Bolton, Victoria Wesleyan chapel, Grecian Crescent

Victoria Wesleyan Chapel and Schools, Bolton
Wesleyan Chapel Committee, 1872

This chapel was opened in March 1872, by the Rev. John Rattenbury. It was built as the Wesleyans extended their activities throughout the town. The building which is Gothic in style, is of brick, with polished Yorkshire stone dressings. The internal dimensions of the chapel are 77ft. by 46 ft., and the building will accommodate 950 persons. It is 36ft. 6in. high from floor to ceiling, the pews and pulpit are of pitch pine, and the organ is by Messrs. Conacher and Co., Huddersfield. The cost of the chapel was £5,500. A lecture room 42ft. by 23ft. is attached to the chapel, and an infant school has been erected at the sole cost of Messrs. T. Taylor and Sons, Grecian Mills. The architects for the chapel were Messrs. Cunliffe and Freeman, and the builder Mr. J. Martin.

The drawing by the architects suggests that this chapel was in a rural idyll, whereas it was in the shadow of Grecian Mills, a major cotton mill dating from 1845, and extended on a number of occasions. The records of the chapel, including the baptismal register, date from 1868 which suggests that the congregation were in temporary accommodation whilst this chapel was built.

The school closed in 1953, and the chapel in 1977.

Built to seat 950, the seating was given as 1000 in 1873, whereas at the time of the 1940 Statistical Returns, it could seat 888.

Grid Ref: SD717078

Reference: The eighteenth annual report of the Wesleyan Chapel Committee, 1872 page 127

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

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

Architects of Greater Manchester, 1800-1940. Accessed 17 December 2019

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