NZ0737 : Former Methodist Chapel, 'Meeting House Lane', Wolsingham
near to Wolsingham, County Durham, Great Britain
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 Link and Quakers or Society of Friends 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).
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)
English Heritage learning zone: Wolsingham Link
Old photos of Wolsingham in Durham County Council collection: Link
Old photos of Wolsingham in the Beamish Museum People's Collection Link
Wolsingham website: Link
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- Grid Square
- NZ0737, 138 images (more nearby )
- Andrew Curtis (find more nearby)
- Image classification?
- Date Taken
- Friday, 2 September, 2011 (more nearby)
- Saturday, 3 September, 2011
- Geographical Context
- Former (from Tags)
- Subject Location
OSGB36: NZ 0746 3718 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:43.7730N 1:53.1409W
- Photographer Location
- OSGB36: NZ 0747 3717
- View Direction
- Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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