A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1963.
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Roman Catholicism (fn. 1)
In the earlier 18th century there seems to have been a Roman Catholic centre at Chesterton Hall, the seat of the Macclesfield family, (fn. 2) and there is a tradition that in the early 19th century Mass was said in a room in the Shakespeare Hotel, Brunswick Street, Newcastle, by the emigré priest at Ashley and by Louis Gerard, the priest at Cobridge (1813–42). (fn. 3) About 1826 the Newcastle mission was taken over by Edward Daniel, the priest at Longton, (fn. 4) and in 1831 by James Egan who moved to Newcastle from Ashley. (fn. 5) Egan built the present church of Holy Trinity in London Road in 1833–4, (fn. 6) and it was probably no coincidence that in the middle of 1834 two preachers touring under the auspices of the Reformation Society held a public meeting at Newcastle to denounce the Church of Rome. (fn. 7) The south aisle of the new church was at first used as 'a commodious residence for the priest' pending an increase in the congregation, but the aisle was incorporated in the church with the building of a presbytery to the north in 1849. (fn. 8)
The church of HOLY TRINITY is built in the Gothic style and consists of an aisled and clerestoried nave of six bays with a gallery at its west end and a shallow projecting chancel with an east window modelled on a window at York Minster. (fn. 9) Egan acted as his own architect and it is said that, having received an offer from a local brickmaker of all the bricks he might require, he designed the church accordingly, including the moulds for the bricks. (fn. 10) The result was described at the time as 'the finest modern specimen of ornamental brickwork in the kingdom'. (fn. 11) The west front, for which vitreous bricks were used, is particularly striking, the whole surface being covered with arcaded panels and the door and window openings to the nave, together with corresponding blind openings to the aisles, having heavily moulded surrounds. The building is surmounted by embattled parapets and small turrets. The church was restored in 1886, a sacristy being then added, (fn. 12) and in 1896 a new organ was installed. (fn. 13)
The first foundation from Holy Trinity was the church of the Sacred Heart, Silverdale, which was opened in a former school in Victoria Street in 1889. (fn. 14) A resident priest was appointed in 1916. (fn. 15) The present church of the Sacred Heart in High Street, an aisleless brick building with purple-brick dressings and a curved roof, was opened in 1925. (fn. 16)
There is a local tradition that Mass was said in a miners' hostel at Chesterton c. 1900. (fn. 17) The first regular Mass-centre in Chesterton was opened in a hut in Liverpool Road belonging to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Association in 1923 and served from Holy Trinity where a curate had been appointed for the purpose. In 1926 a hall at the north end of Castle Street was acquired and a chapel dedicated to St. John the Evangelist opened there. (fn. 18) A resident priest was appointed in 1948, and in 1956 St. John's Hall, a brick building used as both church and hall, was built at the junction of London Road and Loomer Road. (fn. 19)
From the time of the First World War Mass was said in private houses in Wolstanton first by a Belgian refugee priest and later by the priest from St. Joseph's, Burslem, who by 1923 had opened a Mass-centre at the school in Ellison Street. (fn. 20) In 1924 a small temporary church was erected in Dimsdale Parade East, and it continued to be served from Burslem until the appointment of a resident priest in 1927. (fn. 21) The present church of the Sacred Heart and St. Wulstan in Barkers Square off Church Lane was opened in 1959. (fn. 22) It is a simple red-brick building with round-headed windows.
The present chapel-of-ease to Holy Trinity at St. Mary's School, Stanier Street, Newcastle, was opened in 1938. (fn. 23)
A Mass-centre served from Silverdale was opened at the County Secondary School, Knutton, in 1942. It was replaced in 1953 by the present church of Our Lady of Sorrows, a small brick building in Cotswold Avenue, and a resident priest was appointed in 1957. (fn. 24)
A Mass-centre served from Holy Trinity was opened at the Clayton Lodge Hotel at Easter 1957 and a resident priest appointed soon afterwards. (fn. 25) The present church of Our Lady and St. Werburgh in Seabridge Lane was opened in 1957; it has a presbytery attached. (fn. 26)
The Sisters of Mercy opened a convent in a small rented house in Newcastle in 1892, moving to the larger Brook House, now the presbytery of Holy Trinity, in 1893. (fn. 27) This also proved too small and towards the end of the year the sisters bought the present St. Bernard's Convent, also in London Road, where a new wing was built in 1900 and a school opened. (fn. 28) St. Joseph's Convent in Silverdale Road, Wolstanton, also a house of the Sisters of Mercy, was opened in 1937. (fn. 29)
In 1767 there were said to be 5 papists in Newcastle and 11 in Wolstanton and in 1780 20 in Newcastle and 2 in Wolstanton. (fn. 30) The population attached to Holy Trinity in 1834 was about 300, (fn. 31) and on 30 March 1851 365 people attended Mass there. (fn. 32) By 1868 there was a large Irish element within the borough. (fn. 33) In 1959 the number of Roman Catholics in the central part of Newcastle was estimated as 2,500, in Silverdale 500, in Chesterton 500, in Wolstanton 1,300, in Knutton 500, and in Clayton 450. (fn. 34)
Protestant Nonconformity (fn. 35)
In 1672 two houses in Newcastle-under-Lyme, owned by William Beard and Susanna Sond, were registered for Presbyterian worship. (fn. 36) Although these registrations are the first definite evidence of a regular nonconformist meeting, opinion in the borough appears to have favoured puritanism, possibly even before the Civil War. The noted puritan, John Ball, when he was incumbent of Whitmore from 1610 to 1640 is said to have found many of similar opinions in the neighbourhood. (fn. 37) Newcastle was strongly Parliamentarian on the outbreak of the Civil War, (fn. 38) and during the Interregnum the corporation appointed men of Presbyterian views to the curacy of Newcastle. (fn. 39) Zachariah Crofton (incumbent 1647– 9) and his successor Joseph Sond (incumbent 1649– 54) were among the 36 Staffordshire clergy who subscribed to the declaration against toleration made by the Presbyterian clergy in 1648, commonly known as the Testimony of the Ministers. (fn. 40) Ralph Hall (incumbent 1654–9), although he incurred the council's disapproval in other matters, (fn. 41) was apparently also averse to toleration, since in 1658 Richard Hickock, a Quaker from Chester, reported that when he preached at Newcastle 'the people flocked in both nights to the house where I was and many of the town were forced to confess the truth and have contended for it before the mayor of the town and withstood him and the priest who have laboured to hinder our meetings there'. (fn. 42) A Humphrey Wolrich, a native of the borough and hitherto a Baptist, became a Quaker at this time. (fn. 43) In 1683 he and other Newcastle inhabitants were fined for attending a Quaker conventicle at Keele. (fn. 44) There was also Quaker activity at Wolstanton and Knutton in 1669 (fn. 45) but no further records of Quaker meetings in the borough at this period have survived.
In 1662 George Long (incumbent from c. 1659) was ejected from the living of Newcastle. (fn. 46) He remained there to minister to the Presbyterians of the borough but was subsequently forced to leave after being indicted under the Five Mile Act (1665). (fn. 47) From then until 1672 (see above) there is no trace of regular nonconformist worship in the borough. In that year, also, Jane Machin, widow, licensed her house at Seabridge as a Presbyterian meeting-place. (fn. 48) In 1689, under the Toleration Act, William Beard and three others, George Wood, William Lawton, and Rose Bagnall, registered their houses for nonconformist worship. (fn. 49) George Long then returned as minister to the Presbyterian congregation and a meeting-house was built soon after, probably in 1694, (fn. 50) when a 'building standing on a piece of ground called the Fulatt' was registered. (fn. 51)
During the reigns of Charles II and James II dissenting participation in local government had to some extent been controlled by changes in royal policy and royal intervention in the government of the borough. Thus in 1662 (fn. 52) and in 1685 members of the borough council who were dissenters, including in the latter year the mayor, were removed, with other councillors, from office, (fn. 53) but in 1687 after James II's Declaration of Indulgence William Beard was appointed mayor by royal mandate and at least two other dissenters were placed on the council. (fn. 54) The bill of 1702 against occasional conformity does not appear to have had any adverse effect on dissenting influence in Newcastle politics but the failure of the Sacheverell case had its echo in a virulent sermon against dissent preached in Newcastle Church in 1711. (fn. 55) By the end of Anne's reign the council was led by the High Church and Tory party and the last local outburst of this political and religious animosity occurred in 1715 when the meeting-house was burnt by a 'French and Popish mob' aided and abetted by the mayor and justices of the peace. (fn. 56) Compensation for the damage was assessed at £310 and by 1717 the present chapel had been built. (fn. 57)
John Wesley first preached in Newcastle in 1768 some eight years after the establishment at Burslem of the first Methodist group in the area; (fn. 58) he was very favourably impressed by the state of religious opinion in Newcastle, the congregation being so large that he had to preach in the open. (fn. 59) On his next visit, in 1774, he was invited to stay with the mayor and again preached in the open air because of the size of the congregation. (fn. 60) Opinion in the borough seems to have been favourable to the various evangelical movements of the late 18th century and the Methodists were shortly followed by the Independents, led by Captain Jonathan Scott, whose first church was formed by 1777. (fn. 61) The Baptists were not so successful; an ephemeral society of Particular Baptists was established in 1814 but no lasting Baptist church was started until 1832. (fn. 62) Meanwhile, on the formation of the Methodist New Connexion in 1797, (fn. 63) a society of that denomination had been established in Newcastle, (fn. 64) followed in 1823 or 1828 by a Primitive Methodist chapel. (fn. 65) Despite the favourable reception of Wesley and Scott, Newcastle never became an area of great nonconformist, and more particularly Methodist, activity as did the neighbouring Pottery towns. By 1851 there were seven chapels in the borough belonging to the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Methodist New Connexion, the Primitive Methodist Connexion, the United Methodist Free Church, the Baptists, the Congregationlists or Independents, and the Christian Brethren. The population of the borough at this date was over 10,000; average attendance at the five chapels which made a return in the census of 1851 totalled slightly less than one-sixth of the population. (fn. 66) During the next 50 years the population of the borough increased to over 19,000; although the existing chapels extended or rebuilt their premises, only two new chapels were opened in the borough, the Wesleyan chapel at Ashfield and the Primitive Methodist chapel in Boundary Street, the former serving the development at Upper Green and the latter the development between Mount Pleasant and George Street. The Salvation Army and various missions were also established in Newcastle in this period, but no great expansion in the number of nonconformist places of worship took place.
The Methodist Union of 1932 brought about an immediate amalgamation of the circuits of the various churches, the new Newcastle Circuit being divided geographically in 1942 into Brunswick (now Wolstanton and Audley) and Ebenezer (now Newcastle) Circuits. The first of these contained in the main the chapels in the eastern and northern parts of the present borough and chapels in Audley, the second most of the Newcastle chapels and the chapels in the western part of the present borough. (fn. 67) The movement of its congregation out to the newer suburbs and the consequent decline in membership caused the closing in 1956 of one of the main chapels in Newcastle, Brunswick Chapel. (fn. 68)
Although Newcastle itself did not become very nonconformist, four of the outlying areas now in the borough, Silverdale, Chesterton, Red Street, and Knutton, did. Silverdale, which developed rapidly as an industrial village in the 19th century, had three chapels by 1851, a Wesleyan, a Methodist New Connexion, and a Primitive Methodist. These had increased to six by 1876 by the addition of Welsh Wesleyan, United Methodist Free Church, and Congregational chapels. The Salvation Army established itself there in 1883. The Welsh Wesleyan chapel closed before the end of the century but in the 1930's chapels of the Bethel Evangelistic Society, Elim Four Square Gospel Alliance, and Assemblies of God were opened there. The other three villages, with a similar history of industrial development, also show a similar concentration of nonconformist places of worship in the last hundred years, although after the Methodist Union of 1932 some of the Methodist chapels were closed and their congregations amalgamated.
Wolstanton, which developed as a dormitory suburb of Newcastle and Stoke-on-Trent, has or has had chapels of most major denominations, St. John's Wesleyan Church being the strongest. Nonconformity in Basford also expanded as the area developed as a suburb of Newcastle while the Methodist church on the new Westlands estate received most of the members of Brunswick Chapel after its closure in 1956.
NEWCASTLE. In 1814 a building near Bagnall Street, formerly used as a warehouse, was registered by Joseph Taylor as a meeting-house for Particular Baptists. (fn. 69) This society does not appear to have flourished long, for in 1832 there was no Baptist meeting-place and Thomas Carryer, a pawnbroker, registered a house and premises in or near the Ironmarket for that purpose. (fn. 70) The Revd. L. J. Abington, of New Street Baptist Church, Hanley, conducted the services. (fn. 71) It was still in use in 1834. (fn. 72) In 1839 the Shakespeare Assembly Room in Brunswick Street, presumably a room in the Shakespeare Hotel, (fn. 73) was registered as a meeting-place for Particular Baptists by William Berrisford, a hatter, (fn. 74) and in 1844 a small chapel was built in Bridge Street. (fn. 75) The congregation was small in 1851, averaging 50 people, and there was also a small Sunday-school class. (fn. 76) The society was extinct by 1854. (fn. 77) Preaching was restarted at the beginning of 1868 in a room in Hassell Street. (fn. 78) Later a site in London Road was bought; an iron church and school were erected there and opened in 1871. (fn. 79) The church was formally constituted in the following year; (fn. 80) it then had 18 members. (fn. 81) This chapel seated 200, and by 1900 the church had 72 members while the Sunday school had an average attendance of 200. (fn. 82) About 1912 the Baptist Union made a grant of £750 from the Twentieth Century Fund towards the cost of a new chapel, (fn. 83) the foundation stone of which was laid in 1914. (fn. 84) This replaced the former chapel in 1915 (fn. 85) and is situated in London Road at the corner of Vesey Terrace. The membership of the church had dropped to about 60 people by 1935, (fn. 86) and has since remained more or less constant. (fn. 87) The Sunday school had declined in numbers from 200 in 1900 (fn. 88) to about 90 in 1956. (fn. 89) It was rehoused in a new brick building erected by the side of the chapel in 1952. (fn. 90) The present chapel is in Gothic style and is a red-brick building with stone dressings.
CHESTERTON. A Baptist chapel was built in Victoria Street in 1876 to seat 200. (fn. 91) In 1883 the church had 17 members and Sunday-school attendance averaged 75. (fn. 92) It was still in use in 1893 (fn. 93) but was acquired by the Congregationalists in 1894 when it was stated that the Baptists had recently ceased to use it. (fn. 94) It is described elsewhere. (fn. 95)
Bethel Evangelistic Society
SILVETDALE. The Bethel Evangelistic Society first met in the Silverdale Dance Hall in 1931. (fn. 96) The members then built the Bethel Temple in The Rookery which was opened in 1932. (fn. 97) The meeting was still held there in 1958.
Christadelphians or Brethren of Christ
The Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle (Staffs.) group of this church is treated under Stoke. (fn. 98)
NEWCASTLE. The Christian Brethren probably established themselves in a chapel in Bow Street in 1842. (fn. 99) They registered Bridgman's Schoolroom in Bow Street, on the site of the later National schools, (fn. 100) as a place of worship in 1855. It had ceased to be used by 1866. (fn. 101) Part of a house in Merrial Street was registered for worship by the Brethren in 1856 possibly in succession to Bridgman's Schoolroom. It had ceased to be used by 1866. (fn. 102)
RED STREET. There was a society of Christian Brethren at Red Street in 1859. (fn. 103)
Church of Christ
CHESTERTON. A Church of Christ in Heath Street had been opened by 1916. (fn. 106) It was still in use in 1958.
Church of Christ Scientist
NEWCASTLE. The second floor of a building in High Street was registered for public worship in November 1939 by a group of Christian Scientists. (fn. 107) In 1957 they moved to the first floor of 46 Ironmarket. (fn. 108)
Church of the Seventh Day Advent
NEWCASTLE, BASFORD. An Advent Church in Victoria Street, Basford, was registered for worship in 1948. (fn. 109)
NEWCASTLE. The history of Congregationalism may be traced back to the open-air preaching of Captain Jonathan Scott c. 1776. (fn. 110) By 1777 a church had been formed (fn. 111) and seven years later Scott bought some land on The Marsh, later King Street, on which he built 'The Marsh Chapel'. (fn. 112) This was described in 1834 as 'a handsome brick edifice' (fn. 113) and in 1851 seated nearly 500. (fn. 114) Average attendance in the first three months of that year was 200 and at the Sunday school 130. (fn. 115) In 1859 a new chapel was built, again in King Street, at a cost of £3,000. (fn. 116) It is a Gothic building of yellow and blue brick with a spired turret at the west corner. A new school was erected in 1912 at a cost of £1,150. (fn. 117) This chapel seats 500 and the membership in 1957 was 116. (fn. 118)
CLAYTON. A Congregational chapel to seat 250 was built in 1952 in Stafford Avenue, Clayton. (fn. 119) Proceeds from the sales of Copeland Street Chapel, Stoke-upon-Trent, and the chapel at Milton, helped to meet the cost of the new Clayton building. (fn. 120)
SILVERDALE. The Congregational Church at Silverdale originated in the work of an evangelist sent by the Staffordshire Congregational Union c. 1868. (fn. 121) The congregation first met in a room at 13 Bridge Street under the leadership of Mr. Smith, the village schoolmaster, (fn. 122) and later moved to the Temperance Hall, rented for £8. (fn. 123) In 1875 a building scheme was launched and the present church in Victoria Street was subsequently erected. (fn. 124) It seats 480 and membership in 1957 was 30. (fn. 125) The chapel is a red-brick building with a turret. The Sunday school, built in 1932, (fn. 126) stands behind it.
WOLSTANTON. A Congregational church was started in 1902 when G. W. Garlick purchased the necessary land and an iron building transported from Hanley Park was opened as a school-chapel, registered as the Congregational Sunday School, Watlands View. (fn. 127) It was superseded in 1908 by another building. (fn. 128) The present church was erected on an adjoining site in 1922. (fn. 129) It has a seating capacity of 450. Membership in 1957 numbered 150. (fn. 130)
CHESTERTON. The Staffordshire Congregational Union started a Congregational meeting at Chesterton in 1894, obtaining possession of a disused Baptist chapel in Victoria Street. (fn. 131) In 1901 the churches at Chesterton and Silverdale came together under the ministry of George Nicholls, afterwards M.P. for Northamptonshire. In 1912 a Sunday school was built, (fn. 132) and was superseded in 1937 by a new school costing £1,200. (fn. 133) The seating capacity of the chapel is 250 and in 1957 there were 70 members. (fn. 134) The chapel is a red-brick building with blue-brick dressings. (fn. 135)
Elim Four Square Gospel Alliance (fn. 136)
SILVERDALE. The branch of the Elim Four Square Gospel Alliance at Silverdale was formed by a secession from the Bethel Temple there. (fn. 137) In 1938 a splinter group from that church registered Emmanuel Chapel, Park Road, for worship. (fn. 138) In 1939 the group, which by then had joined the Four Square Gospel Alliance, (fn. 139) moved into a new brick chapel in Albert Street, (fn. 140) which is still in use. (fn. 141)
Wesleyan Methodist Church (fn. 144)
NEWCASTLE. In the autumn of 1777 a house at Lee's Croft was registered for worship by John Bourne and Joseph Smith of Tunstall (fn. 145) and John Glenn of Newcastle. (fn. 146) In December of the same year John Glenn registered what may have been the first Methodist chapel in Newcastle, 'a piece of building erected on part of a croft adjoining the bottom of Penkhull Street, called Hayes Croft'. (fn. 147) This was probably at the corner of London Road and Penkhull Street nearly opposite the present Roman Catholic church. In 1788 another chapel was built on roughly the same site, (fn. 148) Wesley recording that in March of that year he 'preached in the shell of a new chapel at Newcastle-under-Lyme'. (fn. 149) In 1799 this chapel was replaced by one in Lower Street, (fn. 150) licensed the following year at the request of Samuel Thomason. (fn. 151) The chapel, a large square red-brick building with a pyramidal hipped roof and two tiers of round-headed windows, was still standing in a dismantled condition in 1960. There were formerly two doorways with pedimented doorcases approached by a double flight of curved steps and surmounted by a bust of Wesley on the front and bearing the date May 1799. Internally there is a contemporary panelled gallery on cast-iron supports. In 1851 it seated 468 and had an average congregation of 250. (fn. 152) Shortly before 1859 a site was acquired for a new chapel in Brunswick Street; (fn. 153) the foundation stone was laid in 1860 in the name of the Holy Trinity (fn. 154) and the chapel opened for worship in 1861. (fn. 155) The Lower Street Chapel was sold in 1863 (fn. 156) to the United Methodist Free Church. (fn. 157) In 1860 Sunday schools were erected on the site of the public baths in School Street. (fn. 158) A minister's house was purchased between 1875 and 1880. (fn. 159) About 1884 the Brunswick Lecture Hall was completed at a cost of £2,000, the gift of a Mrs. Gibson. (fn. 160) Additional vestries were also built at this date. (fn. 161) In 1940 Brunswick, which was head of the Wesleyan Circuit, and, after the Methodist Union, of Newcastle Circuit, seated 850. (fn. 162) After the division of Newcastle Circuit in 1942, Brunswick Chapel was head of the circuit covering part of Newcastle, Basford, Wolstanton, and Chesterton. (fn. 163) However, as the central Newcastle chapels were losing strength, partly because of a population shift to the suburbs, Brunswick was closed in 1956 because it had a smaller congregation than Ebenezer Chapel. Many of the congregation joined the Westlands Methodist church. (fn. 164) Brunswick was sold to the corporation as an extension to the public swimming baths. (fn. 165) The former Brunswick Chapel, of red brick in Gothic style with blue-brick bands and stone dressings consisted of a nave and two aisles.
An iron chapel, Ashfield Wesleyan Mission Chapel, also known as Newcastle Home Mission Chapel, was opened in 1875 as a chapel and Sunday school. (fn. 166) It was subsequently replaced by a brick building and in 1940 seated 265. (fn. 167) There was also a school building by this date. (fn. 168) In 1957 the chapel had 50 members. (fn. 169) It is situated in Mortimore Street and is a red-brick building with round-headed windows. Westlands Methodist Church in Pilkington Avenue on the Westlands housing estate was registered for worship in 1939. (fn. 170) In 1940 it seated 100 (fn. 171) and is a brick building.
CLAYTON. From at least 1876 a group of Wesleyan Methodists used the Board school for worship. It was still meeting there in 1940 (fn. 172) but now has a hut off Clayton Road.
SILVERDALE. A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was erected at Silverdale (Knutton Heath) in 1824 and enlarged in 1834. (fn. 173) In 1851 it seated 200 and on 30 March of that year attendance was reported as 200 in the morning and 194 in the afternoon. (fn. 174) This chapel was replaced by a new building in Church Street in 1857. (fn. 175) A Sunday school was built adjoining it in 1858 and further extensions were added in 1869 and 1900. (fn. 176) In 1940 Wesley Chapel seated 380 (fn. 177) and in 1957 had 42 members. (fn. 178) There was a Welsh Wesleyan chapel at Silverdale in 1876. (fn. 179) It was still in use in 1884 but had closed by 1892. (fn. 180) In 1867 a Wesleyan chapel was erected at Knutton. (fn. 181) This was closed by 1932 because of the dwindling of its congregation. (fn. 182) It is a small brick building standing beside Elim Church in Black Bank Road.
WOLSTANTON. There is a tradition that a Wesleyan group was meeting at Wolstanton by 1806, (fn. 183) and the house of a Samuel Goodfellow, registered as a meeting-house for Protestant dissenters in 1795, may possibly have been used by Methodists. (fn. 184) The first chapel was built in 1813 or 1814 (fn. 185) in Wedgwood Street and by 1829 had 59 members. (fn. 186) In 1851 it seated 220 and attendance on 30 March of that year was reported as 51 in the morning and 86 in the evening. (fn. 187) In 1865 the foundation stones of a new chapel in High Street were laid and the chapel was opened in 1867. (fn. 188) New Sunday-school buildings were started in 1868 (fn. 189) and completed by 1891. (fn. 190) Between 1860 and 1890 the population of Wolstanton grew rapidly; the membership of the chapel increased to 170 in 1894 and it became necessary to extend or rebuild. (fn. 191) In 1894 the decision was taken to demolish the chapel and rebuild on the same site. The new chapel was opened in 1895. (fn. 192) In 1940 it seated 750. (fn. 193) It became head of the circuit on the closing of Brunswick Chapel, Newcastle, in 1956. (fn. 194) Membership increased with the closing of the Methodist New Connexion chapels at Wolstanton and Waterloo Road, Burslem, (fn. 195) and in 1957 stood at 367. (fn. 196) St. John's Church is a large brick structure in Perpendicular style, with a nave, transepts, and a square tower. The organ, originally built in 1896, was rebuilt in 1952. (fn. 197) A church hall behind the Sunday school was built in 1928. (fn. 198)
CHESTERTON. A Wesleyan chapel was built in 1785. (fn. 199) In 1851 it seated 158 and on 30 March of that year had a congregation of 40 in the morning and 70 in the evening. There was also a Sunday school. (fn. 200) In 1857 a new chapel was built, the former chapel being first used in 1858 as a poor relief station (fn. 201) and then passing to the Welsh Wesleyans. (fn. 202) The 1857 chapel was in turn replaced by another chapel in 1875, the 1857 chapel then being converted into a schoolroom. (fn. 203) In 1940 the chapel seated 420. (fn. 204) It is a large red-brick building in Gothic style with bands of blue brick and stone sills and copings. Between 1858 and 1868 a Welsh Wesleyan congregation began to meet in the old Wesleyan chapel. (fn. 205) This group continued to meet until at least 1904, but had dispersed by 1912. (fn. 206)
RED STREET. Wedgwood Chapel, Wedgwood Place, Red Street, lies just over the boundary in Audley Urban District, but serves Red Street within the present borough of Newcastle. The house of James Hughes at Red Street was registered for worship by Protestant dissenters in 1808 (fn. 207) and in 1833 the Wesleyan chapel was built. (fn. 208) A new chapel was built by the side of it in 1889. (fn. 209) In 1940 this seated 200 (fn. 210) and in 1957 had 37 members. (fn. 211) The old chapel is a small building of ashlar bearing the inscription 'J.W. 1833'. The present one is of red brick.
BASFORD. A Wesleyan Methodist chapel had been built at Basford by 1902 to serve this rapidly developing suburb of Newcastle. (fn. 212) It is a brick building in Basford Park Road and in 1940 seated 250. (fn. 213) In 1957 it had a membership of 66. (fn. 214)
Wolstanton. Bradwell Methodist Church in Bradwell Lane on the Bradwell housing estate was registered for worship in 1949. (fn. 215)
Methodist New Connexion
Newcastle. There was a Methodist New Connexion society at Newcastle by September 1797. (fn. 216) At first it met in premises in Fogg Lane (now Fogg Street), between the Ironmarket and Marsh (now Merrial) Street. (fn. 217) In 1799 a chapel, named Ebenezer by 1803, (fn. 218) was built in Marsh Street. (fn. 219) A school building was added in 1822 and the chapel was enlarged in 1823. (fn. 220) In 1851 it seated 550. Attendance on 30 March of that year was reported as 250 in the morning and 400 in the evening, while Sundayschool attendance on the same day was 230 in the morning and 480 in the afternoon. (fn. 221) The building of a new chapel was begun in 1857 on the same side of Merrial Street, but farther east, and completed in 1858. (fn. 222) The manse was built on the west side of this chapel in 1869. (fn. 223) In 1872 Ebenezer Chapel became head of the newly formed Newcastle Circuit (fn. 224) and in 1897 altered its designation to Ebenezer Church. (fn. 225) A vestry at the rear of the church was converted in 1944 into a small chapel. (fn. 226) The church seated 842 in 1941 (fn. 227) and in 1957 had 220 members. (fn. 228) The old chapel has been used as schoolrooms and an assembly hall since 1858. (fn. 229) It is a two-story building with Classical features. Ebenezer Church is a wellproportioned two-story brick building with a stone portico and a pediment. The interior has a pillared gallery, elliptical in form.
SILVERDALE. There was a Methodist New Connexion society at Silverdale (Knutton Heath) by September 1797. (fn. 230) A chapel registered in 1808 (fn. 231) may have been for this society or for the Wesleyan Methodists. The first chapel to be definitely associated with this group was built in 1834 and was called Bethel. (fn. 232) This seated 160 in 1851 and had an attendance on 30 March of that year of 80 in the afternoon and 60 in the evening. There was also a Sunday school with an attendance of 62. (fn. 233) This chapel stood on Bethel Bank, opposite the 'Sneyd Arms'. (fn. 234) It was replaced in 1856 by a chapel, also called Bethel, erected at the corner of Church and Chapel Streets. (fn. 235) This seated 400 in 1940 (fn. 236) and had a membership of 97 in 1957. (fn. 237) It is a red-brick building with a white stone portico, pilasters of Staffordshire blue brick at the front, and round-headed windows with white keystones. The Sunday school is a smaller building in Chapel Street.
WOLSTANTON. Providence Chapel was built in 1828. (fn. 238) In 1851 it seated 70 and had an attendance of 29 in the afternoon and 54 in the evening on 30 March of that year. There was also a Sunday school with an attendance on that date of 44 in the morning, 32 in the afternoon, and 18 in the evening. (fn. 239) A new chapel in New Street was built in 1877. (fn. 240) This seated 300 in 1940 (fn. 241) but was closed in 1953. (fn. 242)
CHESTERTON. A Methodist New Connexion chapel was built here between 1860 and 1868. (fn. 243) A new chapel, called Grove, in London Road was built in 1879. (fn. 244) In 1940 it seated 180 (fn. 245) and had a membership of 71 in 1957. (fn. 246) The chapel is a red-brick building with round-headed windows and is dressed with Staffordshire blue brick.
Primitive Methodist Church
NEWCASTLE. A Primitive Methodist chapel at Higherland later said to have been built in 1823 (fn. 250) was registered in 1828. (fn. 251) In 1851 it seated 280 and attendance on 30 March 1851 was returned as 106 in the morning, 108 in the afternoon, and 351 in the evening. The Sunday school was also large, its attendance on the same day being 306 in the morning, 316 in the afternoon, and 351 in the evening. Presumably the evening service was a joint meeting of the chapel and Sunday school. (fn. 252) As these figures show, the chapel was too small to contain the congregation and in 1853 it was rebuilt. (fn. 253) A large Sunday-school building was added behind the chapel in 1856. (fn. 254) The chapel seated 460 in 1940, (fn. 255) and had 115 members in 1957. (fn. 256) The present chapel is of blue and red brick and has round-headed windows and doorway. A Primitive Methodist chapel had been built in Boundary Street by 1884. (fn. 257) In 1940 it seated 230. (fn. 258) It was closed in 1953. (fn. 259)
SILVERDALE. A Primitive Methodist chapel was erected at Silverdale (Knutton Heath) in 1838. (fn. 260) In 1851 it seated 120 and the congregation on 30 March of that year was said to be 120 also. (fn. 261) A new chapel, called Zion, was built in 1864 (fn. 262) and in 1869 a Sundayschool building was added in Earl Street. (fn. 263) The chapel seated 750 in 1940 (fn. 264) and in 1957 had a membership of 101. (fn. 265) It stands in High Street and is a red-brick building with round-headed windows.
KNUTTON. A Primitive Methodist chapel was erected in High Street, Knutton, between 1851 and 1880. (fn. 266) This stood on the west side of the present public house, the 'Mason's Arms', and was demolished in 1880 on the building of a larger chapel in High Street. (fn. 267) This was closed on the union of 1932. (fn. 268) It is a large red-brick building and is now in use as a school kitchen.
BLACK BANK. A Primitive Methodist chapel at Black Bank was registered for worship in 1861. (fn. 269) The registration was cancelled in 1940. (fn. 270) The chapel is a small building of red and blue brick and stands on the north side of Black Bank Road at Black Bank. In 1957 it was in use as a barn.
CROSS HEATH. A Primitive Methodist church in Liverpool Road was registered for worship in 1912. (fn. 271) It seated 300 in 1940 and had school buildings attached. (fn. 272) In 1957 it had 52 members. (fn. 273)
WOLSTANTON. The house of John Hancock at the Cotton Works (fn. 274) was registered for worship by a group of Primitive Methodists including James Nixon in February 1812. (fn. 275) Later in the same month the Cotton Works appears on the Primitive Methodist preaching plan. (fn. 276) In 1822 the society apparently moved to another building called the Schoolroom which was registered (fn. 277) by Thomas Thompson, one of the original group. (fn. 278) The first chapel was opened in 1830 and seated 126 in 1851. Attendance on 30 March of that year was returned as 40 in the afternoon and 50 in the evening, while the Sunday school had an attendance of 50 in the afternoon and 20 in the evening. (fn. 279) This chapel lay in Chapel Lane (fn. 280) and was replaced in 1879 by Jubilee Methodist Church in High Street. (fn. 281) A Sunday-school building was added in 1884. (fn. 282) In 1940 this chapel seated 425 (fn. 283) and in 1957 had 105 members. (fn. 284) It is a large building of red brick. A Primitive Methodist chapel in Peel Street, Longbridge Hayes, was built in 1879. (fn. 285) In 1940 it seated 128 (fn. 286) and it was still in use in 1957. (fn. 287)
CHESTERTON. The first Primitive Methodist chapel at Chesterton was erected in 1834 and seated 146 in 1851. (fn. 288) Attendance on 30 March of that year was returned as 15 in the afternoon and 40 in the evening. There was also a Sunday school at which attendance on the same day was 40 in the afternoon and 10 in the evening. (fn. 289) This chapel stood in Wedgwood (later Calver) Street. (fn. 290) In 1872 a new chapel was built in London Road. (fn. 291) In 1875 Sunday-school buildings were added. (fn. 292) The chapel seated 500 in 1940 (fn. 293) and had 41 members in 1957. (fn. 294) It is a large red-brick building with blue and yellow brick dressings.
RED STREET. A Primitive Methodist chapel was opened at Red Street between 1872 and 1876. (fn. 295) It is said to have belonged to a Mr. Cope. It ceased to be used as a chapel in 1933, and was then sold to a local builder who converted it into houses. (fn. 296)
United Methodist Free Church
NEWCASTLE. Newcastle Methodist Reform Church was the result of a secession from Lower Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in 1849. (fn. 297) From 1854 to 1863 this group worshipped in a chapel in Church Street, (fn. 298) then in the latter year purchased Lower Street Chapel from the Wesleyan Church. (fn. 299) Lower Street Chapel was closed in 1939. (fn. 300)
SILVERDALE. A United Methodist Free Church chapel was built here in 1876. (fn. 301) In 1940 it seated 600 (fn. 302) and in 1957 had 53 members. (fn. 303) It is a large red-brick building in High Street.
KNUTTON. A United Methodist Free Church chapel was erected in Paradise Street (now Cemetery Road) in 1862. (fn. 304) In 1867 this was replaced by a larger chapel, called Elim Chapel, which stands at the end of Black Bank Road. (fn. 305) This seated 266 in 1940. (fn. 306) It was still in use in 1958.
WOLSTANTON. A United Methodist Free Church chapel at May Bank was erected by 1872. (fn. 307) The present chapel which stands in Moreton Parade was probably built c. 1932 (fn. 308) and seated 350 in 1940. (fn. 309) It was still in use in 1957. (fn. 310)
CHESTERTON. A United Free Church chapel was built in High Street, in 1861. (fn. 311) In 1940 it seated 450 (fn. 312) and in 1957 had a membership of 58. (fn. 313) It is a large brick building with round-headed windows.
Missions (fn. 314)
NEWCASTLE. By 1882 there was a Total Abstinence Society in Newcastle, (fn. 315) which in 1886 erected a Temperance Hall in Bridge Street. (fn. 316) It ceased to be used as a Temperance Hall in 1910 (fn. 317) and in 1944 was sold to the Salvation Army. (fn. 318) The Children's Special Service Association registered a mission room in Bow Street for worship in 1883. It had ceased to be used by 1896. (fn. 319) The Borough Mission registered a Borough Mission Hall in Church Street for worship in 1887. This registration was cancelled in 1888. (fn. 320)
CROSS HEATH. The Newcastle Borough Mission registered a mission room at Cross Heath for worship in 1898. This had ceased to be used by 1937. (fn. 323)
Reformed Episcopal Church
CHESTERTON. A Reformed Episcopal church, dedicated to St. Mary, at Churchfield, was registered for worship in 1910. The registration was cancelled in 1914. (fn. 324)
NEWCASTLE. The Bowling Green, no. 35 Salters Lane, was registered for worship by the Salvation Mission in June 1883. It had ceased to be used by 1889, (fn. 325) and was superseded by the Malthouse, also in Salters Lane, registered for worship in November 1883. (fn. 326) It continued in use until 1917 when the former Temperance Hall in Bridge Street was taken over. (fn. 327) This was still in use in 1958. (fn. 328) A Junior Soldiers' Barracks in Croft Street was registered for worship in 1883. It was closed in 1930. (fn. 329)
SILVERDALE. A Salvation Workshop in Newcastle Street was registered for worship in 1883, but had ceased to be used by 1896. (fn. 330) A Barracks was registered in Albert Street in 1888. (fn. 331) In 1898 the present (1958) Barracks, a brick building in Vale Pleasant, was built. (fn. 332)
CHESTERTON. The Salvation Miners' Hall in Heathcote Street was registered for worship in 1882. (fn. 333) It was superseded by a hall in Sandford Street in 1922. (fn. 334) It had ceased to be used by 1954. (fn. 335) In 1954 the Salvation Army Hall, in Albert Street, was registered for worship. (fn. 336) It was still in use in 1958.
Society of Friends
NEWCASTLE. The Friends Meeting House in Priory Road was opened in 1951 to replace the Thomas Street Meeting House, Stoke-upon-Trent. It was still in use in 1958. (fn. 337)
KNUTTON. A Quaker conventicle was reported in 1669 at the house of John Bodily. (fn. 338)
WOLSTANTON. A Quaker conventicle at the houses of William Burslem and William Marsh was reported in 1669 at which one of the attenders was George Hanson. (fn. 339)
NEWCASTLE. A Spiritualist Free Church meeting, held at 4 Fogg Street, was registered in 1905. The house had ceased to be used for this purpose by 1906. (fn. 340) A First Christian Spiritualist church held at 47a Bridge Street was registered in 1931. It had ceased to meet by 1954. (fn. 341) A Light of Christ Spiritualist church in Hassell Street was registered in 1935. It had closed by 1954. (fn. 342)
SILVERDALE. A Spiritualist church in Wheat Sheaf Yard, Church Street, was registered in 1934. It had ceased to be used by 1954. (fn. 343)
Unitarianism in Newcastle dates from the mid18th century when the old meeting-house (fn. 344) was under the ministration of William Willett until his resignation in 1776. (fn. 345) The congregation thereafter dwindled and the chapel was closed c. 1805 (fn. 346) to be reopened for a brief period from 1808 to 1810. (fn. 347) Shortly afterwards the Rector of Newcastle obtained possession of the chapel and removed most of its pews to repair those of the parish church. (fn. 348) In 1820 the chapel was reopened under the leadership of Mary Byerley, niece of the first Josiah Wedgwood, and with the support of the second Josiah Wedgwood, who was one of the trustees. (fn. 349) In the following year Richard Cooper became joint minister of Hanley and Newcastle. (fn. 350) From 1831 to 1837 and from 1842 to 1845 there was no minister at Newcastle, (fn. 351) while in the 1840's there was some connexion with the Christian Brethren. (fn. 352) The congregation was reorganized in 1854 with Francis Wedgwood as chairman (fn. 353) and a regular minister was appointed in 1858. (fn. 354) There was again no minister from 1869 to 1872 and the chapel was closed for the next four years. (fn. 355) With the appointment of a minister in 1877, its fortunes revived. (fn. 356) In 1887 the congregation moved to two rented rooms at 25 King Street; it was hoped that a location in the centre of the town would attract more members, Lower Street by this date having ceased to be a main thoroughfare. (fn. 357) In 1892, however, the congregation returned to the chapel but was without a minister. (fn. 358) From 1896 to 1897 the building was occupied by the Labour party as a Labour church. (fn. 359) In 1898, after renovation, it was reopened by the Unitarians and in 1906 they obtained a minister. (fn. 360) The chapel was again renovated in 1907. (fn. 361) From 1913 to 1916 the chapel was once more without a minister (fn. 362) and in 1960 had a lay pastor but no regular minister. The minister of the chapel benefited under the charity of Humphrey Burrows, founded before 1740, and under that of Ralph Cartwright, founded by will of 1776. (fn. 363) The latter, and probably the Burrows Charity also, lapsed in 1805. (fn. 364)
There was a library at the meeting-house in the 1840's but it was falling into disuse by 1848 and the books were then lent to the Christian Brethren Preachers' Library in Market Street, Hanley. (fn. 365) The records of the meeting-house consist of a book of memoranda covering the period 1819–98 and a minute book, 1854–64. (fn. 366)
The meeting-house is a plain rectangular building, of which the door and window openings are probably original. It is now roughcast externally and has an upper story, added in 1926. The only original fittings internally are the panelled oak gallery front and a staircase with turned balusters. The pulpit was removed from its central position in 1959; some of the woodwork may be of 18th-century date. There are two inscribed slabs commemorating Hannah Astbury (d. 1729) and Lydia Borrow (d. 1731) on the floor of the chapel beneath the gallery.