NZ0737 : Former Methodist Chapel, 'Meeting House Lane', Wolsingham

near to Wolsingham, County Durham, Great Britain

Former Methodist Chapel, 'Meeting House Lane', Wolsingham
Former Methodist Chapel, 'Meeting House Lane', Wolsingham
Built in 1776 in the narrow Whitfield Lane for the Wolsingham Methodist Society. Later stables and joinery workshop for undertakers, now outbuildings to Whitfield House NZ0737 : Whitfield House, Front Street, Wolsingham. John Wesley preached here on 5 June 1788 but may be the same location where he preached from a rough stone pulpit even earlier. The building was used by the Methodists until 1836 when they moved into new premises on the north side of Front Street NZ0737 : Wolsingham Methodist Church, Front Street
LinkExternal link
There is a photo taken in the 1980s here LinkExternal link and a much older one here 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).
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
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
year taken
2011
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NZ0737, 135 images   (more nearby)
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Geograph
Date Taken
Friday, 2 September, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 3 September, 2011
Geographical Context
Uplands  Religious sites  City, Town centre 
Former (from Tags)
Wesleyan Methodist Chapel 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 0746 3718 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:43.7730N 1:53.1409W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 0747 3717
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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