A History of the County of York: the City of York. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1961.
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Independents and Unitarians from 1672
Five men are known to have been licensed in York in 1672 as independent preachers. Ralph Ward, who had been ejected from Hartburn (Co. Durham) in 1660 and had come to York as chaplain to Sir John Hewley, (fn. 1) received a licence as an Independent teacher. (fn. 2) Peter Williams, appointed 1655 as one of the four preachers in the minster, and James Calvert, ejected from Topcliffe (N.R.) and nephew of another minster preacher, Thomas Calvert, (fn. 3) were licensed as Protestant teachers. (fn. 4) Licences (fn. 5) were also granted to Nathaniel Lamb, ejected from Alne (N.R.), and to John Donkinson, ejected from Sand Hutton near Thirsk (N.R.), as Protestant teachers and to Thomas Byrdsell, ejected from Selby (W.R.), as a Presbyterian teacher. (fn. 6)
In 1672 several houses were licensed for worship: those of Andrew Taylor in Micklegate, of Brian Dawson in Ousegate, and of Lady Watson in St. Saviourgate were licensed as Independent meeting places. Peter Williams, James Calvert, and Nathaniel Lamb were licensed to preach in their own houses. (fn. 7) Ralph Ward is known to have preached in the houses of Andrew Taylor and Brian Dawson, (fn. 8) whilst he and Peter Williams preached in Lady Watson's house in St. Saviourgate on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (fn. 9) In 1676 161 'dissenters' were recorded in York. (fn. 10)
In 1682 Ward was twice fined for holding a conventicle. (fn. 11) In 1684 he was arrested with Andrew Taylor at a meeting of 32 persons in the house of a Mrs. Rokeby in 'Micklegate Without', tried before Judge Jeffreys, and committed to prison. (fn. 12) He was released in 1686 (fn. 13) and thereafter was assisted by Noah Ward (unrelated) who had been licensed in 1672 as a Presbyterian preacher at 'Little Askham' near York. (fn. 14) Noah Ward preached on the third Sunday and took the third weekday lecture. (fn. 15)
Although Ralph Ward was described as an Independent in 1672 the congregation to which he afterwards ministered does not appear to have been a strictly Independent one. Sir John and Lady Hewley, Lady Watson, and Lady Lister, who used their influence to protect Ward and other dissenting ministers, appear to have favoured both Presbyterians and Independents equally. (fn. 16) About 1690 he was preaching on three Sundays in the month to a small meeting which has been described as the only one in York at the time. (fn. 17)
Ralph Ward died in 1691 and was succeeded in 1692 by Thomas Colton. (fn. 18) The congregation set about building ST. SAVIOURGATE CHAPEL, (fn. 19) sometimes known as Lady Hewley's Chapel; it was registered in Quarter Sessions on 28 April 1693. (fn. 20) The building is in the form of a cross, the area of each limb being equal to that of the central intersection; the land round it was used as a burial ground. The chapel is brick-built with a tiled roof and the entrance is by folding doors. Lady Hewley, who was one of the original benefactors of the chapel, made an allowance to the minister during her lifetime and by an article in the charity she founded in 1707, made provision for the continuation of this allowance after her death. (fn. 21) A Presbyterian congregation continued to attend the chapel under the successive ministries of Thomas Colton (to 1731) and John Hotham. (fn. 22) In 1756 the trustees of the Hewley Charity appointed Newcome Cappe as sole minister apparently in opposition to the wishes of part of the congregation. (fn. 23) He introduced Arianism and during his ministry the congregation declined, leaving only a small number who had adopted his views. (fn. 24) Subsequently the chapel became completely Unitarian, although the stipend of the minister continued to be augmented by the Hewley Charity. In the 1830's the charity became the subject of a noted Chancery action. After protracted litigation over the alleged misapplication of the funds for Unitarian purposes, the trustees of the charity were removed in 1836 and the minister's stipend was not thereafter augmented from Lady Hewley's charity. (fn. 25) The use of the chapel by the Unitarians was not affected by the action and in 1851 an average Sunday attendance of 120 persons was reported. (fn. 26) The chapel was still used by the Unitarians in 1956.
Charles Wellbeloved, principal of the Manchester College and a local antiquary of some note, was minister of the chapel from 1801 to 1858 having been assistant to Cappe from 1792. (fn. 27)
The Society of Friends
George Fox first visited York in 1651; he spoke to the congregation in the minster and was afterwards thrown down the steps of the church, but when he left York several people 'had received the truth'. (fn. 28) In the same year William Dewsbury, 'perhaps the foremost man in gathering the Yorkshire Friends', (fn. 29) held a meeting at York in the orchard of Richard Smith, a tanner. (fn. 30) Two York Friends, Boswell Middleton and Agnes Wilkinson, were imprisoned in 1653 for speaking to preachers in the churches and four similar offences were reported in 1654. (fn. 31) In that year George Whitehead, later to become an eminent Friend, visited York and described the meeting there as small. (fn. 32)
After his first visit in 1651, Fox returned to York on several occasions: in 1663; in 1665 when he was under arrest but was able to speak effectively to a large number of troops; in 1666 when he describes a large meeting at York; and in 1669 when he was present at the Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting in York. (fn. 33) Amongst the Friends penalized in York during the 17th century were Stephen Crisp, who travelled in Yorkshire in 1660; (fn. 34) John Taylor, a prominent Friend who settled in York as a sugar refiner; Edward Nightingale whose property was used for the meetings; and Thomas Waite, a bookseller. (fn. 35)
In 1659 the Friends in York were meeting in their own 'hired house' and on five occasions these meetings were disrupted either by the interference of soldiers, or of the mayor and aldermen; the worshippers were commonly offered violence and abuse. (fn. 36) Meetings were reported in the same meeting-house in 1660, when citizens opposed to the Friends broke all the chairs and benches, saying they did so by order of the mayor. This meeting-house was the property of Edward Nightingale, a grocer, and was situated near his house in High Ousegate. In 1670 Nightingale was heavily fined for permitting meetings in his house and for attending meetings held in the streets. In the same year eighteen persons were fined for attending Quaker conventicles, so that the York Meeting was virtually dispersed. (fn. 37)
The early organization of the Friends in Yorkshire is not certainly known but it seems likely that the county was in 1665 divided into five Monthly Meetings, subsequently regrouped into seven. (fn. 38) In 1668 the York Monthly Meeting is described as comprising York, Tadcaster, Selby, and Whixley (W.R.) Meetings. (fn. 39) In 1669 York was one of the 14 M.M.s into which Yorkshire was at that date divided. (fn. 40) The Yorkshire Q.M. minutes for 1669 are the earliest extant, but they imply that periodical gatherings of a similar nature had been held previously. The M.M.s within the Q.M. have been regrouped from time to time and in 1960 numbered seven. York M.M. has a continuous history throughout the period, but its constituent 'particular' meetings have varied, including, beside those in the city, nine in other parts of the county. (fn. 41) The York M.M. was still in existence in 1956 and the Yorkshire Q.M. was still held in the city.
Despite the persecution during the first twenty years of Quakerism in York it was possible in 1674 to adapt some tenements adjacent to Friargate (also belonging to Edward Nightingale) as a meetinghouse. In 1678 a gallery and a porch were added to the house and an adjacent mill-house and stable were converted into a meeting place for the Yorkshire Q.M. (fn. 42) The freehold of the site was purchased in 1696. (fn. 43)
In 1684 the Q.M. published a condemnation of the action of several members in York in seceding to form a separate group. The answer to this condemnation was signed by four York Quakers including Edward Nightingale. The separate meeting appears to have begun in 1681 (fn. 44) and was the expres sion of opposition to an advice against hasty second marriages; (fn. 45) it persisted at least until 1690. (fn. 46)
In 1695 the York society was in debt, despite 'the making of monthly as well as larger collections over the past eleven years'; the aid given to Friends imprisoned in York castle reduced the society's resources at this period. (fn. 47) The size of the meetings appears to have been increasing, for in 1709 it was agreed that those on the first day should often be held in the great meeting-house because of the pressure on space in the small meeting-house. (fn. 48) By 1743 there were said to be 50 persons attending the York Meeting, but it is not clear that this was an increase in numbers. (fn. 49)
In 1718 a new meeting-house for the Q.M. was erected, adjacent to the old meeting-house on the west, and to Far Water Lane (Friargate) on the north. This building accommodated between 800 and 1,000 persons and cost £562. (fn. 50) In 1786 this larger meeting-house and the smaller one used by the York Meeting were formed into a single trust. (fn. 51) In 1816 the large meeting-house was taken down and after the purchase of some adjacent property was replaced by a larger and more convenient building. This building provided two meeting-rooms, a library, committee room, and doorkeepers' premises and was approached by a covered yard from Friargate. The larger of the two meeting-rooms had a gallery on three sides, the smaller had galleries on two sides and there was accommodation in all for 1,200 persons. (fn. 52) The total cost was £3,274. (fn. 53) The building was red brick with arched lights; entrance was by three double doors behind a colonnade. The architects were Watson and Pritchett of York. (fn. 54)
The site of the meeting-houses was enlarged in 1884 on the construction of Clifford Street. At the same time the smaller or women's meeting-house was reconstructed and a cloakroom, caretakers' accommodation, a lecture room, two committee rooms, and a room for the Q.M. library were added. The cost of these improvements was £6,145. The additional buildings, flanking the 1816 meeting-house on the south, are built of red brick and the main entrance from Clifford Street is approached by a flight of steps. The architect was W. H. Thorpe of Leeds. (fn. 55)
In 1891 further alterations were made and the entrance from Castlegate on the north of the meeting-house was closed. In 1912 the York Meeting received the Trust for the meeting-house, which previously had been held by the Q.M. (fn. 56)
The Yorkshire Q.M. library was established in 1776 (fn. 57) and is housed in the Clifford Street buildings. It includes the Birkbeck library, a set of books and pamphlets published by Friends, collected by Morris Birkbeck of Guildford, which was presented to the Q.M. in 1811. (fn. 58)
The first Quaker burial ground in York lay close to the Clifford Street meeting-house, on land owned by Edward Nightingale. Though the number of burials was small it is possible that Quakers who died during imprisonment in York castle were buried there. No burials are recorded after 1671, but the land remained the property of the York Meeting until 1884. (fn. 59) In 1667 land was purchased for a burial ground on Bishophill, south of the river between the present Albion Street and Cromwell Road. Lindley Murray, the author, and John Woolman, the American Quaker who died of smallpox whilst visiting York, are buried there. The burial ground was enlarged by the purchase of an adjacent site in 1823. (fn. 60) In 1855 the ground was closed for burials and land for a new burial ground was purchased next to The Retreat. (fn. 61) Both these grounds were the property of the York M.M. in 1956.
A meeting was started in the Foresters' Hall, Acomb, in 1906. Four years later this was recognized as the Acomb Allowed Meeting. (fn. 62) The Primitive Methodist Chapel on Acomb Green was bought by the Friends in 1911. (fn. 63) The Acomb Meeting continued to meet here and was occupying the premises in 1956.
A Leeman Road Meeting was begun in 1906 (fn. 64) and was held in the Adult School which stood at the corner of Walworth Street and Stamford Street and was destroyed in the Second World War. In 1908 this meeting was recognized as a 'particular' meeting and a Preparative Meeting was established. The Leeman Road Meeting closed in 1925. (fn. 65)
A meeting in Layerthorpe was started in 1909 in Redeness Street Adult School and moved the following year to a school in St. Cuthbert's Road. It was discontinued in 1913. (fn. 66)
A meeting in the Adult School in Balmoral Terrace, known as the South Bank Meeting, was begun in 1910 and discontinued about 1918. (fn. 67)
The Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion and Congregationalists
In 1749 the Countess of Huntingdon and George Whitefield visited York and a site in College Street was chosen for a chapel. (fn. 68) It is believed that this chapel, which was a plain, plastered building, stood in a garden behind College Street and Goodramgate close to the south-east end of St. William's College. (fn. 69) The congregation is described as including persons of different doctrinal views, but the ministers were supplied from the Countess of Huntingdon's college at Trevecca. (fn. 70) In 1780 William Wren, who had begun his ministry in College Street in 1779, with drew from the Connexion, taking with him many of the congregation. (fn. 71) Subsequently the chapel was supplied by itinerant ministers of the Connexion. (fn. 72) Between 1794 and 1796 doctrinal disputes brought about another division, further weakening the College Street society. (fn. 73) It is not clear how far the chapel continued to be used by the Connexion between that time and 1802 when it was occupied by the Calvinistic Baptists. (fn. 74)
From 1780 to 1781 the congregation which withdrew with Wren from the College Street Chapel was meeting in a room in Coney Street. (fn. 75) In November 1781 the GRAPE LANE CHAPEL between Grape Lane and Coffee Yard was built by Paul Batty, a wealthy York citizen, for Wren and his congregation. (fn. 76) In 1784 Wren died (fn. 77) and the congregation he had gathered was led by a succession of ministers until in 1794 the chapel was bought by a Mr. Watkins, a minister of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion. (fn. 78) It is possible that for a short time Grape Lane and College Street chapels were united as one society served by ministers from the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion. (fn. 79) It is likely therefore that the dispute that caused the second series of secessions from College Street had a similar effect at Grape Lane. (fn. 80) For two years the remaining congregation occupied the chapel, until, in 1798, it was sold to the Methodist New Connexion. (fn. 81)
When in 1796 a part of the Grape Lane Chapel congregation led by a Mr. Wydown seceded, they moved into a small, newly built chapel in Upper Jubbergate, (fn. 82) which was licensed as a dissenters' meeting-house in December 1796. (fn. 83) JUBBERGATE CHAPEL appears to have been attended by a decreasing number of Congregationalists until 1814, when it was adopted by the West Riding Itinerant Society, an association for consolidating Congregationalism in the county. (fn. 84) In 1816 the chapel was bought or rented by the Unitarian Baptists. (fn. 85)
In September 1815 a site was purchased on the south side of Lendal almost opposite the Judges' Lodgings; LENDAL CHAPEL was opened in November of the following year. It provided accommodation for 950 persons and in the basement there was a room for a Sunday school. The building was designed by Watson and Pritchett, architects of York, and the cost, with the site, was more than £3,000. Lendal Chapel was the first in York to be lighted by gas. (fn. 86) The congregation appears to have increased rapidly and although a new Congregational chapel was opened in 1839, 80 persons remained in Lendal Chapel to form the nucleus of a new congregation. (fn. 87) The building was restored in 1902 (fn. 88) and its use as a chapel continued until 1929. (fn. 89) In 1956 the building, the ground floor of which had been altered, was occupied by a shop.
SALEM CHAPEL in St. Saviour's Place was built by the trustees of Lendal Chapel to accommodate the large congregation gathered by the popular minister, James Parsons. (fn. 90) The chapel accommodated nearly 1,700 persons and there were school-room facilities. The building, which was opened in 1839, is fronted by an Ionic portico approached by a flight of steps, and was designed by Watson and Pritchett. The cost was £5,000. (fn. 91) In 1851 there was an average attendance of 800 persons at each of the two Sunday services and about 180 children attended the Sunday school. (fn. 92) Parsons was elected to the Presidency of the Congregational Union in 1849. (fn. 93) The chapel was closed in 1934. A small group continued to meet in a room there until 1954. (fn. 94) The building was used as a warehouse in 1956.
In 1824 a small chapel was opened by Congregationalists in Walmgate, in a passage adjacent to the Admiral Hawke public house. (fn. 95) It appears to have been unsuccessful and was closed some time before 1850 when it was used for a short time by the Wesleyan Reformers. The chapel has been pulled down and the site occupied by a foundry. (fn. 96)
After the sale of Lendal Chapel in 1929, the congregation joined with that of Salem Chapel, until the NEW LENDAL CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH was opened in 1935. The new chapel, cruciform in shape, stands in Burton Stone Lane, and is approached by a drive; it accommodates 300 persons. The cost of the building was met by the proceeds of the sale of Lendal Chapel. H. E. Illingworth of Leeds was the architect. (fn. 97) In 1956 this was the only Congregational chapel in York.
Little evidence has been found of Baptists living in York in the 17th century. An Anabaptist congregation is said to have existed in the city about 1646. (fn. 98) In 1672 Theophilus Browning was licensed as a Baptist preacher in the house of William Wombwell. (fn. 99) This community has been described as comprising General Baptists. (fn. 100) In 1689 John Cox, a York Baptist, published a pamphlet, Articles of Christian Faith. (fn. 101) General Baptists are mentioned in York at the turn of the century. (fn. 102)
Some time before 1800 a number of Wesleyan Methodists seceded and formed 'a connexion upon Calvinistic principles'. (fn. 103) This group, which favoured Unitarianism and was later to be known as the Unitarian Baptists, was served at first by a minister from London and, when he left, by a minister from Lady Huntingdon's Connexion. (fn. 104) It is not known whether the group was connected with Lady Huntingdon's chapel in College Street. (fn. 105) The group broke with Lady Huntingdon's Connexion upon being 'led ... to the consideration of baptism, which ended in [their] obedience to that ordinance by immersion'. (fn. 106) It can be shown that this baptism took place some time before the first baptisms of the Calvinistic Baptists in York in 1799 (see below). (fn. 107) The Unitarian Baptists were baptized by 'a Calvinist Minister in [i.e. from] the West Country, near Leeds' but whether this took place in York is not clear. (fn. 108) This minister preached to the society for some time but eventually they were led by one of their own members, Francis Mason, a journeyman shoemaker. (fn. 109) Meetings are said to have been held by Mason in a house on Peaseholme Green. (fn. 110) Mason died in September 1801 and has been spoken of as the founder of the society. (fn. 111)
In 1816 the Unitarian Baptists are said to have bought, but probably only rented, the Congregational chapel in Jubbergate. (fn. 112) They continued to meet there until 1830 although in that year there was no minister attached to the chapel. (fn. 113) In 1831 a room in Coffee Yard was licensed for General Unitarian Baptist worship (fn. 114) but no evidence of the society's separate existence after this date has been found and it appears that the congregation subsequently joined that of the Unitarian chapel in St. Saviourgate. (fn. 115) The Jubbergate Chapel was purchased by the corporation in 1834 and demolished when Parliament Street was made. (fn. 116)
A second Baptist society was recorded in York in 1802 and has been identified with a Calvinistic Baptist society described as meeting in the chapel in College Street in July of that year. (fn. 117) This group is said to have baptized its first members in 1799 in the Well House in the New Walk. (fn. 118) The society continued to meet in College Street until 1806 when the chapel in Grape Lane was bought from the trustees of the Methodist New Connexion. In 1808 the society joined the Baptist Association but withdrew in 1821; it had probably left Grape Lane Chapel some time before. (fn. 119) It built a baptistry in the chapel in 1810. (fn. 120) Possibly the society was still in existence in 1833 but its meeting-place is not known. (fn. 121)
Baptist services were resumed in January 1862 when the Home Missionary Society hired the Lecture Hall in Goodramgate. Two years later a church of 30 members was formed and a chapel built and opened in June 1868. The BAPTIST CHAPEL, Priory Street, is a stone-faced building in Gothic style, designed by William Peachey of Darlington. There are a lecture room, a schoolroom, a baptistry, and chapel accommodation for 700 persons. G. E. Foster of Cambridge contributed £1,000 towards the cost of erection. (fn. 122) The Priory Street Chapel was used by the Baptists in 1956.
In 1744 John Nelson, a Birstall (W.R.) stonemason, and an early Wesleyan convert, was quartered in York as a soldier (fn. 123) and is thought to have been the first person to have introduced the doctrines of Methodism into the city. (fn. 124) Meetings were held that year in the house of Margaret Townsend in Spurriergate. (fn. 125) By 1747 a society had been formed in York and was meeting in Thomas Stodhart's house at the bottom of the Bedern. The leader of this group was a Thomas Slaton of Acomb, (fn. 126) where Methodists had probably been meeting before this date. (fn. 127) The house of a Mrs. Pindar in what was later known as Alderman Siddal's Yard, Coney Street, was used as a preaching place by William Darney and Alexander Coates, itinerant preachers. (fn. 128) The Methodists continued to meet in the Bedern house until 1752 (fn. 129) when they moved to a room in a building which occupied the site of the ruined chapel of St. Sepulchre on the north of the minster. (fn. 130) A room in Pump Yard, Newgate, was used in 1753, (fn. 131) and had possibly been a second meeting-place from 1751. (fn. 132) The building, at the northern end of Newgate, near The Shambles, was still standing in 1957: a plaque recorded that the upper story was a meetingplace between 1753 and 1759 and that the room in which the Methodists met was destroyed by fire about the year 1880. John Wesley preached here twice—on 9 May 1753 and 5 June 1755—and Charles Wesley twice in October 1756. (fn. 133)
Between 1761 and 1790, John Wesley preached in York on fifteen occasions and on four of them in Anglican churches: in July 1766 in St. Saviour's; in June 1768 in St. Mary's, Castlegate, and St. Michael's, Spurriergate; in May 1786 in St. Saviour's and St. Margaret's; and in May 1790 at All Saints', Pavement. (fn. 134)
In 1749 Acomb was included in the Yorkshire Division of the Wesleyan Methodists but York was not separately mentioned. By 1758, however, York may have been a circuit town with three ministers attached to it. This circuit originally comprised many places round the city and some farther afield, but was contracted by the formation of the Scarborough Circuit in 1770 and the Tadcaster Circuit in 1825. In 1867 the York Circuit was divided to form the New Street (later Clifton) and Wesley Circuits, and in 1888 New Street was further divided to form Centenary Circuit. (fn. 135) After the formation of the Methodist Church a fourth circuit, Monkgate, was formed from the former Primitive Methodist Connexion in York.
On his visit of 11 July 1757 John Wesley preached in 'Blake's Square'; (fn. 136) a subscription fund for building a permanent chapel was initiated on this occasion. (fn. 137) In 1759 land was acquired in Peaseholme Green, (fn. 138) on a 99 years' lease. (fn. 139) On his visit of 19 April in that year, Wesley preached both in the room in Pump Yard and in 'the shell of the new house'. (fn. 140) This house, at the lower end of Aldwark, was later known as the PEASEHOLME GREEN CHAPEL. It seems probable that the chapel was opened by Wesley on 15 July 1759, when he visited the city for the second time that year. (fn. 141) The chapel was built to accommodate 400 worshippers; it was enlarged in 1775 by the addition of side galleries, seating 100 more. (fn. 142) In 1780 a house was erected in St. Saviourgate, behind the chapel, for the use of the preachers. (fn. 143) At some time before 1792, accommodation was rented in Coppergate and Coffee Yard; it has been suggested that these rooms were to provide additional accommodation for the worshippers of Peaseholme Green Chapel. (fn. 144) About 1804 the Wesleyans rented the Grape Lane Chapel, (fn. 145) whether as an alternative or additional chapel to Peaseholme Green is not known. (fn. 146) It is possible, but unlikely, that this is to be identified with the room rented in Coffee Yard in 1792. (fn. 147) Meetings were held in Grape Lane until the completion of New Street Chapel in 1805; Peaseholme Green Chapel was sold in the following year for £530. (fn. 148) The building has been renovated and was used in 1955 by a firm of builders' merchants. A plaque was placed on the wall in March 1955, commemorating the use of the building as a chapel. (fn. 149) The preachers' house in St. Saviourgate was at that time occupied as a dwelling house.
In 1791 the first Methodist Sunday school in York was opened at Peaseholme Green by John Lupton, a journeyman weaver. (fn. 150) The class was discontinued in 1800 because of a dispute between the teachers and the chapel trustees. (fn. 151)
NEW STREET CHAPEL was opened 13 October 1805. (fn. 152) Accommodation was provided for 1,500 to 2,000 persons; the cost was more than £4,000. (fn. 153) The chapel was built of brick, with arched lights and two central doors with stone facings; the front wall sloped back on either side of the doors to the side walls (see plate facing p. 408). The premises included vestries, a schoolroom, and a caretaker's house at the rear; two houses in New Street were also owned by the trustees. (fn. 154) A large house behind the chapel which had been used as the Judges' Lodgings before 1806 (fn. 155) was bought for use as a minister's house about 1841. (fn. 156) A new portico and an organ loft were added to the chapel in 1860. (fn. 157)
'The extension of Methodism in the neighbourhood of Bootham and Clifton' and the closing of New Street Chapel were being considered by the chapel trustees as early as 1897. The chapel was eventually closed in 1908 and sold for £5,900 to Thomas Bowman, a furniture dealer and remover. (fn. 158) The building was used by the Central Mission from December 1908 (fn. 159) until June 1910 (fn. 160) and subsequently as a bioscope and variety theatre. In 1920, after much alteration, it was opened as the Tower Cinema, which still occupied the building in 1955. (fn. 161)
A Sunday school was opened in 1821 and was conducted in the chapel vestry. (fn. 162) The chapel was head of the York Circuit from 1805 to 1867 and subsequently the head of the circuit that carried its name. (fn. 163)
ALBION CHAPEL, at the corner of Albion Street and Skeldergate, was opened 11 October 1816, (fn. 164) to meet the needs of the population living in the districts south and west of the river. It is a square, red-brick building with the gable end facing the street and formerly had two entrances from Skeldergate which are now blocked. There was accommodation for 700 persons and the chapel cost £2,250. (fn. 165) By about 1850 the chapel was apparently thought to be too small: Wesley Chapel was built and after its completion in 1856 Albion was said to be comparatively deserted. (fn. 166) It seems to have been sold about 1861, probably to Thomas F. Wood & Co., raft merchants, who were occupying it in that year (fn. 167) and who were still in occupation in 1954. In 1955 the building was occupied by the North-Eastern Electricity Board.
ST. GEORGE'S CHAPEL was built in 1826 (fn. 170) to serve the needs of worshippers in the densely populated eastern area of the city around Walmgate. The chapel stood at the end of Chapel Row, which led to it from George Street. The single-story, brick building with a gallery was built at a cost of £2,500 and accommodated 500 persons. (fn. 171) After 1840, when Centenary Chapel was opened, the congregation declined, (fn. 172) and after 1843 it was used only as a Sunday school and mission room. (fn. 173) In 1847 a day school administered by the Wesleyans was opened in the chapel; (fn. 174) it was known as St. George's School and continued until 1895. (fn. 175) In 1897 the premises were acquired for the use of St. George's Catholic School for girls, which was opened in 1900 after alterations had been made. (fn. 176) The building was still used as a Roman Catholic school in 1955.
A plan to commemorate the centenary of Methodism was put forward at a meeting of the New Street Chapel trustees in 1838. (fn. 177) The society was at that time heavily in debt (fn. 178) but large sums were offered by members of the community to help in building a chapel that might adequately fulfil the functions of a 'cathedral ... of Methodism'. (fn. 179) The foundation stone of CENTENARY CHAPEL in St. Saviourgate was laid 1 October 1839, (fn. 180) and the chapel was opened on 17 July 1840. (fn. 181) The building, which accommodates 1,500 persons, (fn. 182) is of classical style with an Ionic portico and stone facings; the architect was James Simpson of Leeds. (fn. 183) The interior is horse-shoe shaped with a gallery on three sides. The original building included vestries, classrooms, bandrooms, and a caretaker's residence at the rear; (fn. 184) the total cost was £7,785. (fn. 185) Considerable additions at the rear of the site were made in 1861, when two new schoolrooms and six classrooms for the Sunday school were built at a cost of £1,918. (fn. 186) Two years later these buildings were destroyed by fire and after reconstruction in 1864 were again burnt down. (fn. 187) More successful attempts were made to provide school accommodation in 1872 and again in 1895. (fn. 188) The chapel was enlarged in 1881 and again in 1885 and two new vestries were added in 1909 to replace those in the basement. (fn. 189) A new organ was installed in 1914 at a cost of £650 and this was rebuilt in 1931 at a cost of over £1,000. (fn. 190) In 1908 and 1926 the chapel was used for meetings of the Wesleyan Methodist Conference. (fn. 191) In 1887 Centenary Chapel became the head of a circuit formed by the division of New Street Circuit; (fn. 192) the chapel was still in use in 1955.
In 1849 a meeting of York Methodists proposed that a new chapel should be built in a central situation, which would be as inviting in character and commodious in accommodation as Centenary Chapel. Members of the Methodist community promised money and a site was eventually obtained in 1854 in the then newly developed Priory Street on the site of Holy Trinity Priory. (fn. 193) WESLEY CHAPEL was opened 12 September 1856 and provided accommodation for 1,500 persons. (fn. 194) In 1857 day schools, Sunday schools, and a preachers' house were built. (fn. 195) The cost of the chapel, together with the additions of 1857, was £10,936. (fn. 196) The chapel is of classical design and built of stock brick. There are entrances at the front flanked by two arched lights of stained glass with five similar lights above; there are stone pediments and copings round the doors and lights. James Simpson of Leeds, who designed Centenary Chapel, was the architect. (fn. 197) A new organ was installed in 1892 costing £882. (fn. 198) Alterations and enlargements to the chapel and schools were made in 1907, 1910, and in 1914 when a new porch was added. (fn. 199) The chapel, which is the head of the circuit bearing its name, was still in use in 1955; the school premises were used as a secondary-modern school.
In 1867 open-air mission work in the Skeldergate district was begun by members of Wesley Chapel; the work was successful and was continued in the White House, a tenement which stood in Skeldergate on a site no longer identifiable. (fn. 200) The mission later moved into buildings which at one time had been used by a Wesleyan Sunday school in North Street; this building it occupied until 1900. (fn. 201) At this date the society numbered 50 members with an average attendance of 120 hearers for whom the accommodation was inadequate. (fn. 202) On 19 September 1900 a building at the corner of Queen's Staith Road and Skeldergate was opened and became known as the SKELDERGATE MISSION HALL. (fn. 203) The accommodation was for 300 persons; the hall, which is of red brick, cost £2,852. (fn. 204) The mission was included in Wesley Circuit. The premises adjacent to the mission, previously used as the Anchor Inn, were bought for use as a Men's Institute and a caretaker's house in 1908. (fn. 205) The mission continued in Skeldergate until 1939 when the hall was requisitioned and the mission dispersed. (fn. 206) In December 1942, after conversion, the building was opened as the King George VI Club for Officers. (fn. 207) In 1955 the premises were occupied by Remploy Ltd. and a commercial firm.
In 1872 Wesleyan Methodists in the south-west of the city outside the walls were using a small school-chapel in Cemetery Road that had formerly been used by the New Connexion. (fn. 208) By 1875 the society numbered 68 members and average attendance at the school-chapel was said to be 100. (fn. 209) To accommodate this flourishing society a Wesleyan chapel was built near the school-chapel (which was demolished) and opened as the MELBOURNE TERRACE CHAPEL on 22 March 1877. (fn. 210) There was accommodation in the new building for 850 worshippers; the chapel, together with a new schoolroom, four classrooms, and a vestry, cost £7,558. (fn. 211) A house adjacent to the chapel, in Cemetery Road, was later bought as a manse. In 1880 an organ was installed and in the following year a new Sunday school was added. (fn. 212) In 1904 a lecture hall and Men's Institute was built at a cost of £1,416. (fn. 213) The chapel and adjoining buildings are built of red brick, decorated with stone and white brick ornamentations; the main entrance is from Melbourne Street beneath a clock tower. Edward Taylor of York was the architect. (fn. 214) The chapel was still in use in 1955 and formed part of Centenary Circuit.
Meetings held before 1868, in a room at the back of Brownlow Street, were probably the origin of a Wesleyan society in the Groves, an area lying north of the minster outside the city walls. (fn. 215) In 1868 a school-chapel was built in Brook Street at the rear of Archbishop Holgate's School and a little distance from Brownlow Street. (fn. 216) The building, known as the BROOK STREET CHAPEL, was built of red brick with a slated roof and coloured brick ornamentation; it provided accommodation for 400 worshippers. (fn. 217) In 1883 there were 256 members and 600 pupils attended the day school and 540 the Sunday school held in the chapel. (fn. 218) The cost of the building was £2,435 (fn. 219) and the architect was Edward Taylor of York. (fn. 220) This chapel served the residential area lying north of Lord Mayor's Walk. In 1884 there were 261 members in the society (fn. 221) and on 13 August of that year a larger chapel was opened at the junction of Clarence Street and Wigginton Road and became known as THE GROVES CHAPEL. (fn. 222) The chapel was rectangular and built of red brick; there is a square porch with a balustrade supported by four granite pillars and the arched lights are decorated with stonework. The architect was W. J. Morley of Bradford. (fn. 223) The original building cost £5,721 and there is accommodation for 800 persons. (fn. 224) In 1888 an organ was installed at a cost of £450 and in 1894 classrooms were added at the rear of the chapel. (fn. 225) After The Groves Chapel was opened, Brook Street Chapel continued to be used as a Sunday school and day school; the day school was closed in 1890. (fn. 226) In 1944 the building was sold for £4,000 to the Governors of Archbishop Holgate's School. (fn. 227) The Groves Chapel was still in use in 1955 and formed part of Clifton Circuit.
The first Methodist society in Clifton seems to have met in a cottage in the 1870's. (fn. 228) In April 1884 AVENUE TERRACE CHAPEL was opened near to the corner of Avenue Terrace and Clifton (the street of that name). (fn. 229) There was seating for 170 persons (fn. 230) and the cost of building was £1,197. (fn. 231) The building consisted of a single-storied square structure with the gable end facing upon Avenue Terrace. By the end of the 19th century the society had increased in size, and by 1907 there were 43 members and 280 regular attenders. (fn. 232) The building of a more commodious chapel in Clifton (the street) on the site of 'Clifton Cottage' was begun in that year. (fn. 233) CLIFTON CHAPEL was opened in 1909. The chapel accommodates 850 persons and is of red brick in Gothic style, with a tower and spire; the total cost was £11,552. (fn. 234) In 1916 land was bought for further extension and in 1931 a primary school was built adjoining the chapel; the cost of the land was £350 and of the building £466. (fn. 235) The Avenue Terrace Chapel had been retained after 1909 as a Sunday school (fn. 236) but was later converted into two dwelling houses, numbers 5 and 7 Avenue Terrace. Clifton Chapel became the head of the circuit which had been attached to New Street Chapel. (fn. 237) The chapel was still in use in 1955.
In Holgate a Young Men's Class was begun in 1862. (fn. 238) With the expansion of this class the need for accommodation became pressing and about 1872 a mission chapel was built in Wilton Street (now part of Wilton Rise). (fn. 239) This building, known as the WILTON STREET MISSION, accommodated 172 persons (fn. 240) and was built of red brick with white brick ornamentation; the cost was £800. (fn. 241) The society in this district, where many railway workers lived, expanded as the population increased. On 14 September 1910 HOLGATE CHAPEL was opened at the corner of New Lane and Acomb Road. (fn. 242) The Wilton Street mission-chapel was then sold to the Railwaymen's Mission; (fn. 243) in 1955 it was used by the Salvation Army. The new chapel provided accommodation for 350 persons and the schoolrooms attached to the building have places for 500 children. (fn. 244) The chapel is a gabled, red brick building and the interior has a gallery on three sides; the cost of building was £4,322. (fn. 245) The chapel was still in use in 1955 and was a member of Wesley Circuit.
SOUTHLANDS CHAPEL, on the corner of Southlands and Bishopthorpe Roads, was opened on 13 October 1887, (fn. 246) to serve the population living in the environs of Bishopthorpe Road. The chapel is built of white Walling Fen brick and has twin towers on either side of an ornamental window. There is a large central hall and fifteen schoolrooms opening upon it; there is accommodation for 750 persons and the cost was £6,641. (fn. 247) An organ was installed in 1893 at a cost of £438. (fn. 248) In 1920 a hall was erected to provide accommodation for the Young Men's Association and other recreational activities; it is a memorial to church members who fell in the First World War and cost £1,753. (fn. 249) Southlands Chapel was in use in 1955 and was a member of Wesley Circuit.
Prior to 1888, mission work in the Layerthorpe district, north-east of the city walls, was organized from Centenary Chapel. In that year premises at the corner of Mansfield Street and Foss Islands Road were acquired at a cost of £806. (fn. 250) This building became known as the LAYERTHORPE WESLEYAN MISSION and formed part of Centenary Circuit. In 1892 the membership of this society was 76 and the average attendance at the chapel 350; 250 pupils attended the Sunday schools. (fn. 251) By this time the original room was inadequate and extensions were made so that 950 persons could be accommodated and the capacity of the Sunday schools was increased by 500 additional places. (fn. 252) The cost of all these alterations was £1,094. (fn. 253) The mission continued in these buildings until 1923 when it seems to have closed. (fn. 254) The premises were sold in 1924 (fn. 255) and in 1955 were occupied by a firm of confectionery manufacturers.
The proceeds of the sale in 1897 of St. George's Chapel Walmgate, (fn. 256) were used to finance the building of a second ST. GEORGE'S CHAPEL in Nicholas Street, outside Walmgate Bar. A small chapel, for 250 persons was opened here in 1901; the cost was £2,860. (fn. 257) The premises are of brick and behind the chapel are school buildings which face Milton Street. The chapel, which was a member of Centenary Circuit, was closed in 1937. (fn. 258) In 1955 the building was occupied by a firm of builders' merchants.
ST. GEORGE'S CHAPEL, Millfield Lane, the third to bear that name, was opened on 20 January 1937, (fn. 259) to serve the Tang Hall estate on the east of the city and to replace the Nicholas Street Chapel. (fn. 260) It is of brick, with a tiled roof; the windows are leaded lights. There is accommodation for 270 persons in the chapel and for 200 children in the Sunday school, which includes a large hall and four classrooms. (fn. 261) The chapel was still in use in 1955 and formed part of Centenary Circuit.
Methodism in Acomb (fn. 262) was probably little affected by the expansion of the city before 1934 when a temporary chapel was opened on a site adjacent to Beckfield Lane and Lidgett Grove in the cente of the new housing estate there. The building and site were the gift of Sir Robert Newbald Kay, a prominent York Methodist and for some time a member of the Methodist Conference. (fn. 263) By 1937 the permanent LIDGETT GROVE CHAPEL was completed for £8,685. (fn. 264) This is of red brick with arched windows filled with leaded lights; on either side of the porch two apsidal wings project; the brickwork is surmounted by a pediment of laminated tiles and the roof is tiled. The chapel and the adjacent classrooms will house 550 persons. (fn. 265) The pulpit in the chapel is claimed to be that used by John Wesley when he visited the church of St. Mary, Castlegate, and which was subsequently used in the New Connexion chapel in Peckitt Street. (fn. 266) In 1939 a chapelkeeper's house was purchased at the rear of the site. (fn. 267) This chapel, which was the first to be erected in York after the Methodist union, is a member of Wesley Circuit.
The first Methodist class in Heworth was formed in 1805. (fn. 268) In 1825 a chapel for 90 persons was built in Heworth (the street of that name) for £285. (fn. 269) It continued in use until 1890 when it was demolished and replaced by a new building. (fn. 270) This was made possible by the gift of £1,000 from Hannah Crampton Leak, relict of William Leak, a prominent York Methodist. (fn. 271) The new chapel was known as HEWORTH CHAPEL and was built on a site adjacent to its predecessor. It accommodates 220 persons and the cost of the building, together with the land, was £1,824. (fn. 272) Edward Taylor of York was the architect; (fn. 273) the style is Gothic with a tower over the entrance porch; the chapel is faced with Scarborough yellow bricks. In 1931 a schoolroom was added at a cost of £493. (fn. 274) The chapel was still in use in 1955 and was part of Centenary Circuit.
Methodism was introduced into Dringhouses in 1816 and a chapel was built there in 1834. (fn. 275) It was used until 1890 when a larger building, known as the DRINGHOUSES CHAPEL, was opened on the same site at the corner of Slingsby Grove and Tadcaster Road. (fn. 276) The last service was held there in 1954 and the chapel was put up for sale. (fn. 277) The WEST THORPE CHAPEL, in the street of that name, was opened 17 July 1954; (fn. 278) it was built to serve the Acomb Moor housing estate and lies at some distance from the old chapel site. West Thorpe Chapel is a red brick building of simple design; the arched lights are faced with stone. The cost of the chapel was about £14,000; (fn. 279) it forms part of Wesley Circuit.
Mission work on a small scale and prayer meetings were conducted by the Wesleyans throughout the 19th century. In 1814 prayer meetings were held in 8 places in various parts of the city and by 1821 there were 11 such meeting-places. (fn. 280) Missions were conducted for military recruits and mission rooms in Fossgate, Barker Hill (now St. Maurice's Road), (1879-89), and Chaucer Street off Lawrence Street (1886) were attached to Centenary Circuit. There were rooms in North Street (1876-86), in Windsor Street, South Bank (1885), and in the Hungate house of a shoemaker, Henry Crossfield (1900). (fn. 281)
A Sunday school unattached to any particular chapel was opened in a room in Jubbergate in 1810; in that year there were 80 pupils and 16 teachers. The school later expanded and moved to College Street; it was in Goodramgate from 1813 to 1820 and in St. Andrewgate in 1821. In 1822 Sunday school buildings were erected in Wesley Place, Hungate, to provide accommodation for 600 pupils but these premises were not used by the Wesleyans after 1865. Subsequently they were occupied by the interdenominational Hungate Mission school which held evening and Sunday classes. The buildings have been demolished. (fn. 282)
The Methodist New Connexion
In 1799, after the followers of Alexander Kilham had seceded from the Methodist Conference to form the Methodist New Connexion, members of this group in York purchased the Grape Lane Chapel. (fn. 283) The congregation who worshipped there was supplied with preachers by the New Connexion. (fn. 284) The Wesleyan Methodists in York are said to have lost 30 of their members to the new society, but this success was ephemeral and meetings ceased to be held about 1804 and the premises were later let to the Wesleyan Methodists. (fn. 285)
In 1855 the New Connexion was re-established in York, at the invitation of more than 200 Wesleyan Reformers who had seceded from the Wesleyan Methodist Conference in 1850. In July 1855 a meeting was held in a warehouse in Castlegate, when it was decided to purchase a site in Peckitt Street. (fn. 286) TRINITY CHAPEL was opened on 27 June 1856. (fn. 287) The chapel was built of red brick with white brick mosaic and ornamental stonework in Byzantine style. There were 600 sittings and attached to the chapel were a large schoolroom, vestry, lecture room, and caretaker's house. (fn. 288) The cost of the chapel was £3,072 (fn. 289) and it was designed by J. B. and W. Atkinson of York. In the following year an organ was installed. (fn. 290) The chapel was used until 1907 by the New Connexion and thereafter by those sections of the Methodist Church united with it. (fn. 291) In 1935 the chapel was closed and the premises were purchased by the corporation as a fire station extension. (fn. 292)
A New Connexion congregation with a Sunday school was meeting in a room in Whitby Terrace, off Cemetery Road, in 1855. A school-chapel was opened in 1856 on a site nearby in Cemetery Road; it accommodated 100 persons and the cost was £1,000. (fn. 293) The congregation in this area proved unable to support a separate place of worship and in 1872, when the building was sold to the Wesleyan Methodists, (fn. 294) the congregation moved to Trinity Chapel. Further efforts were made by the New Connexion to expand and services were held in Cherry Hill on the south of the river, but lack of preachers prevented their continuance. (fn. 295)
William Clowes, the Primitive Methodist evangelist, first preached in York in May 1819. (fn. 296) On this occasion, when he held his meeting in Pavement, 'the people drew up in considerable numbers' and Clowes announced that he would preach again in a fortnight's time (fn. 297) but in fact his second visit was not made until some six weeks later (fn. 298) when he preached in either St. Sampson's Square or Pavement. (fn. 299) In the same summer Sarah Harrison and Sarah Kirkland, local Primitive Methodist evangelists, preached in St. Sampson's Square (fn. 300) to large crowds. As a result of these visits and with the encouragement of the 'friends' at Elvington, a village 7 miles away, which was 'the base for the mission to York', (fn. 301) a society of seven members was formed in 1819. This small society rented accommodation in Peaseholme Green (fn. 302) and was visited by itinerant preachers and by local preachers from Hull and Ripon. (fn. 303)
The society remained in these premises for less than a year and in 1820 moved into GRAPE LANE CHAPEL (fn. 304) which had been unoccupied for some time. (fn. 305) This was rented for £20 a year (fn. 306) and opened for worship on 2 July of that year. (fn. 307) The society was at this time part of the Hull Circuit and regular services were held by ministers from that city and by lay preachers from the neighbourhood of York. (fn. 308) The York branch expanded and in 1822 was formed into a separate circuit which included 32 preaching places in the surrounding villages. There was a resident minister and the circuit membership is said to have been 400. (fn. 309) It has been suggested, however, that the York society was not then ready for independent status and that it at first met some difficulties. (fn. 310) In addition the society suffered from local and apparently purposeless hooliganism. (fn. 311) Complaint was made to the magistrates and the chapel was visited by the lord mayor and two cases were brought to the York sessions but the disturbances continued for almost two years. (fn. 312)
The chapel was bought outright by the trustees in 1829 for £450, (fn. 313) and a cottage converted for a caretaker. (fn. 314) About 1821 a Sunday school was opened and accommodated in a room under the gallery which was separated from the chapel by sliding doors. (fn. 315) The chapel is described in 1834 as accommodating 684 persons. (fn. 316) Between 1836 and 1850 membership increased from 90 to 159 persons. (fn. 317) Grape Lane Chapel was vacated in 1851 (fn. 318) and later became a warehouse and furniture store; in 1956 it was derelict.
EBENEZER CHAPEL was built on a site in Little Stonegate 75 yards from Grape Lane Chapel and opened on 13 November 1851. (fn. 319) It was designed by J. P. Pritchett, a York architect, and built of white brick in a classical style. There were two galleries in the chapel and a basement room for use as a Sunday school. Accommodation was provided for 1,000 persons and the total cost was £2,274. (fn. 320) Membership of the York society increased steadily after the new chapel was built; (fn. 321) in the circuit membership increased by one-third between 1850 and 1860. (fn. 322) In 1853 Alderman James Meek, a prominent York Wesleyan, together with the class of which he was leader, joined the Primitive Methodists. (fn. 323) In 1853, and again in 1864, the Primitive Methodist Conference was held in York, which seems by this time to have become one of the principal circuit towns. (fn. 324) Ebenezer Chapel continued to be the most important Primitive Methodist chapel in York until 1901, when it was sold for £2,000 to Messrs. Coultas & Volans, printers, (fn. 325) who were still occupying the property in 1956.
The establishment of Ebenezer Chapel provided a solid foundation for Primitive Methodism in York, thus making it possible to extend the society to other parts of the city. In 1861 a weekly preaching service was instituted in a private house in Union Street, between Dove Street and Price Street, off Nunnery Lane. (fn. 326) Later a large house was rented in Nunnery Lane and a lay missionary engaged to work in the district. (fn. 327) In 1865 a mission house and Sunday school were built on a site adjacent to St. Thomas's Hospital, in Nunnery Lane. (fn. 328) The building, of white Walling Fen brick, contained a large preaching room with two classrooms at the rear, and was known as the NUNNERY LANE MISSION. (fn. 329) After the building of Victoria Bar Chapel in 1880 the Nunnery Lane room was used as a Sunday school and meeting-hall. (fn. 330) In 1956 it was used as a training centre for Civil Defence.
The district east of the city, around Heslington Road, 'when but a small neighbourhood', was evangelized by the Primitive Methodists before 1869 and a society established in a private house. In that year land was bought in Apollo Street, between Cemetery Road and Heslington Road, and a chapel, accommodating 230 persons, was opened on 31 October. (fn. 331) The chapel, built of stock brick, included a vestry, kitchen, and meeting-room, together with a main hall with a small gallery. This building was known both as APOLLO STREET CHAPEL and HESLINGTON ROAD CHAPEL, and after 1883 formed part of Victoria Bar Circuit until it was sold in 1936. (fn. 332) In 1956 the building was used by a firm of french polishers.
The continued expansion of Primitive Methodism south of the river prompted the York Circuit Quarterly Meeting (fn. 333) to consider the provision of better facilities for the congregation using the Nunnery Lane Mission Room. It was not, however, until 1879 that land was purchased for a chapel inside the newly made Victoria Bar, in Victor Street, 100 yards from the Nunnery Lane Room. (fn. 334) Known as VICTORIA BAR CHAPEL, it is built in Renaissance style in red and white brick with terra-cotta dressings and provided accommodation for about 900 worshippers, together with lecture rooms, classrooms, and a minister's vestry; the cost was more than £3,500. (fn. 335) The chapel was opened on 25 March 1880; (fn. 336) in 1883 the York Circuit was divided (fn. 337) and the new chapel became the head of the Second York Circuit, usually known as Victoria Bar Circuit. (fn. 338) The chapel continued to be used by the Methodist Church until 1940, when it was sold. (fn. 339) In 1955 it was used as a furniture storeroom.
In the summer of 1874 the Primitive Methodists held open air mission meetings in Layerthorpe. During the winter of that year two rooms were rented in 'Lawson's Yard' (possibly in Bilton Street) where preaching meetings and services were held for three years. In 1877 two houses with a large yard in Duke of York Street were purchased and a missionchapel was erected in the yard at a cost of about £700. (fn. 340) A passage through one of the houses forms an entrance to the chapel. This building, known as the DUKE OF YORK STREET MISSION ROOM, was opened 3 February 1878; there is accommodation for 190 persons and the room is also used by a Sunday school. (fn. 341) The mission room was part of York First Primitive Methodist Circuit and subsequently of Monkgate Circuit; it was still used by the Methodist Church in 1955.
The development of the district south of the river, known as New England, was begun in the late 19th century and in order to provide a place of worship for the population there, the Primitive Methodists erected a wooden building in Albany Street, off Leeman Road, in 1884. This building cost £208 and accommodated 120 persons; the room was also used as a Sunday school attended by 170 children. A more permanent building, known as ALBANY STREET CHAPEL, was opened on an adjacent site in October 1900. (fn. 342) The new building was so designed that the classrooms and schoolrooms could be used as part of the chapel when necessary and provided accommodation for 250 persons. (fn. 343) The cost of the building was £678. (fn. 344) The chapel formed part of Victoria Bar Circuit. It was destroyed by enemy action in April 1942. The Congregation used St. Barnabas's parish room until 1946 when a temporary wooden building, given by Sir Robert Newbald Kay, was dedicated for use, until a permanent building could be erected. (fn. 345) In 1954 ALBANY CHAPEL was opened on a new site, in Salisbury Road, 200 yards from the original chapel. It is a small red brick building, with a corrugated asbestos roof; there is accommodation for about 200 persons and the cost was £3,300. (fn. 346) Albany Chapel forms part of Wesley Circuit in the Methodist Church and was still in use in 1956. Mission meetings were held in the residential area between Burton Stone Lane and Wigginton Road about 1900. (fn. 347) In 1901 BURTON LANE CHAPEL was opened on a site in Haughton Road off Burton Stone Lane. (fn. 348) The building is stock brick with stone dressings and contains one large room suitable for school purposes and two classrooms, and provides accommodation for 200 persons; the cost was about £1,100. (fn. 349) Burton Lane Chapel formed a part of the First York Circuit attached to Ebenezer Chapel, and, after the opening of Monkgate Chapel, was transferred to Monkgate Circuit. In 1955 the chapel was still in use by the Methodist Church.
After Ebenezer Chapel was opened in 1851 it was the principal Primitive Methodist chapel in York. Later in the century, however, the accommodation proved inadequate and the situation inconvenient, and in 1885 the trustees agreed to purchase property in Monkgate for a new chapel. The choice of this site was partly dictated by its convenience for Elmfield College on the Malton Road. (fn. 350) The erection of the new chapel was not begun until the debt on Ebenezer Chapel was cleared and its sale completed. (fn. 351) MONKGATE CHAPEL was opened in January 1903 (fn. 352) and was built of red brick with stone facings and provided sittings for 775 persons; at the rear were school premises, including a lecture room, infants room, and assembly hall, with accommodation in all for 600 persons. (fn. 353) The organ from Ebenezer Chapel was rebuilt and installed and special seating with separate entrances was provided for the pupils of Elmfield College. The total cost was over £7,000; the architect was F. W. Dixon of Manchester. (fn. 354) The chapel is also known as JOHN PETTY MEMORIAL CHAPEL, being dedicated to the memory of John Petty, president of the conference in the Jubilee Year and first governor of Elmfield College. (fn. 355) From 1901, when Ebenezer Chapel was sold, until 1903, when Monkgate Chapel was opened, the congregation used the Victoria Hall, Goodramgate, for its services. (fn. 356) The new chapel was made the head of the original York Circuit which was renamed after it. In 1955 the chapel was used by the Methodist Church and continued as the head of a circuit reformed at the amalgamation.
Apart from the Primitive Methodist mission work which resulted in the foundation of societies and the building of chapels, less permanent missions existed in private houses in various parts of the city. In 1864 mission stations were used in Regent Street, off Lawrence Street, in Dundas Street (in Hungate and now demolished), New York Street, off Nunnery Lane, and in the Groves. (fn. 357) Services were conducted for several years in a house in Brownlow Street, off Lowther Street, towards the end of the 19th century, but were discontinued after the opening of Monkgate Chapel. (fn. 358)
Primitive Methodism in Acomb does not seem to have been affected by the expansion of the city's population until after the Methodist union. (fn. 359)
United Methodists and their Predecessors
Wesleyan Protestant Methodism was first introduced into York from Leeds in 1829. (fn. 360) The group was joined by 230 Wesleyan Methodists (fn. 361) and at first met in a room behind the 'Old Sand Hill', a public house (now demolished) in St. Andrewgate. (fn. 362) In the same year the society bought land in Lady Peckitt's Yard between Fossgate and Pavement and in the summer of 1830 a chapel known as LADY PECKITT'S YARD CHAPEL was opened. The chapel, which was a plain brick building with a central entrance, flanked on either side by a window, provided accommodation for 500 persons. (fn. 363) In 1835 the society meeting here, joined the Wesleyan Association, which in 1856 was united with the Wesleyan Reformers. The enlarged society, known as the United Methodist Free Church, closed the chapel in 1858 and the site was subsequently purchased by the Society of Friends. (fn. 364) In 1955 the building was used as a warehouse.
MONK BAR CHAPEL, at the junction of Aldwark and Goodramgate, was opened on 22 April 1859 (fn. 365) and the congregation moved into the new building from the room in St. Saviourgate which they had temporarily rented. (fn. 366) The chapel is built of red and white brick with a portico over the central entrance. The accommodation was for 800 persons and the building included three classrooms, a schoolroom, vestries, caretaker's house, and tea room. The cost of the chapel and site was £3,100. (fn. 367) Monk Bar Chapel was the head of the only York United Methodist Free Church Circuit until 1907. In that year it was made one of the two United Methodist Circuits, the other having been formed from Trinity New Connexion Chapel. In 1911 these two circuits were amalgamated with Monk Bar at the head. In 1914 Trinity Chapel was made head of the Circuit in place of Monk Bar. (fn. 368)
The replacement of Monk Bar by Trinity Chapel as head of the Circuit was the outcome of longstanding financial difficulties. The chapel was unable to improve its position and in 1917 the trustees agreed to dispose of the property. (fn. 369) This final step was prevented by amalgamation with the York Central Mission early in 1919 and from this date the chapel became known as MONK BAR CENTRAL MISSION. (fn. 370) The mission was closed in 1934 and the chapel sold for £1,850. (fn. 371) In 1955 the premises were used by a firm of wholesale tobacconists.
A second Methodist Free Church Chapel was opened in York on 9 February 1871, in a small brick building in James Street, off Lawrence Street. The building was provided by William Pumphrey and it was also used (during the week) as an infants' school for the Lawrence Street locality. (fn. 372) The JAMES STREET CHAPEL was a member of Monk Bar Circuit until 1911; later it became a part of the United Methodist Circuit and after 1933 it was joined to the Monkgate Circuit. (fn. 373) In 1956 it was still used by the Methodist Church.
The group, known as the Wesleyan Methodist Reformers, which separated from the Conference in 1850, first met in the Festival Concert Rooms in Museum Street and later in the Lecture Hall, St. Saviourgate. (fn. 374) Early in 1851 the society moved into the Congregational Chapel off Walmgate which provided accommodation for 100 persons, (fn. 375) but it seems that they remained here for only a short period. The society itself divided in 1855, when 200 of its members agreed to support the New Connexion and asked that society to reopen a chapel in York. The remainder of the Wesleyan Methodist Reformers joined the Wesleyan Methodist Association in Lady Peckitt's Yard. (fn. 376)
Presbyterian services began in the Lecture Hall Goodramgate, by the minister of the Prospect Street Presbyterian Church, Hull, in 1873. At a meeting of the Presbytery of Newcastle in September 1873, a petition, signed by 54 persons in York, asking for recognition as a preaching station, was allowed. In 1879 a site was acquired at the corner of Priory Street and Lower Priory Street and the PRESBYTERIAN CHAPEL was opened on 6 November 1879. The building includes a hall, classroom, and vestry, and, together with the site, cost £5,000. The chapel is built of white brick with decorated windows and there are two main entrances approached by flights of steps. An organ was installed about 1907. (fn. 377) The building was used by the Presbyterian congregation in 1956.
Moravians and Sandemanians
A Moravian meeting was recorded in the parish of St. Sampson in 1764. At this time the congregation numbered about 60 persons and was led by a minister, William Blage, who had been appointed by Benjamin Ingham of Fulneck. (fn. 378) There is no evidence of this congregation's existence after this date and it has been suggested that the members joined a group of Sandemanians, (fn. 379) who were also meeting in the same parish in 1764. At that date the Sandemanians were small in number and had no permanent minister. (fn. 380) The first Sandemanian meeting-place was possibly a large room in Swinegate. (fn. 381) About 1777 the congregation moved into a house, built by Nicholas Baldock, at the lower end of Grape Lane. (fn. 382) The house was probably constructed for use as a chapel and dwelling house and had a small burial ground behind it. (fn. 383) It was still used by the Sandemanians in 1830 when they are last recorded as meeting. (fn. 384) The site of this chapel can no longer be identified.
Christadelphians began to meet in York in a private house in Holgate Road in 1907. Two years later an Ecclesia began to meet regularly for a Sunday service in a room over a shop at 10 Low Ousegate. In January 1913 the Christadelphians moved to a room in Agricola House, 12 Ogleforth, where they continued until 1938. In July of that year they moved to the Rechabite Building in Clifford Street where the Ecclesia has continued to assemble. In 1956 there were about 33 members attending this meeting. (fn. 385)
Christian Science services were first held regularly in York in 1907. In June 1929 the First Church of Christ Scientist, York, was opened in Kilburn Road, off Fulford Road. The church is built of rustic bricks and the windows are decorated with stone facing, the roof is flat and the entrance is from Kilburn Road. There was a Christian Scientist readingroom at 4 Lendal in 1956 which moved to High Petergate in 1959. (fn. 386)
The Elim Four Square Gospel Alliance
A band of revivalists led by Principal Jeffries, founder of the Elim Four Square Gospel Alliance, introduced the movement into York in February 1934. For a year meetings were held in St. George's Hall Ballroom in Castlegate. In 1935 the Alliance had 200 members in York and acquired the premises once occupied by the Central Mission in Swinegate. After alterations to the building, which included the addition of seating to accommodate 800 persons, the building became known as the ELIM TABERNACLE. (fn. 387) The premises were occupied by the Alliance in 1956.
The Salvation Army
Meetings were held by the Salvation Army in a skating rink in Gillygate in 1881. In the following year a site in Gillygate was bought and a citadel was erected and opened by General Booth in 1883. The building, which is of red brick with stone ornamentation, accommodates 2,000 persons and cost £3,265. (fn. 388) A second corps was meeting in North Street in 1905 in the former Wesleyan mission room. (fn. 389) In 1936 the premises of the Wilton Street (later Rise) Methodist chapel were acquired by the Army, and subsequently used as the headquarters of the second corps. (fn. 390) In 1909 a branch was opened in Hamper's Yard, Walmgate, (fn. 391) and branches existed for some time in Fishergate and Haver Lane, Hungate. (fn. 392) In 1956 the Citadel corps in Gillygate and the Wilton Rise corps were still in existence.
There was a Spiritualist National Union church in Webster's Passage, St. Saviourgate, in 1907; (fn. 393) meetings were held in Spen Lane at least from 1929. (fn. 394) The Christian Spiritualist Church, Coffee Yard, the Christian Spiritualist Church of St. Albert, the Bedern, and the Spiritual Temple of the Holy Cross, St. Andrewgate, were all holding meetings in 1939. (fn. 395) In 1953 the Christian Spiritualist Church was meeting at 41 Micklegate and was still meeting there in 1955.
A group of Jehovah's Witnesses has met at different times in the Kingdom Hall, Fossgate, the Co-operative Hall, Railway Street, and, in 1953, in a room at 33 Coney Street. (fn. 396)
Assemblies of God
From at least 1889 until 1905 there was a Church of Christ meeting-house on the west side of Cromwell Road, next to the Bishophill British school. The Free Church Pentecostal or Assemblies of God occupied the same meeting-house from at least 1953. (fn. 397)
The Catholic Apostolic Church
A branch of the Catholic Apostolic Church was recorded in York in 1867. In 1872 the meeting-place was a room in Castlegate which the worshippers continued to use until 1902 when services were started in the Merchant Tailors' Hall. The Church left the Hall in 1939 and did not again meet in York. (fn. 398)
Adherents of the New Church were first recorded in York between 1790 and 1800. (fn. 399) A receiver of Swedenborgian doctrine, William Heppel, was in touch with the New Church Conference by 1840. (fn. 400) By 1854 Heppel appears to have gathered a congregation together and formed the church which was recognized by the Conference in that year. (fn. 401) Heppel was leader of the congregation until 1870 or 1871 except for a short period in the early 1860's. Between 1871 and 1894 William Jubb was leader; from 1894 until 1906 or 1907 the church appears to have had no leader but a W. C. Jubb was named as secretary. (fn. 402)
From 1855 to 1876 the Swedenborgians used the Temperance Lecture Hall in Goodramgate (numbered 46 and earlier known as Sanderson's Temperance Hotel; now demolished). Between 1876 and 1899 the congregation met in the Good Templars' Hall in Whiteley's Court (later St. Saviour's Court, now demolished) close to the York Institute (now the Masonic Hall) in St. Saviourgate. The meetingroom was occasionally referred to as the 'New Jerusalem' or the 'Swedenborgian Meeting Room'. About 1899 the meeting returned to the rooms in Goodramgate (then known as the Victoria Hall) and remained there until its demise in 1906. (fn. 403)
The membership was never large: in 1870 there were 24 persons regularly attending services but in 1900 only 14. A Sunday school was opened about 1889. The church possessed a library of about 100 volumes. (fn. 404)
A congregation of Plymouth Brethren is recorded as meeting in a house in the yard of no. 20 Little Stonegate in 1851. (fn. 405) This group is probably to be identified with the congregation of 'Exclusive' Plymouth Brethren, occasionally styled 'Christian' or 'United' Brethren (fn. 406) who, from about 1861 until 1937 were meeting in Salem Chapel School, St. Saviourgate. (fn. 407) The Chapel School, sometimes called 'St. Saviourgate Meeting Room' or 'Mission Room', (fn. 408) was reached through Webster's Passage between numbers 19 and 21 on the west side of St. Saviourgate. The passage and some of the surrounding houses have been demolished but the chapel was still standing in 1956 and in use as a warehouse. (fn. 409)
In 1936 or 1937 the Brethren left St. Saviourgate; subsequently various meeting-places were used until, in 1942, the congregation moved to rooms above number 26 on the north side of Colliergate next to Bough's Yard, where meetings were still being held in 1956. (fn. 410) There has never been a resident minister for the congregation.
The Gospel Hall
A congregation of 'open' Plymouth Brethren was meeting in rooms in Micklegate next to the Queen's Hotel in 1893. By 1897 the place of meeting was known as 'The Gospel Hall'. The Brethren continued to meet in Micklegate at least until 1921. (fn. 411) By 1924 they had moved to St. Andrew's Hall, Spen Lane, a building reconstructed from the medieval church of that dedication. (fn. 412) This new place of meeting was also given the name 'The Gospel Hall' and was still in regular use in 1957. (fn. 413)
The Central Mission
The Central Mission was started as an independent, non-sectarian mission by two members of Centenary Methodist Chapel. They worked first in the Layerthorpe Methodist Mission to which they had been invited by the trustees in 1904. Later the work was organized from the Festival Concert Rooms in Museum Street, (fn. 414) until 1908 when the New Street Methodist Chapel was rented. (fn. 415) On 27 June 1910 a new building for the mission was opened in Swinegate. (fn. 416) This building, which was built of white brick with red brick ornamentation and comprised a lecture hall and schoolrooms, was requisitioned for war purposes in 1915. Subsequently the mission was dispersed but in 1919 it was amalgamated with the Monk Bar United Methodist Chapel and from this time until the closing of the chapel in 1934 the new organization was known as the Monk Bar Central Mission. (fn. 417) After 1934 the mission united with York City Mission. (fn. 418)
York City Mission
The York City Mission was founded in 1848, 'for the diffusion of moral and religious instruction among the poorer classes of society, by means of domiciliary visitation'. The mission, which was interdenominational, was conducted by a committee drawn from the established and dissenting churches. (fn. 419) The mission's work has not been directed from one centre but at different times the Wesley Place Mission rooms in Hungate and a mission room in Navigation Road together with the Methodist mission rooms in North Street, Skeldergate, and Layerthorpe were used. (fn. 420) For some time before 1947 rooms in Ogleforth were rented for meetings and after this date the mission used a guild room in Salem Chapel. In 1956 the mission was holding meetings in this room and in the Social Hall in the Bell Farm Estate. (fn. 421)