Hadley and Horton
Nonconformity

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Victoria County History

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Author

G C Baugh, C R Elrington (Editors), A P Baggs, D C Cox, Jessie McFall, P A Stamper, A J L Winchester

Year published

1985

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Pages

263-265

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'Hadley and Horton: Nonconformity', A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11: Telford (1985), pp. 263-265. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18156 Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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NONCONFORMITY.

John Nott, ejected vicar of Sheriffhales and almost certainly a Presbyterian, (fn. 37) was said to have preached for three or four years in a chapel near 'Hadly' in the 1660s (fn. 38) but it is not certain that Hadley in Wellington parish was meant. Between 1715 and 1729 there was a monthly Presbyterian lecture at Horton, usually given by a Mr. Seddon of Newport, (fn. 39) but no Presbyterians were reported in 1772. (fn. 40)

The most numerous nonconformists in Hadley were the Methodists. In 1813 and 1823 there was regular Wesleyan preaching in Ketley and New Hadley, and in 1823 at Ragfield and Hadley village. (fn. 41) Ketley Wesleyan chapel was built in 1832 (fn. 42) in Hadley township, on Watling Street (later Station Road) c. 100 metres west of the junction with Waterloo Road. (fn. 43) In 1851 there were 226 seats, which were nearly all filled morning and evening. (fn. 44) The chapel, rebuilt in brick c. 1883 (fn. 45) to the design of Herbert Isitt, (fn. 46) closed c. 1961 (fn. 47) and was demolished for road widening, (fn. 48) being one of three small Methodist chapels close together that were sold so that a new church could be built with the proceeds. (fn. 49) The new church opened in 1966 (fn. 50) on the corner of Station Road and Waterloo Road.

In Hadley village a former Baptist schoolroom in High Street occupied by George Jones, (fn. 51) a Wesleyan local preacher, (fn. 52) was licensed for worship in 1840. (fn. 53) On Census Sunday 1851 there were 14 attendances in the afternoon and 25 in the evening. (fn. 54) Jones, leader of a reform movement within Wellington Wesleyan circuit, broke with the circuit (fn. 55) and ceased to lead the Hadley society c. 1852. (fn. 56) In 1866 (fn. 57) the building was replaced nearby by a large brick chapel designed by G. Bidlake. (fn. 58) The new chapel had 280 seats in 1881. (fn. 59) It was greatly enlarged in 1890 (fn. 60) and had 342 seats in 1940 as well as incorporating a Sunday school and other rooms. (fn. 61) It remained in use in 1981, but part of the building was occupied by Telford development corporation as an information bureau.

The secession of a reform group from the Wellington Wesleyan circuit in the 1850s led to the building of three chapels in Hadley and Horton townships, eventually joined to the United Methodist Free Churches. A small plain brick chapel called Mount Zion, Ketley, was opened by Wesleyan Reformers in 1853 on Watling Street near Pottersbank. (fn. 62) One of the United Methodist Free Churches by 1860, (fn. 63) it closed c. 1966 (fn. 64) when the new Ketley Methodist church opened nearby. A Wesleyan society at Horton, formed by 1840, left the connexion in 1852, (fn. 65) and in 1858 (fn. 66) built a small brick United Methodist Free chapel; (fn. 67) it closed in 1966. (fn. 68) A United Methodist Free Churches meeting existed at New Hadley in 1859 (fn. 69) and Zion was built for it in 1868 (fn. 70) north of Hadley Lane (fn. 71) (later Hadley Road). It was rebuilt in 1932 (fn. 72) on the south side of the road with bricks provided by Blockleys Ltd., who acquired the old site for clay extraction. (fn. 73) It remained open in 1981.

There was regular Primitive Methodist preaching at Hadley in 1838 but it ceased later that year. It was renewed in 1840, (fn. 74) and in 1841 a small chapel was built (fn. 75) at the east end of High Street. On Census Sunday 1851 there were 69 attendances in the afternoon and 97 in the evening. (fn. 76) The chapel was rebuilt in brick on a large scale in 1879 (fn. 77) but by 1910 was poorly attended and seriously in debt. (fn. 78) In 1927 it was reported unsafe (fn. 79) and from 1928 services were held in the adjoining schoolroom. (fn. 80) The society, with only 9 members, (fn. 81) expired in 1933 (fn. 82) and the chapel was sold. (fn. 83)

Beveley had Primitive preaching intermittently by 1837, (fn. 84) and in 1871 a small brick chapel was built (fn. 85) on Watling Street. It was closed and sold c. 1958 and the congregation moved to Mount Zion, Ketley, the former United Methodist chapel. (fn. 86)

A preaching place near the Ketley ironworks in 1839 and 1849 (fn. 87) may have been the Primitive meeting in Hadley township with average attendances of 50 at its Sunday services in 1851 (fn. 88) and was perhaps the 'Wesleyan' chapel 'fronting the iron forge' in 1854. (fn. 89)

A small plain brick Primitive chapel was built in 1878 (fn. 90) on the west side of the Hadley-Shawbirch road (later Hadley Park Road) and remained in use in 1981.

Other Primitive efforts were made in the mid 19th century. There was a society at Horton in the 1840s. (fn. 91) It had 30 evening attendances on Census Sunday 1851. (fn. 92) Regular preaching at Pottersbank, recorded in 1841, ceased in 1845 on the opening of Oakengates chapel. (fn. 93) A society was meeting in New Hadley in 1844 (fn. 94) and 1865. (fn. 95)

New Hadley had regular New Connexion preaching in 1839 (fn. 96) and a meeting existed there briefly in 1853. (fn. 97)

In 1816 the house of George Dean, a Particular Baptist, was licensed for worship at Hadley. (fn. 98) In 1841 his house lay on the south side of High Street and meetings were probably still being held there. (fn. 99) It was afterwards greatly enlarged at the rear, (fn. 1) probably soon after 1840, and in 1851 the Baptist meeting room, presumably the extension to Dean's house, was a building used exclusively for worship. It had 139 sittings and on Census Sunday there were 25 attendances in the afternoon and 45 in the evening. (fn. 2) By 1861, however, worship seems to have ceased. (fn. 3)

In 1828 Thomas Robinson's house on Watling Street, nearly opposite the later School Lane, was licensed for worship, (fn. 4) presumably of Congregationalists; by 1840 Robinson had let it to trustees as an Independent chapel. (fn. 5) It evidently closed soon after. (fn. 6)

From c. 1967 there was an Elim Pentecostal church at Brookdale (fn. 7) (with Sunday meetings in a wooden hut in 1981) and a New Testament Church of God (fn. 8) in the former Mount Zion United Methodist chapel.

Footnotes

37 V.C.H. Oxon. vii. 212.
38 Calamy Revised, ed. A. G. Matthews, 368.
39 Dr. Williams's Libr., Evans MS. (344), f. 97.
40 L.J.R.O., B/V/5, Wellington visit. return.
41 S.P.L., C 98.7 v.f., Shrews. circuit plan; L 98.7 v.f., Wellington circuit plan.
42 S.R.O. 3763/XVII/E2, sched. of 1881.
43 S.R.O. 14, tithe appt. and map.
44 P.R.O., HO 129/365, no. 25.
45 G.R.O., Worship Reg. no. 27201.
46 Lenton, Methodism in Wellington, 17.
47 Local inf. (recorded in S.M.R.); S.R.O. 3767/X/M, 8 Mar. 1963.
48 S.R.O. 3767/X/M, 5 Nov. 1963; 16 Jan. 1964.
49 Ibid. 8 Mar. 1963; below, Ketley, Nonconf.
50 S.R.O. 3767/XVIII/A. The date stone reads 1965.
51 S.R.O. 14, tithe appt. and map (no. 604).
52 O. A. Beckerlegge, United Meth. Ministers and their Circuits (1968), 131.
53 Orders of Q. Sess. iv. 9.
54 P.R.O., HO 129/365, no. 23.
55 J. Lenton, 'The Snedshill affair, 1851-2', Wesley Hist. Soc., Salop. Branch, Bulletin, i (10), [2] (copy in S.R.O. 3543/11).
56 S.R.O. 3767/XVII/E1.
57 S.R.O. 3767/V/B, 16 Nov. 1866.
58 Ibid. 13 June 1867.
59 S.R.O. 3767/XVII/E2, sched.
60 O.S. Map 6", Salop. XXXVI. SW. (1887 and 1903 edns.); The Hadley Bk. 114.
61 Meth. Church Bldgs.: Statistical Returns (1940), 270.
62 Trinder, Ind. Rev. Salop. 296; Eddowes's Jnl. 16 Feb. 1853. The date stone reads 1852.
63 G.R.O., Worship Reg. no. 9314.
64 S.R.O. 3767/VIII/I, [Revd. P. H. W. de Visme] to Revd. H. Simpson, 2 Apr. 1966.
65 S.R.O. 3767/XVII/A, E1.
66 Date stone.
67 S.R.O. 1101, box 261A, agreement.
68 S.R.O. 3767/XXII/G, [Revd. R. Hallam] to [Revd. H.] Simpson, 13 May 1972.
69 Circuit plan in possession of Mr. J. H. Lenton.
70 Date stone (on new chapel).
71 O.S. Map 6", Salop. XXXVI. SW. (1887 edn.).
72 Date stone.
73 Inf. from Mr. Lenton.
74 S.R.O. 3605/1, pp. 11, 15, 37.
75 Ibid. pp. 66, 79-80.
76 P.R.O., HO 129/365, no. 26.
77 S.R.O. 3767/II/L, sched. of 1918.
78 S.R.O. 3916/1/34, s.v. Hadley.
79 S.R.O. 3767/II/E, 8 Nov. 1927.
80 Ibid. /II/G2, 3 Sept. 1928.
81 Ibid. 6 Mar. 1933.
82 S.R.O. 3767/II/H.
83 Ibid. /II/G2, 9 Oct. 1933.
84 S.R.O. 3605/1, pp. 7, 11, 27, 58.
85 S.R.O. 3038/1/1, 12 June, 18 Sept. 1871.
86 S.R.O. 3767/XVIII/A, [Revd. P. H. W. de Visme] to Meth. Dept. for Chapel Affairs, 12 May 1965.
87 S.R.O. 1861/5, p. 3; 3605/1, p. 27.
88 P.R.O., HO 129/365, no. 24 (signed by a resident of Forge Row, Ketley).
89 G.R.O., Worship Reg. no. 4829.
90 Date stone.
91 S.R.O. 1861/5, p. 3; 3605/1, p. 38.
92 P.R.O., HO 129/365, no. 45.
93 S.R.O. 3605/1, pp. 58, 154.
94 Ibid. p. 123.
95 S.R.O. 1861/15, p. 2.
96 S.R.O. 3677/1.
97 B. Trinder, Meth. New Connexion in Dawley and Madeley (Wesley Hist. Soc., W. Midlands Branch, Occ. Publ. i [1968]), 13.
98 P.R.O., RG 31/7, Salop. no. 255; Orders of Q. Sess. iii. 156, 200.
99 S.R.O. 14, tithe appt. and map (no. 602). No Baptist chapel was recorded.
1 O.S. Map 1/2,500, Salop. XXXVI. 10 (1882 edn.).
2 P.R.O., HO 129/365, no. 22.
3 Baptist Handbk. 1861, 72 (nil).
4 Lich. Dioc. Regy., bps.' reg. H, p. 61.
5 S.R.O. 14, tithe appt. and map (no. 497).
6 Not recorded in P.R.O., HO 129, or S. Bagshaw, Dir. Salop (1851).
7 G.R.O., Worship Reg. no. 70974.
8 Ibid. no. 71180.