Crowland, Brotherhouse Bar Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Lincolnshire

A remnant of the wayside chapel
Photo: D Secker 2023

This is a small, scattered hamlet in the extreme north of the parish of Crowland. A toll bar once stood here on the old main drove from Crowland to Spalding. It is said that in olden times a “Brother House” provided lodgings for monks from Crowland Abbey.

A Wesleyan chapel, with sittings for 75, opened here on Thursday 27th June 1895. The building, situated on Queen’s Bank and parallel to the road, stood on what was little more than a wide grass verge. It was constructed of red brick, had an entrance porch, and single and double lancet-style windows.

The dedication was performed by Rev H Sykes of Spalding and followed by a tea at Mr Hardy’s Queen’s Bank Farm. All but a few pounds of the total cost (£134) had been raised by the time of the opening. Much credit was given to Mr Hardy (sometime steward of the Crowland circuit) and his family.

In its heyday, the chapel had a large Sunday school but not a separate schoolroom. For long, the population of this hamlet had no access to religious worship save for the long (and at times treacherous) journey to either Crowland or Cowbit.

At the time of opening it was in the Crowland Wesleyan circuit. After union in 1932 it became a member of Peterborough Methodist circuit.

By 1962, falling membership and attendances led to its closure. The building was sold in 1963 and used as a store for many years until demolished in the early years of the 21st century.

There is a 1916 photo of the Sunday school in the newspaper mentioned below.
The spot where the chapel once stood is now (unofficially) marked by a number of bricks still cemented together, as if from a portion of a wall.

Note: A few records pertaining to this chapel are in the Methodist Archive at Northamptonshire Records Office.

Sources include:
Methodist Church Buildings Statistical Returns 1940
Spalding Guardian 8th April 1976

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