West Grinstead: Protestant nonconformity

Page 104

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 2, Bramber Rape (North-Western Part) Including Horsham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1986.

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Two Baptist families were recorded in the parish in 1724. (fn. 1) In the later 18th and earlier 19th centuries some members of the Horsham General Baptist church lived at Jolesfield, notably the preacher William Evershed, the deacon Thomas Billingshurst, and members of the Kensett family, who like Billingshurst were brickmakers. (fn. 2) The preacher John Burgess of Ditchling preached at Jolesfield and West Grinstead in the 1780s. (fn. 3) In 1810 dissenters were said to meet occasionally in a private house. (fn. 4) The ground floor of a house at Partridge Green was registered for worship in 1831, (fn. 5) and in 1833 a purpose-built chapel was put up on land belonging to Philip Kensett at the west end of the modern Partridge Green High Street. The chapel still flourished c. 1840, (fn. 6) but had been converted to houses by 1855. (fn. 7)

Wesleyan Methodists were holding cottage services at Partridge Green in the 1870s. A wooden chapel was built on the site of the present chapel on the south side of High Street by 1888, and in 1901 could seat 75. Of the twelve trustees named in 1902 ten were from Horsham. A new brick chapel, in plain Gothic style, was opened in 1906. (fn. 8) From 1980 to 1983 the minister was a deaconess from Horsham. (fn. 9)

A mission hall at Partridge Green for Unitarian Protestant Christians was registered for worship in 1910, but the registration was cancelled on revision in 1925. (fn. 10)


  • 1. W.S.R.O., Ep. I/26/3, p. 19.
  • 2. E. Kensett, Hist. Free Christian Ch., Horsham, 1721- 1921, 74-5, 86.
  • 3. S.A.C. xl. 148-9.
  • 4. W.S.R.O., Ep. I/41/64.
  • 5. Ibid. Ep. I/17/45, f. 49.
  • 6. Ibid. Ep. I/17/45, f. 53; ibid. TD/W 142.
  • 7. Ibid. Wiston MS. 5615, p. 58.
  • 8. Ibid. MP 1238, TS. hist. of Partridge Green Methodist ch.; Surr. R.O., Kingston, 456/11/3; Return of Accom. in Wesleyan Methodist Chapels, 1901.
  • 9. Inf. from Mr. R. Staples, Partridge Green.
  • 10. G.R.O. Worship Reg. no. 44355.