Northampton, Regent Square/ Grafton Street, Centenary Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Northamptonshire

This locality was still being developed when a chapel was built in 1838/9 at a cost of £1594. At that time it was said to be in Todd’s Lane, Grafton Street. In 1851 it provided 115 free and 212 other sittings. It seems that in 1871 this building was replaced by the Regent’s Square building which had 479 sittings in 1873. This was a plain brick building with a “Grecian-Doric porched entrance. Later it was reported that the building had been extended in 1873, 1898, and 1906. One later source states that the chapel was built in 1877. Could this be the same work as was assigned to 1873 and could it imply that the 1839 chapel had been replaced by a more modern building? In 1940 the seating capacity was 900 and there were two schoolrooms and fourteen other rooms. These developments are shown on the site plans. Plan 1 from 1883-1887 shows the chapel and the Sunday school surrounded by other buildings and reached through passages from Grafton Street and Regent Square. Plan 2 from 1924-1926 also shows the second school building fronting on Regent Square. The chapel was closed some time after 1959 and the whole area has been redeveloped with, among other buildings, a casino
Sources
Ward, GS, The 1851 Religious Census of Northamptonshire, p 100; TNA HO129/168/21
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
Methodist Church Buildings: Statistical returns including seating accommodation as at July 1st 1940, No 680
Site plans taken from the 25 inch OS plan of Northamptonshire, sheet XLV 5 of 1883-1887 and 1924-1926 and are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland (Map images website).
Site visit 14.06.2019

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