A competition was arranged for the rebuilding of Brunswick Wesleyan Chapel, Pendleton, in March 1879. The cost was not to exceed £8,500.
The designs of R.K.Freeman were chosen, for a chapel accommodating 1,170 persons, as follows: – Ground floor, 610; gallery, 302; fall seats, 70; scholar’s seats, 150 and choir, 40. Three class-rooms or vestries, with choir vestry over, lavatories, &c., are provided. A lecture hall at the back accommodates 162 and has direct communication with the chapel. It is provided with vestry, lavatory, &c. A wagon-shaped ceiling is shown in section for the chapel roof. Yorkshire stone dressings, with parpoints from Southowram, were proposed for the general walling. The estimated cost was £8,584.
The opening services of the Brunswick Wesleyan Chapel, Pendleton took place on Good Friday, 15 April 1881. “The new building is of stone in the Gothic style, with a tower and spire, and has been designed by Mr R K Freeman, architect, Bolton. The length of the edifice is 96 feet, the interior, (omitting space occupied by the vestries and organ chamber) being 76 feet long. The width is 55 feet in the body and 75 feet between the transepts, which constitute an important feature of the interior arrangements. The roofs are of steep pitch. Seats are provided for nearly 1,200 persons, the arrangement being a radiating form from the pulpit or rostrum, the transepts having been introduced in order to increase the width and to bring the audience as much as possible around the preacher. The floor falls somewhat towards the pulpit. A lecture hall adjoins the chapel on the north side, and in it is seating accommodation for about 160 persons. The cost of the building has been between £11,000 and £12,000 and the work has been carried out by Messrs. R Neill & Sons, Strangeways (Manchester).”
At the time of the 1940 Statistical Returns, it could still seat 1100.
The chapel closed in 1977 and was demolished, but a photograph of the building may be seen here
R. Knill Freeman (1840-1905) designed a very wide range of buildings like many practices of the time: he was mainly an ecclesiastical architect but also designed schools, pubs, theatres, pier improvements, vicarages, libraries, town halls, museums, and public baths. He designed churches all over Lancashire and houses for Bolton’s more prosperous citizens.
Grid Ref: SJ814994
Reference: The twenty-sixth annual report of the Wesleyan Chapel Committee, 1880 page 133
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 https://manchestervictorianarchitects.org.uk/
Building News 21 March 1879 page 299
Manchester Guardian Mon 14 July to Sat 19 July 1879 Page 4 (Contracts)
British Architect 11 April 1879
Builder 16 April 1881: page 491.
Salford Weekly Courier 3 January 1880 Page 2
Building News 9 January 1880 page 39