Ridgmont Wesleyan Methodist Chapel

Bedfordshire

Ridgmont is situated near the M1 on the Greensand ridge.

A Wesleyan Methodist congregation was registered for worship on 7 October 1845 by John Pickavant Wesleyan Minister Bedford Circuit.

The 1851 Religious Census includes a return for Ridgmont Wesleyan Methodist Chapel made by RJ Allsworth, Wesleyan Day School Master. The return states that the chapel had been erected in 1835 and contained 150 Free Sittings, and 90 other. Attendances on Census day, 30 March were:

General   CongregationCensus   Day30 MarchAverage   for preceding

6 months

Afternoon:

General   Congregation

Sunday   Scholars

Total

 

60

90

150

 

120

90

210

Evening:

General   Congregation

Sunday   Scholars

Total

 

133

0

133

 

200

0

200

A stone in the gable of the now converted chapel states that a new chapel was built in 1853, but it also notes that in 1991 this building itself was reconstructed. The new chapel was registered for worship on 11 February 1854 by William Henry Clarkson, Bedford Superintendent Minister. The 1873 Returns of accommodation in Wesleyan Methodist Chapels 1873 records this chapel as having 222 Sittings.

In February 1903, Ridgmont Wesleyan Chapel hosted Mr Nimrod Bunt with his Mission Car ‘Bethel’. The Bedfordshire Time and Independent noting that, ‘So far the services have been well-attended.’

The Luton times and Advertiser of 11 March 1910 noted that ‘The Duke of Bedford has kindly granted the Wesleyans a piece of ground adjoining their chapel for building a new schoolroom.’ In 1934 electric lighting was installed in Ridgmont chapel by the Lawson family in memory of their parents’.

Ridgmont Wesleyan Chapel closed in 1947 and was sold in 1949. The registration for worship was cancelled on 29 June 1954. The Chapel is currently a Guest House.

 

Sources and References

Bedfordshire Chapels and Meeting Houses: Official Registration 1672-1901 Volume 75 Bedfordshire Historical Record Society – Edited by Edwin Welch

The Ecclesiastical Census, Bedfordshire, March 1851 Volume 54 Bedfordshire Historical Record Society – Edited by DW Bushby

Returns of accommodation In Wesleyan Methodist Chapels 1873

Luton times and Advertiser of 11 March 1910

Bedfordshire Times and Independet 20 February 1903

Bedfordshire Times 14 December 1934

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Record Service – Community Archives website

Comments about this page

  • Hey RJ Allsworth is my g.g.grandfather. In 1858 he came out to New Zealand with his wife and famliy as a schoolmaster to the Kai Iwi mission before becoming a Presbyterian minister

    By Malcolm Idoine (02/09/2015)

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