Derbyshire Places of Worship

Wesleyan Reform ("Bottom") Chapel, Eyam (33k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard
Wesleyan Reform ("Bottom") Chapel, Eyam
Wesleyan Reform ("Bottom") Chapel,
The Causeway,
Eyam, Derbyshire.

Cemeteries

We believe the Chapel did NOT have a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in 1787, though it is now closed, but we don't yet know when.

Joseph Benningson (or Beneson), who was buried on 13th March 1793, is credited in the parish register as "the first that introduced Methodism to Eyam". Joseph is believed to have been the son of George and Anne, baptised in 1734/5, and married to Jane Bradshaw in 1755. Jane died in 1783 aged 47, and her MI, as wife of Joseph, records that he was a Miner.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/449/3/8/11) for Eyam's "Wesleyan Methodist Chaple" describes a separate building, erected "before 1800" with free seating for 130, and 70 "other" sittings, used exclusively as a place of worship. It was 11 yards by 8, and had no standing room; and the estimated congregation on March 30th was 55 in the afternoon and 11 in the evening. The return was completed by Thomas Ball, who described himself as a "Wesleyan Local Preacher", of "Near Bakewell Derbyshire". He added that "this Chaple has connected with it a Sunday School [with] 46 Scholars".

Old Maps of 1880-1881 indicate it had become a Wesleyan Reform Chapel. When a second Methodist Chapel opened in Eyam in 1906, it was recorded on Old Maps of 1922 as simply "Wesleyan Methodist", whilst this one remained "Wesleyan Reform", as the following notice in The London Gazette of 16th March 1928 (p.1959) indicates:

A Separate Building, duly certified for religious worship, named WESLEYAN REFORM CHAPEL, situated at Eyam, in the civil parish of Eyam, in the county of Derby, in Bakewell registration district, was, on the 12th March, 1928, registered for solemnizing marriages therein pursuant to 6 & 7 Wm. IV, c.85. Dated 13th March 1928.

Locally, whilst both Chapels were in existence, they became known as "Top" and "Bottom" Chapels, the Wesleyan Reform being "Bottom". It is not known how long "Bottom" Chapel remained open, as no corresponding notice of cancellation has been found, but nevertheless it is now closed, most certainly by the time "Top" Chapel closed in 2011.

The following information about the Chapel has been provided to accompany the photographs on the right. A list of people who have supplied the information is included in the Acknowledgements, below.

[Image 1] The Plaque on the outside (roadside) wall states:-

WESLEYAN REFORM CHURCH

Sunday
Sunday School 10-30AM
Divine Worship 6PM
Wednesday
Womens Auxiliary 2-45PM

Solemnised for Marriages

The deeds were first drawn up for a Wesleyan Chapel in 1787, following John Wesley's celebrated trip to Eyam in 1768. It became the Wesleyan Reform Church a century or so later.[1]

Denomination

Now or formerly Wesleyan Reform.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.

Maps

This Chapel was located at OS grid reference SK2215876419. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Reference

  • Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (2010) is available as a "Freedom of Information" document from the website What Do They Know.

Acknowledgements

A special thanks to the following people who have contributed information for this web page:

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

Last updated on 29 Dec 2014 at 15:56.

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This Report was created 24 Mar 2017 - 14:05:23 GMT from information held in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 27 Aug 2016 at 10:57.

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