Brough, Westmorland

Brough, Westmorland, High Street Methodist Church
Philip Thornborow, 28 June 2018
Brough, High Street

Brough Methodist Church, pictured, was built on High Street as a Wesleyan Methodist chapel in 1905, and is still open for worship, with a current membership of 14.

In both 1940 and 1970 it was estimated to hold 150 people, with the Sunday School hall having seating for 86.

Grid ref NY795146

Brough first appears as a cause within the Barnard Castle Circuit in 1791 with 10 members. The Circuit was split in 1803, when Brough became head of a Circuit. The first Wesleyan chapel was built on Bayside in 1802, not far from the current site. The following indenture of 23 July 1812 ( Close Roll 9309, 53 George III, pt. 18.) establishes the legal title.

“Indenture between George Atkinson of Oxenthwaite, parish of Brough, yeo.; Thomas Hall of Potts, parish of Crosby Garrett, Robert Longstaff of Brough Sowerby and John Middleton of Lowgill, yeo. of the 1st part; John Rumney of Market Brough, surgeon of the 2nd part; William Hunter of the same, minister of the Gospel of the 3rd part; and Mark Raine of Longridge, parish of Musgrave, yeo. and John Gill of Spuddich, in the township of Stainmore, yeo. of the 4th part. Whereas by feoffment on 13 May, 1803, made between the said John Rumney of the one part and William Fenwick of Barnard Castle, preacher of the Gospel, Thomas Sayer of Long Marton, yeo., and the said George Atkinson, Thomas Hall, Robert Longstaff and John Middleton, of the second part, for the consideration of £10 the said John Rumney granted to them a piece of ground on the south side of the town of Market Brough and east of a lane leading from the east end of Brough Bridge, 30 by 25 feet, upon which was then erecting a Chapel or preaching house for divine worship for the use of the Wesleyan Methodists, leaving a slip of ground on the east side bounded by Mrs. Norman’s garth on the north and east, the garden of John Rumney on the south and the said lane on the west. And whereas the building of the said Chapel was soon after completed and has been ever since and is now used by the said Society accordingly, and whereas doubts have arisen whether the said Indenture be of full effect, it not having been enrolled, in order to obviate such doubts the said John Rumney now grants the premises aforesaid to the said Trustees (William Fenwick and Thomas Sayer both being dead) for the further payment of 5s.”

On 30th March 1851 Robert Longstaffe, the Steward, reported that the chapel contained 85 free and 65 other places. The afternoon service had been attended by 40 adults and 22 Sunday School scholars (average attendance being 50 and 14), whilst the evening service had attracted 54 adults and 7 scholars (the average being 65 adults).

In 1873 the chapel had seating for 143.

The Ordnance Survey maps prior to 1905 are inconsistent in locating the Wesleyan chapel. The description in the indenture places the 1802 chapel about 100 yards from the current one. More information would be welcomed.


Kirby Stephen, Appleby and Tebay Methodist Circuit. Brough Methodist Church Web. 21 August 2019.

Clarke, D.F. (1983). An isolated holy community: Methodism in the Upper Eden Valley. Ph.D. University of Leicester.

Curwen, John F. “Parishes (East Ward): St Michael, Brough.” The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby. Kendal: Titus Wilson and Son, 1932. 94-109. British History Online. Web. 21 August 2019.

Myles, William. A Chronological History of the People Called Methodists, of the Connexion of the late Rev. John Wesley; from their Rise, in the Year 1729, to their Last Conference, in 1812. 4th ed. London: printed at the Conference-Office … by Thomas Cordeux, 1813 p 437

National Archives H.O. 129/573-2-11

Returns of accommodation … 1873. London: Wesleyan Conference Office, 1875

Statistical returns … as at July 1st 1940. Manchester: Methodist Church, Department of Chapel Affairs, 1947

Statistical returns 1970. Manchester: Methodist Church, Department of Chapel Affairs, 1972



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