Earls Barton Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built of brick in 1870 (image 2) on the site of an earlier chapel. It cost £1350 and measured 47 feet by 33 feet. It was enlarged in 1915 to provide an extra 34 sittings. In 1931 there were 44 lettable and 398 free sittings, 442 in all. In 1940 the chapel measured 60 feet by 40 feet and seated 192 people. There were two galleries 14 feet by 10 feet and one 20 feet by 15 feet (images 4 and 5)seating a further 200 people making a total of 392 (images 4 and 5). The school building was built behind the chapel so that they are in effect one building. It was built in two phases. The date of the first building has not been found but the enlargement was made in 1913 (images 6, 7. 9). In 1940 the school hall measured 40 feet square and there were three vestries or classrooms and two institutes or clubrooms. It continues to be used as Methodist place of worship.
The façade is classical in style with a pediment and four pilasters. The windows have round arches of pale masonry reminiscent of the much earlier windows at nearby Great Billing. The name and date plaque is in the centre of the pediment. The name is set beneath a masonry arch which becomes wider towards the top where it meets a long and slender, projecting, keystone. The dates are carved on the imposts. Most of the decoration is provided by loured brickwork, mostly white and blue which is to be found in the edging of the pediment and in string courses.
I wish to thank the people looking after the War on Waste stalls for their warm welcome and allowing me to see the interior of the chapel.
Northamptonshire Record Office, WBMC9, Wellingborough Trust schedules, 1855-1879 and accommodation returns, 1873 and 1881
John Rylands Library University of Manchester DDPD2/110 Returns of Accommodation provided by Wesleyan Methodist Chapels and other Preaching Places, 1931 (Wellingborough Circuit)
John Rylands Library University of Manchester DDPD1Methodist Accommodation returns, 1940/ 686
Nene Valley Circuit website www.nenevalleymethodist.org.uk/our-churches/
Site visit 12.8.2021