Heritage learning zone: Wolsingham LinkExternal link

Old photos of Wolsingham in Durham County Council collection: LinkExternal link

Old photos of Wolsingham in the Beamish Museum People's Collection LinkExternal link

Wolsingham website: LinkExternal link
Methodism in Weardale :: NY9038
Weardale is noted for almost 400 years of Christian religious dissent or nonconformity.

The 'Old Dissent' of the mid-C17th which saw the rise of Baptists LinkExternal link and Quakers or Society of Friends LinkExternal link had little lasting influence on upper Weardale.

The 'New Dissent' of the mid-C18th though had a huge following. John Wesley, who remained an Anglican clergyman, and his followers, preached widely in the dale after 1740 and set up a strong Methodist movement among the working people. Large Wesleyan Chapels were built in many centres along the valley. Those in authority largely stayed with the Anglican Church but noted the peaceful and crime-free nature of the religious people.

In the early 1800s Primitive Methodists, popularly known as 'Ranters', revitalised the movement among the working class. Preaching was often in the open air but large chapels were also built, often co-existing in the villages with the existing Wesleyan Chapels, which had more of a genteel following.

By the end of the C19th, both strands of Methodism were in decline, along with the end of the lead industry and population movement out of Weardale. The two groups re-united in 1932 usually agreeing to keep just one of the two chapels in each village.

Taken from The Archaeology and Architecture of Weardale by Caroline Hardie and Niall Hammond. The Weardale Society (2007).
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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NZ0737, 155 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Friday, 2 September, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 3 September, 2011
Geographical Context
Religious sites  Roads, Road transport  City, Town centre 
Former (from Tags)
Primitive Methodist Chapel 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 0762 3719 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:43.7783N 1:52.9919W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 0765 3721
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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