Rempstone Heath

Rempstone Heath Wesleyan Chapel, Breaches Lane, 2022

The first of eight Wesleyan chapels on our tour of the Isle of Purbeck in 2022.

On the 1886/1888 OS map a Wesleyan chapel is shown north of Fox Ground. By the 1926/38 revisions it has disappeared. The location would certainly be appropriate to the name. I understood from the occupant of the house at Fox Ground that there are remains there, but they did not know what they were. The later wooden chapel is further south, on the north side of Breaches Lane, just east of the junction with Bushey Lane. For many years from the 1950s onwards, Hants and Dorset Christian Youth Camps held summer camps for young people in nearby fields and the chapel is still used by them as a store.

This is the entry from the 1851 Religious Census.

Place of worship: None.

Parish or place: Rempstone Heath, Corfe Castle.

Date erected, consecrated or licensed: [not stated].

Religious denomination: Wesleyan Methodist.

Informant: William Curtis, Steward.

Estimated attendance on Sunday 30 March 1851: morning [not stated], afternoon 60, evening [not stated].

There was also a congregation of 41 at nearby Scotland Heath that Sunday Afternoon; the informant was William Watson, described as Minister.

Dorset History Centre has records under NM8/S23 for Trustees Minutes, Chapel Stewards and Society Accounts from 1922 – 1970.

On the lane going northeast toward Burnbake Forest Lodges is a house called Old Weslyan (sic) Hall; I was not aware of this at the time we were in Rempstone, and I have subsequently not been able to discover whether it has any Methodist connection or not.

Comments about this page

  • It has just been pointed out to me that on page 66 of his book ‘Purbeck The ingrained Island’, local author Paul Hyland, says that ‘behind Rempstone Hall at Foxground’ was a cottage ‘converted to Wesleyanism by the removal of its upper floor’ and that ‘bi-annual rents, about one pound in the 1870s’ were paid ‘until it was razed by fire in 1920.’

    By Mark Churchill (31/12/2023)

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