Carlisle, South John Street WM Mission, Cumberland

Grid Ref NY403552

 

The Wesleyan mission to this part of inner city Carlisle began around 1885 in a hired upstairs room in a residential building in South John Street. Further rooms were added as the need arose. The whole property was purchased in 1891 for £300. Plans for alterations were drawn up by H Higginson, architect and approved by the local authority on 13 November 1891. The work involved removing the partition walls on the upper floor to create a single space seating 150. The ground floor was made into two apartments each having a kitchen and a bedroom. By 1897 this accommodation had become inadequate and all the internal partitions moved to make a single space 34 fee by 28 feet and 16 feet high with a gallery along one side which could accommodate 250 people. Two new windows, each consisting of a pair of round topped windows with a circular light above were inserted to give the building a more ecclesiastical appearance. The work was carried out by EJ Hill, builder, Joseph Bell, joiner and RS Kirk, decorator. A vestry was constructed in the rear yard. A copy of the programme brochure for the Grand Bazaar held on 22 – 24 (in DFCM1/16/17) March 1899 contains an account of the development of the mission up to that date and includes a photograph of the exterior and drawings of the interior showing the gallery and the rostrum. In 1940 it had sittings for 425 in pews. There was one other room. By 1940 changing circumstances meant that the useful life of the mission was drawing to a close and permission to sell was granted on 13 October 1943. The sale realised £475. The grand piano was transferred to Currock Road and the chairs and forms to Central Hall. The building was still in use in for an indeterminate purpose and showed signs of recent alterations in 2015.

Sources

Cumbria Archive Service, Carlisle DFCM1/16/17

Cumbria Archive Service, Carlisle, DFCM1/5/9

Cumbria Archive Service, Carlisle, DFCM3/1/43-63 Carlisle WM District property schedules, 1898-1917

Cumbria Archive Service, Carlisle, CaE4/2421 and 2930 building byelaw plans

Carlisle Library, 1A287, Methodist property statistics 1940

Carlisle, South John Street WM Mission, facade, 23.01.2015
GW Oxley
Carlisle, South John Street WM Mission, detail of filled in 1897 window, 23.01.2015
GW Oxley

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