Forest Town Wesleyan Chapel

'The Tin Tabernacle'

The village of Forest Town, near Mansfield was erected when the Bolsover Colliery Company sank the Mansfield Colliery (known as Crown Farm Colliery) in 1904. Coal was found in 1905 and gradually houses, shops, a school, Miners Institute, Drill Hall and places of worship were built over the next few years.

The religious needs of this coal mining community were well catered for with the erection of St David’s Mission Church 1905, St. Alban’s Church 1911 (both Anglican), a Primitive Methodist Chapel 1905, and then the Wesleyan Chapel.

From June 1909 the Wesleyans held their services in the newly opened Drill Hall which was specially inaugurated for this purpose. Land to erect a chapel was given by the Duke of Portland in 1909 and a building fund is believed to have started in November 1910.  In 1913 the Wesleyans had their own building which was built of wood and iron, and opened in May that year. It was situated across the road from the brick built Primitive Methodist Chapel where people still worship today.

However today [2015] the Wesleyan Chapel is just a memory, the numbers attending gradually declined and it closed in 1955, the building and land were sold in 1956 and eventually a brick built Catholic church was built on the land.  The old Wesleyan chapel is still recalled by some of the older generation as the ‘tin chapel’ or ‘the tin tabernacle’.

More information on the Wesleyan Chapel and the history of Forest Town can be found in ‘Forest Town The Village That Grew out of Coal’ by Pauline Marples details available from

Private collection

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