Northampton, Gold Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Northamptonshire

The Wesleyans occupied a succession of premises before settling at Gold Street. Initially they used the regimental riding school of the Royal Horse Guards, followed by Dicken’s Forge in Bridge Street and then a building on the green near St Peter’s Church. On 17 January they bought a site in King Street on which to build a chapel. There they remained until the Gold Street chapel was built in 1815. The site cost £500 and the building £2963. The formal opening was on 11 January 1816. Galleries were added in 1817 bringing the total cost of the property to around £5000. A day school was added at a later date (in 1940 it was said to be of stone). at a cost of £5000. In 1850 it provided 350 free and 720 other sittings. This figure seems odd in the light of the capacity stated in 1873 (812 sittings). Did it represent the total capacity stated in error? Vestries and classrooms were added in 1873 at a cost of £680 and the building was “restored” in 1878. A Sunday school for 600 children designed by S J Newman was built in 1886. It cost £1650. The plan shows the original chapel surrounded by other buildings and the 1886 Sunday school facing St Katherines Street. In 1940 there was seating for 730 in pews, a schoolroom and eleven other rooms. In 1959 Gold Street merged with the Regent Square chapel. The combined church was known as Northampton Central Methodist Church. It used the Regent Square premises and the Gold Street building was let. Subsequently the building was demolished and replaced.
Sources
Northampton Mercury, 30 December 1815
Northamptonshire Record Office, NMC426, The Northampton Commission, 1963
Ward, GS, The 1851 Religious Census of Northamptonshire, p 103-4; The National Archives HO129/168/36 ecclesiastical census
Returns of Accommodation provided by Wesleyan Methodist Chapels and other Preaching Places, 1873 No 69
Francis Whellan, History, Topography, and Directory of Northamptonshire, 1874 p142
Northamptonshire Record Office, NMC12, 13, 14, 453, 454, Gold Street Circuit trust schedules, 1911-1959
Methodist Church Buildings: Statistical returns including seating accommodation as at July 1st 1940, No 680
Site plan taken from the 25 inch OS plan of Northamptonshire, sheet XLV 9 of 1899-1901 and is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland (Map images website).
Site visit 14.06.2019

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