Dry Drayton
Nonconformity

Sponsor

Victoria County History

Publication

Author

A. P. M. Wright & C. P. Lewis (Editors)

Year published

1989

Supporting documents

Pages

88-89

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'Dry Drayton: Nonconformity', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9: Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds (1989), pp. 88-89. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=15335 Date accessed: 24 October 2014.


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NONCONFORMITY

Some villagers were in 1669 already attending conventicles elsewhere and were excommunicated for not going to church. (fn. 62) They probably included five or six men, including three of the Giffords, who with their wives were absent from church c. 1680. (fn. 63) John Gifford lent his barn for an Independent minister from Cambridge to hold a meeting in 1700, (fn. 64) and Thomas Gifford registered his house for dissenting worship in 1736. (fn. 65) His family was perhaps the 'Presbyterian' one reported in 1728. (fn. 66) No dissent was noticed in the late 18th century, but by 1807 some 'deluded' villagers were listening to visiting preachers. (fn. 67) Houses were again registered for dissenting worship in 1802, 1808, and 1819, (fn. 68) and thrice in the 1820s by Henry Wetenhall, (fn. 69) the preacher who in 1825 served a small Baptist meeting house, formally founded in 1824. Its congregation was allegedly not growing. (fn. 70)

Its successor, a Particular Baptist chapel, rebuilt in 1843, (fn. 71) standing on what was later called Meeting House Lane, had 150 sittings, only a sixth free, in 1851. The minister, from Cambridge, claimed an attendance of 80 in the morning and 150 in the afternoon. (fn. 72) The site, held under a trust deed of 1856, was enfranchised in 1859. (fn. 73) In 1873 the chapel was attended by c. 50 adults and 30 children. (fn. 74) Adults were sometimes baptized in ponds in the parish. (fn. 75) The formal membership declined from 26 in 1875 to 12 by 1895, served by three local preachers. (fn. 76) Services ceased c. 1908, and the building was sold in 1913. (fn. 77) It was used for storage in 1960. (fn. 78)

The Primitive Methodists, preaching at Dry Drayton from the 1820s, (fn. 79) opened a chapel there in the 1850s. It stood north-east of the church, on the road past the Park, sometimes called Wesleyan Lane. It was rebuilt in 1863 in grey brick with round-headed windows. (fn. 80) In 1873 its congregation included 40 adults. (fn. 81) It was still open in 1985, having been enlarged in 1975, when its pastor had been serving for 25 years. (fn. 82) Another Primitive Methodist chapel, a hut at Childerley Gate at the south-west corner of Dry Drayton, was opened by 1899 and closed by 1980. (fn. 83)

A Protestant interdenominational chapel was built at Bar Hill in 1972. (fn. 84)

Footnotes

62 Orig. Rec. of Early Nonconf. ed. Turner, i. 39.
63 C.U.L., E.D.R., B 2/67, f. 21v.; B 2/70, ff. 13 and v., 47 and v.
64 Proc. C.A.S. lxi. 83.
65 P.R.O., RG 31/2, Ely dioc. no. 55.
66 C.U.L., B 8/1, f. 9.
67 Ibid. C 1/1; C 1/4.
68 P.R.O., RG 31/2, Ely archdeac. no. 14; ibid. Ely dioc. nos. 199, 378.
69 Ibid. Ely dioc. nos. 431, 452, 490.
70 C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/6; cf. Baptist Handbk. (1871), 130.
71 Gardner's Dir. Cambs. (1851); cf. Walker, Dry Drayton, i. 75.
72 P.R.O., HO 129/186 (1), f. 5.
73 Char. Com. files; C.R.O., 132/M 51, pp. 189-92.
74 C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/25.
75 Walker, Dry Drayton, i. 77-8.
76 Baptist Handbk. (1871), 130; (1885), 172; (1895), 186.
77 Char. Com. files; not in Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1908).
78 Camb. Ind. Press, 19 Aug. 1960.
79 Tice, Methodism in Cambs. 61.
80 G.R.O. Worship Reg. nos. 14076, 18145; cf. Walker, Dry Drayton, i. 75; Camb. Chron. 19 Sept. 1868; P.R.O., RG 10/1579.
81 C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/25.
82 Camb. Evening News, 3 July 1974; 22 Apr. 1975.
83 83 G.R.O. Worship Reg. no. 37099.
84 84 Ibid. no. 75446; Camb. Evening News, 29 Jan. 1974; above, church.