A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
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Ralph Honywood's (fn. 1) house on Red Lion Hill, where from 1666 he had a chaplain, was a meeting place for Presbyterians until Red Lion chapel was built close by; the congregation became Unitarian in the mid 18th century. (fn. 2) George Whitefield held a meeting on Hampstead Heath, probably near Gospel Oak (St. Pancras), in 1739 to an attentive audience. (fn. 3) His anti-Unitarian preaching was said to have inspired the formation of an Independent chapel: (fn. 4) as some Anglicans used that name for both the Unitarians and the Methodists, (fn. 5) the church that was formed was probably the Calvinistic Methodist one which met in a shed near the later chapel at the east end of Church Row; the chapel stood by 1771, when William Pierce left £10 a year as long as it was used for religious services, (fn. 6) and was probably built after 1768, when the site was leased for 3 terms of 21 years by the copyholder (fn. 7) and assigned to a group of London tradesmen. In 1777 it was assigned to Charles Chandler, clerk, who may have served the chapel. It was bought by the countess of Huntingdon for her Connexion in 1780 but was later used by other Methodists. Wesleyans were meeting in private houses in Golden Square and New End in 1823, and Calvinist Methodists in Kilburn in 1827. Baptists were meeting in a private house in Kilburn in 1798 and in the town by 1811. Scottish Presbyterians met in the town from 1832.
Congregationalists had no place of worship in the parish until after the opening in 1851 of New College at College Crescent, Finchley Road. The college was founded in 1850 to unite Homerton, Highbury, and Coward (Bloomsbury) colleges in order to train nonconformist ministers; it was affiliated to the University of London's school of divinity from 1900. (fn. 8) New College chapel, built nearby in 1853, was not part of the college, although closely linked with it. Congregationalists did not secure a chapel nearer the town until the 1880s, partly through the hostility of Anglican landowners. (fn. 9) Hackney Theological Seminary (later College) moved to Hampstead in 1887, to a new building in Finchley Road near Parsifal Road, and helped to found West Hampstead Congregational church. In 1924 an Act united Hackney and New colleges as New College, a school of London University training ministers principally for Congregational churches, and in 1934 the College Crescent buildings were demolished, leaving the college at Parsifal Road. In 1977 the college closed and its fine nonconformist library was transferred to Dr. Williams's Library. (fn. 10)
Like the Anglicans, nonconformists found only a limited need for missionary or charitable work; Lyndhurst Road Congregational church had to go to Kentish Town (St. Pancras) to start a mission. There was much scope only in Kilburn and West End, where the nonconformists and evangelical Anglicans co-operated and opposed ritualism. (fn. 11) The number of chapels and sects in Hampstead remained small until the late 19th century. In 1882 only eight chapels for six sects were registered for worship; in 1903 and 1914 there were 22 chapels for nine sects. Congregationalists were the leading sect in 1903, with 2,351 attendances, followed by Wesleyan Methodists with 1,659, Baptists with 1,543, and Presbyterians with 1,108. (fn. 12)
The Salvation Army had arrived in the 1880s, and the Society of Friends and the Brethren by 1903. Other sects appeared only after the Second World War, with the Christian Community, Christian Scientists, and Seventh-day Adventists. Although a few chapels closed or moved early in the century, most closures occurred during or after the Second World War. The three Congregationalist churches had all closed by 1978, three of the four Presbyterian churches by 1970, two of the four Methodist churches by 1971, and two of the three Unitarian churches by 1965. One Baptist chapel moved away but the rest remained open in 1985.
The following abbreviations are used in the accounts of protestant nonconformist churches, in addition to those used in the index: Bapt., Baptist; Cong., Congregationalist; Dec., Decorated; demol., demolished; Eng., England or English; Ind., Independent; Met., Metropolitan; Meth., Methodist; mtg., meeting; perm., permanent; Presb., Presbyterian; reg., registered; temp., temporary; Utd. Ref., United Reformed; Wes., Wesleyan. Attendance figs. 1886 are from Brit. Weekly, 19 Nov. 1886, 4; figs. 1903 from Mudie-Smith, Rel. Life, 165-6.
Ralph Honywood kept ejected min. Dan. Evans at his ho. as chaplain 1666-75. (fn. 13) Dissenters, probably Presbs., met at ho. of their preacher Steph. Lobb 1691. (fn. 14) Mtg. place for dissenters reg. at ho. of Isaac Honywood 1692; (fn. 15) chapel built adjoining stables of Honywood's ho. and rebuilt 1736 as small, square, brick bldg., roughly on site of later Rosslyn hall and reached by drive of ho. (fn. 16) Strict orthodoxy was relaxed, probably during ministry of Ric. Amner, 1765-77, and members became Unitarian. (fn. 17)
In 1832 Presbs. reg. for worship ho. of John Thompson, physician, on S. side of Pond Street, and room in ho. of Geo. Purden Bennett in Grove Pl., New End. (fn. 18)
Trinity Presb. ch. began after report by Presbs.' dist. visitor for Hampstead that Scottish inhabitants needed preaching station 1844. (fn. 19) Lond. Presbytery suggested that mtg. be formed to rent premises. Eight men, inc. 5 gardeners, rented Temperance hall in Perrin's Ct., recognized as preaching station. By end of 1845 average attendance 130 a.m.; 80 p.m. Perm. pastor 1846. Hall seated 97 in 1851, when attendance 65 a.m.; 70 evg. Moved to Well Walk chapel 1853. Bldg. dilapidated, so site at no. 2 High Street, corner of Willoughby Rd., bought 1861. Ch. by Campbell Douglas opened 1862; early membership mostly Scottish. Lecture hall enlarged 1882. Attendance 1886: 348 a.m.; 146 evg. Ch. enlarged 1889; seated 596 in 1892, when 256 communicants. (fn. 20) Attendance 1903: 119 a.m.; 145 p.m. Demol. 1962 and members joined St. And. Presb. ch., Finchley Rd. Shops built on site and hall converted into Trinity Close 1970s. (fn. 21) Mission in Perrin's Ct. started between 1864 and 1869, inc. ragged sch. Cottage mtgs. at New End 1869, and open-air svces. in brickfields and Branch Hill Sq. Mission formed at Dickinson Street hall, Kentish Town (St. Pancras) 1888, moved to no. 73 Carlton Street 1889, and bought no. 114 Carlton Street 1896.
St. Andrew's Utd. Ref. ch., at corner of Finchley Rd. and Frognal Lane, originated as Presb. ch. Site bought 1897 and lecture hall built by 1902, when ch. formed. (fn. 22) Svces. in mission hall 1903; attendance: 137 a.m.; 57 p.m. Ch. of Kentish rag in Dec. style by Pite & Balfour 1904; imposing tower and spire. (fn. 23)
Cricklewood Presb. ch., Rondu Rd., reg. 1900. Attendance 1903: 187 a.m.; 186 p.m. Closed by 1954. (fn. 26)
Dissenters, probably Presb., at chapel on Red Lion (later Rosslyn) Hill, had become Unitarian, probably under Ric. Amner. (fn. 27) Rochemont Barbauld was min. c. 1787-1802. (fn. 28) Nos. said to be decreasing 1790, and only c. 20 in 1810. (fn. 29) Jeremiah Joyce, min. 1815-16, was sec. of Unitarian Soc. (fn. 30) In 1822 svces. were Unitarian a.m., Wes. Meth. p.m. After unpopular min., nos. rose from handful in 1846 to 600 in 1891. Dr. Brooke Herford, min. 1892-1901, was instrumental in founding Quex Rd. ch. (q.v.). Attendance 1851: 130 a.m. (fn. 31) Average attendances 1870s: 300 a.m. Attendance 1886: 195 a.m.; 157 evg.; 1903: 138 a.m.; 65 p.m. Membership only 200 in 1931 and below 100 by 1949. Shared min. 1953-6 with another ch. Chapel of 1736, known as Red Lion Hill mtg. ho. until 1862, rebuilt 1828 because unsafe. Freehold of site bought 1832. (fn. 32) Seating increased from 210 in 1851 (fn. 33) and again by enlargement on SE. side 1856. Land between chapel and Pilgrim's Lane bought 1858 by wealthy members. Ch. of Kentish rag and Bath stone, seating 400, by John Johnson, opened as Rosslyn Hill chapel 1862. Gallery and W. end added 1867, increasing seating to 460; new chancel and side aisle, flanked by vestry and cttee. room, by Thos. Worthington 1885; main entrance moved from Pilgrim's Lane to Rosslyn Hill 1898 when 2 shops were demol. Interior renovated 1966 by architect Kenneth Tayler, former chairman of congregation; foyer at rear for mtgs. Notable stained glass, inc. by Wilson & Hammond 1886, Hen. Holiday, whose works were at no. 20 Church Row, (fn. 34) 1887, Wm. Morris and Burne-Jones 1888, and Lavers & Westlake 1889. Adjoining plots bought, those fronting Kemplay Rd. presented to chapel 1898 and used as tennis cts.; 3 cottages in Pilgrim's Pl. bought 1918. Land around chapel sold for building 1950s. Old chapel used for Rosslyn Hill schs. until 1906, afterwards as Rosslyn hall.
Quex Road Unitarian ch. founded in 1890s, when Brooke Herford of Rosslyn Hill chapel raised funds to buy site and build hall; (fn. 35) reg. 1897. (fn. 36) Attendance 1903: 36 a.m.; 48 p.m. Ch., designed by T. Chatfeild Clarke as mem. to Herford, opened 1908. (fn. 37) Closed 1965 and acquired by Camden L.B. but reg. by Rom. Cath. ch. of Sacred Heart (fn. 38) 1971. (fn. 39)
Unitarians opened All Souls' Free ch. at corner of Weech and Fortune Green rds. 1903. Closed 1925 and replaced by new ch. at Golders Green (Hendon). (fn. 40)
In 1780 ctss. of Huntingdon bought lease of mtg. ho. at E. end of Church Row, opposite Yorkshire Grey, settling it on local members of her Connexion. (fn. 41) Chapel may already have served Calvinistic Meths. (fn. 42) Lease renewed for further 42 years 1789. (fn. 43) Nos. said to be increasing 1790 and to be c. 150 in 1810. (fn. 44) Probably no formal organization until James Wraith became min. c. 1795. (fn. 45) Under Jacob Snelgar, who succeeded 1815, membership was 'independent congregation of Calvinistic Dissenters'. (fn. 46) Chapel leased 1826 to Wes. Meths., (fn. 47) possibly those who had met at Wm. Larke's ho., no. 8, New End, 1817, and at Jane Blake's ho., New End, 1823. (fn. 48) In 1851 congregation was Wes. Meth. Old Connexion; chapel seated c. 160; and attendance was 42 a.m.; 53 evg. (fn. 49) Chapel bought by M.B.W. 1886, when congregation, Primitive Meths., moved to temp. premises. (fn. 50) Site at corner of Solent Rd. and Mill Lane, W. Hampstead, bought 1886 and bldg. reg. 1890 as Ebenezer Primitive Meth. chapel. (fn. 51) Attendance 1903: 63 a.m.; 89 p.m. Chapel closed by 1971 (fn. 52) and demol. c. 1975. (fn. 53)
Wes. Meths. reg. room in premises of J. Milford of Golden Sq. 1823. (fn. 54)
Calvinistic Meths. reg. no. 3 Prospect Pl., Kilburn, in possession of Edw. Woodhouse, 1827. (fn. 55)
Wes. reg. chapel in Victoria Terr., St. John's Wood (presumably later Fairfax Rd., S. Hampstead), 1850. (fn. 56)
Wes. Reformers reg. Temperance hall, Henry Pl., St. John's Wood, 1851. (fn. 57)
Wes. Meths. reg. preaching hall in Upton Rd. (later part of Belsize Rd.) from 1861 to 1870; (fn. 58) may have been forerunner of Quex Rd. ch.
Quex Rd. Meth. ch., Kilburn, built by Wes. on site bought 1868, (fn. 59) reg. 1870. (fn. 60) Bldg. of stock brick in Italianate style by J. Tarring; large Corinthian portico. (fn. 61) Attendance 1886: 356 a.m.; 400 evg.; 1903: 282 a.m.; 409 p.m. Ch. hall built 1905. Ch. replaced by 1975 (fn. 62) with small block of flats in Quex Rd. and 2-storeyed ch. in Kingsgate Rd.
Hampstead Wes. ch., corner of High Street and Prince Arthur Rd. Small Wes. congregation held Sun. sch. in ho. in South Hill Pk. from c. 1869. Site for ch. bought 1870. Bldg. of red brick with stone dressings, seating 850, by Chas. Bell 1872, with donations from Sir Fras. Lycett and others; gallery added 1878; NW. tower not built. Sch., vestries, and caretaker's ho. 1884. Attendance 1886: 332 a.m.; 297 evg.; 1903: 119 a.m.; 217 p.m. Ch. closed 1934 and demol. (fn. 63)
Gospel Oak Meth. ch., Agincourt Rd., originated 1875 in Wes. mtgs. in Lismore Circus (St. Pancras), recognized as mission 1877 and placed under Prince of Wales Rd. ch. (fn. 64) Site at corner of Lisburne Rd. bought from Eccl. Com. but only sch. built at first, designed by Chas. Bell (fn. 65) and reg. for worship 1882. (fn. 66) Had own min. from 1896. Octagonal bldg. of red brick, seating 750, opened 1900. Attendance 1903: 264 a.m.; 368 p.m. Nos. declined after First World War. Ch. incorporated in circuit with former Primitive Meth. chapels in Grafton Rd. (St. Pancras), Mill Lane, and Hendon 1935; Grafton Rd. amalgamated with Gospel Oak 1940. Repairs when transepts made into additional rooms for Sun. sch. 1956 but need for further repairs brought union with Prince of Wales Rd. ch. at Gospel Oak site 1965, with agreement to rebuild. Gospel Oak ch. demol. 1970 and svces. held in sch. hall until new bldg. opened 1971.
Mtgs. said to have started 1811 on Holly Bush Hill, (fn. 67) where room in ho. of Geo. Hart was reg. for worship 1816. (fn. 68) Jas. Castleden invited to be min. 1817; remained until d. 1854; well known preacher and friend of both Thos. Ainger, min. of Hampstead, and Rom. Cath. Abbé Morel. Castleden put up bldg. on Holly Bush Hill, later no. 17 Holly Mount, with residence on ground floor and Bethel Bapt. chapel, opened 1818, above. Membership quickly rose to 80. Strict Bapt. until 1825, when Castleden opened communion svce. to all, whereupon seceders founded Ebenezer Strict Bapt. chapel, New End (below). Ch. dissolved 1862 after Heath Street ch. opened (q.v.), and bldg. was used for other purposes; some members joined New End or Heath Street; others met at Montagu Grove (nos. 103-109 Frognal), residence of Ric. Burdon Sanderson who acted as min. until 1864; 32 members then joined New End ch. Bethel chapel was described as solid and commodious, with galleries, but rather comfortless. (fn. 69) In 1851 it seated 450 and attendance was 110 a.m.; 40 p.m.; 150 evg. (fn. 70)
Ebenezer Strict Bapt. chapel, Christchurch Passage, New End, originated with 8 members and several adherents who seceded from Bethel chapel (above) 1825. (fn. 71) They were offered mtg. room: hos. at New End of Geo. Jackson, reg. 1825, and Jas. Rice Seymour, reg. 1826, may have been for them. (fn. 72) Nos. quickly grew and Ebenezer chapel opened 1827 in former schoolroom. In 1851 it seated 170 and attendance was 30 a.m.; 36 evg. (fn. 73) Seated 250 by 1890. (fn. 74) Attendance 1886: 53 a.m.; 47 evg.; 1903: 29 a.m.; 31 p.m. Chapel compulsorily purchased for Carnegie Ho. flats 1938, whereupon congregation moved to Temple Fortune (Hendon). (fn. 75)
Heath Street ch. founded by Jas. Harvey, in gratitude for sick son's recovery in Hampstead; he obtained site 1861, on former nursery, and provided large part of cost of chapel, as local Bapts. poor. (fn. 76) Bldg. of brick with prominent ashlar W. front in Dec. style, seating 700, (fn. 77) by C. G. Searle 1861; twin spires. First min. was Wm. Brook jr.; ch. formed with 34 members 1862, many from Holly Bush Hill (q.v.). Open-air svces. on Sun. evgs. on heath and in New End, and during week in back streets of town. Membership rose to 226 in 1871, 320 in 1881, 424 in 1904, and peak of 527 in 1913. Attendance 1886: 457 a.m.; 351 evg.; 1903: 253 a.m.; 291 p.m. Nos. reduced by First World War, although 33 members joined after closure of Regent's Pk. ch. 1922, and only 184 in 1952. Joined Lond. Bapt. Assoc. when formed 1865. City missionary supported by a member to work among summer visitors to heath; winter svces. at Childs Hill (Hendon), where mission hall seating 150 opened 1867; chapel opened 1870 seating 450: became independent ch. 1877. (fn. 78) Harvey gave adjoining land 1881 where lecture hall built with classrooms below. Gymnasium with reading and recreation rooms built on plot in Cornick's Yd. bought by ch. member 1896. Rickett hall built for men's institute 1908. Drummond Street mission, Kentish Town (St. Pancras), built 1865, taken over when Regent's Park ch. closed; became separate Regent's Park Free ch. 1958.
Ebenezer Strict Bapt. chapel, Kilburn Vale (later Hermit Pl.), Belsize Rd., was built 1870 in memory of Thos. Creswick by his sister: he had preached nearby in open air and worked among sick 1859-68; site chosen to be near that of his last sermon. (fn. 79) Chapel supported by Mount Zion chapel, St. John's Wood Rd. (Marylebone). Ch. formed 1883. Attendance 1886: 65 a.m.; 54 evg.; 1903: 43 a.m.; 44 p.m. Absorbed membership of Streatley hall, Brondesbury (Willesden) 1925. (fn. 80) Still open for worship 1985.
Brondesbury Bapt. chapel, corner of Kilburn High and Iverson rds., was built on site given by Jas. Harvey 1878. (fn. 81) Ornate bldg., seating 780, by W. A. Dixon 1878; tower and spire. Ch. formed 1879. (fn. 82) Attendance 1886: 421 a.m.; 453 evg.; 1903: 221 a.m.; 387 p.m. Membership 468 c. 1912, with 454 in Sun. sch. (fn. 83) Ch. closed 1980 (fn. 84) and demol.; plans for smaller ch. and sheltered flats approved 1979 (fn. 85) but work not started 1984. Brondesbury hall, nos. 9 and 11 Iverson Rd., built 1884 and mission svces. held there. (fn. 86) Attendance 1903: 70 a.m.; 174 p.m. Svces. held there 1984.
New College chapel, corner of Upper Avenue and Adelaide rds., built near New Coll. but as separate institution. (fn. 87) Founded 1853, (fn. 88) reg. 1854, (fn. 89) it was designed by J. T. Emmett and contained much stained glass, inc. by Alfred East, ch. member. Attendance 1886: 221 a.m.; 128 evg.; 1903: 111 a.m.; 86 p.m. Ch. had 30 members 1939, when known as Avenue Road Cong. ch., (fn. 90) but closed 1941; stained glass windows given to Hendon Cong. ch. (fn. 91) Missions in lecture hall and Townsend Cottages 1894. (fn. 92)
Lyndhurst Road Cong. ch., Rosslyn Hill, (fn. 95) originated in svces. held in iron bldg., Willoughby Rd., by Revd. J. B. French 1876. Supported for 2 years by Lond. Cong. Union until progress ceased and French resigned. Theologian Robt. F. Horton (1855-1934) was persuaded by T. T. Curwen, a Hampstead resident, to preach at Sun. svces. for 6 months in 1879, and for whole of 1880: enthusiastic followers began mission work in Kentish Town and formed ch. with c. 60 members 1880. By 1883 membership 220 and iron ch. often held 600 in space for 440. Eccl. Com. sold 4-a. Rosslyn Grove estate to 4 members, (fn. 96) who kept ¾ a. for ch. and sold rest to finance it. (fn. 97) Horton became full-time min. 1884, remaining until 1930: influential writer and preacher, whose Sun. night lectures drew many working men. Bldg. an irregular hexagon of deep red brick with majolica dressings in Romanesque style, normally seating 1,500, by Alf. Waterhouse 1884. (fn. 98) Lecture hall and sch. added later. (fn. 99) Attendance 1886: 857 a.m.; 1,165 evg.; 1903: 888 a.m.; 894 p.m. Membership 1,276 in 1913 but fell to c. 1,000 during First World War and to 613 in 1939. (fn. 100) Utd. Ref. ch. from 1972. Closed 1978. Plan to convert ch. into recital room with flats for musicians, in addition to small sch. already there, 1979. (fn. 101) Japanese Aikido classes held there 1985. Mission at Litcham Street, Kentish Town (St. Pancras) from 1882, replaced by Lyndhurst hall, Warden Rd. (St. Pancras), 1889, with new hall 1909; attendance 1903: 54 a.m.; 201 p.m. Also at no. 60 Southampton Rd. (St. Pancras) from 1887. (fn. 102)
West Hampstead Cong. ch., no. 527A Finchley Rd., originated in svces. in libr. of Hackney Coll. 1894. Bldg. of red brick with terracotta and moulded brick dressings to match adjacent coll., on central plan and seating 1,125 inc. galleries, by Spalding & Cross 1894. Also sch. hall and libr. (fn. 103) Attendance 1903: 162 a.m.; 210 p.m. Closed 1940 and sold to Shomrei Hadath syngagogue 1946. (fn. 104)
Catholic Apostolic Church (Irvingites).
Edw. Irving preached on heath near Mr. Holford's ho. 1832, before his ch. was formed. (fn. 105)
Abbey Ho., no. 1 Manchester Terr., Kilburn, reg. 1876 and in use 1882, closed by 1895. (fn. 106)
Athenaeum hall in Vale of Health, seating c. 700, reg. 1882. (fn. 107) Seniors used ground-floor hall, juniors first floor. Hall filled for evg. svces. during week and banqueting hall on Sun. Processions across heath stopped because imitated and attacked by ruffians. Hall, lacking financial support, given up 1886. (fn. 108)
Mission room in New Bldgs., Flask Walk, reg. 1887, closed by 1896. (fn. 109)
Salvation Army barracks and hall, Flask Walk, built 1905, reg. 1906. Young people's hall, also Flask Walk, opened 1907. Both had closed by 1971. (fn. 110)
Society of Friends (Quakers).
Mtg. ho. at no. 120 Heath Street, designed by Fred. Rowntree, built and reg. 1907. (fn. 111) Still in use 1985.
Brethren met at Gospel hall, Fleet Mews, 1903: attendance 19 a.m.; 86 p.m. Also ran gospel mission at no. 192 Broadhurst Gdns. 1902. (fn. 112) Attendance 1903: 110 a.m.; 82 p.m.
Single-storeyed hall adjoining no. 158 Mill Lane reg. 1936, (fn. 113) closed by 1985.
Fourth Ch. of Christ Scientist reg. 1953 on ground floor of Stanfield Ho., Prince Arthur Rd., probably in part behind main ho., called Stanfield hall. Closed 1978, (fn. 117) and property thereafter provided income for Ch. Moved to no. 36 Mill Lane, (fn. 118) where basement used for worship and ground floor as reading room 1986.
Sect's Lond. ch. moved from Regent Street to former Oxendon Presb. ch., Haverstock Hill, 1970. Reopened after renovation as Oxendon Adventist ch. 1972. (fn. 119)
Spiritualist Ch. of the New Revealing, no. 131 West End Lane, reg. 1918, closed by 1925. (fn. 120)
Hampstead Spiritual Temple, Willoughby hall, no. 1 Willoughby Rd., reg. 1938 and again 1945, closed by 1954. (fn. 121)
Other denominations and unspecified missions.
The following were reg. by undesignated Christians: hall in Denning Rd., 1886, closed by 1954; mission room in Vale of Health, 1899-1906; Evangelical hall, no. 158A West End Lane, 1923, closed by 1925; mission rooms over shops at nos. 192-8 Broadhurst Gdns., 1920, closed by 1954; United Sanctuary of the New Day of the Nook, first floor, Windsor Terr., 1938, closed by 1954; Institute of Occult Social Science Religion, ground floor no. 17 Sherriff Rd., 1938, closed by 1954; Parkhill chapel, no. 17 Fleet Rd., 1960, by the evangelical mission formerly at Malden hall, Malden Rd., Kentish Town (St. Pancras) from 1886 and used by Strict Bapt. 1982; Faith Christian Fellowship, no. 339A Finchley Rd., 1982. (fn. 122)