New Greenwich – along with New Woolwich, New Gateshead and many other “new” places in the town, were so named by the owners of factory sites along the River Tyne. New Greenwich is an area we know more about these days.
Hawk’s Crawshay were one of Gateshead’s leading employers in the mid 19th century and constructed whole villages for their employees including housing, schools, libraries and chapels.
The New Greenwich chapel was sited on what is now the South Shore Road. Although nowadays the site is in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead, at that time the land was owned Newcastle as a result of a leasing agreement dating back to 1555. It was not sold back to Gateshead until the 1930s.
Hawk’s Crawshay provided the funds to build the chapel (and also a Primitive Methodist Chapel at Crawshay Street) for the Society which commenced around 1831. The whole estate – including the chapel – was designed by John & Benjamin Green and many of the houses were still standing in the 1960s.
The Wesleyan Society does not appear to have lasted long – perhaps because the Primitives were progressing better – and the building was adapted to become an extension of the village school.