The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Charnham Street was built in 1868 on the site of the White Hart Inn (which traded from 1686 until 1864).
The Chapel closed in 1970, and was demolished in 1971.
- Wesleyan Chapel, Charnham Street
- The only remaining part of the churchyard wall, Charnham Street, Feb 2010
- Wesleyan Chapel, 9 Feb 1970 (DM)
The Wesleyan Chapel, Charnham Street:
The predecessor to the Wesleyan Chapel was the Ebenezer Chapel in Church Street which had been built in 1807.
In the 1860s, at a time of considerable religious fervour, church restoration and new building, the Wesleyan Methodists decided to build a grand new Gothic style chapel in Charnham Street. The architects were Wilson & Wlson of Bath.
The new Wesleyan Chapel was built at a cost of about £3,000, after which the old Ebenezer Chapel in Church Street was used only for a Day and Sunday School.
The Wesleyan Chapel stood on the site of the White Hart Inn (which traded from 1686 until 1864), opposite the Bear, and therefore occupied a prominent position in the town. Follow this link for extracts of documents relating to the purchase of the White Hart site.
With the increase in traffic in the 20th century, this proved to be a poor site both as a Church and as a school as people found it difficult to cross the busy road. In 1970 it was finally closed and was demolished the following year.
Mrs Jean Bolton wrote (Sep 2004) to add an interesting insight into the re-use of building materials from the demolished Wesleyan chapel: "the house we first occupied in Hungerford (6 Fairview Road) was built by Mr Lilliwhite, an almost-retired builder. He was married to a much younger wife, and wanted her to have somewhere special to live in when he'd died. Unfortunately she was taken ill and died before he completed the house.
The point is, much of the material used came from the Weslyan chapel in Charnham Street, which Mr Lilliwhite was helping to demolish. Window ledges in particular made from old pews, and a lot of stonework - specially in the garden, from the chapel.
Poor old chap - he was so upset by the wife's death, he could not bear to continue, and so it was put on the market. The garden contained many rare plants, taken (I regret to say) from cuttings from various Open Gardens visited by Mr and Mrs Lilliwhite! We were later told by a neighbour that he only considered selling to us because we were interested in - and could name - these plants, and had turned down offers from other people who failed the test!"
The site is now a residential development called Chapel Court.