Methodist New Connexion Bethel Chapel, Hall Ing Lane, Wood Royd, Honley

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  • also known as: Wood Royd Chapel, Wood Royd Methodist Church
  • location: Hall Ing Lane, Wood Royd, Honley
  • status: still exists but now in different use
  • category: church or chapel

Built in 1840[1] with a Sunday School on the ground floor.[2] It closed in 1983[3] and is now a private residence.


The History of Honley and its Hamlets from the Earliest Time to the Present (1914) by Mary A. Jagger:

This Chapel is named Bethel, and has a Sunday School and Burial Ground attached. With its dark yew tree overshadowing the small “God’s acre” the Chapel is situated amidst picturesque scenery, and old world surroundings. Its building was also the outcome of the great religious revival which swept over the country after Wesley’s preaching. Mention is made of the Haighs in Hall Ing history. One, Thomas Haigh, born in 1749, was the founder of the Methodist cause in this corner of Honley township. A young man of wealth and standing, he indulged in sports and pastimes common at that period amongst his class. His mother was a pious and God-fearing woman regularly attending the Ministry of the Rev. H. Venn, at Huddersfield. One of the numerous converts of Whitefield and Wesley was a stone-mason of the name of John Nelson, residing at Birstall, who became one of the most celebrated of the revivalist preachers of that time. At the age of 23, Thomas Haigh heard this far-famed man preach in 1770. It was the turning-point in the life of Thomas Haigh. A convert to religion, he at once desired to convert others. A class of earnest men and women was formed, and led by him, prayer-meetings were held in his own house at Gynn, to which reference is made under the head of “Old Houses.” Afterwards meetings were held at Hall Ing, and in a cottage at Wood Royd Mill, which was the property of the Haigh family at the time. It is mentioned also that he preached at Farnley Tyas upon Easter Sunday in 1780 to a large assembly of people. He had a fervent co-worker in his son, Joseph Haigh, who purchased the Hall Ing property in 1851.

The Methodist New Connexion body was formed in 1797, having seceded from the parent Wesleyan body. Thomas Haigh and his son Joseph at once joined the new society, both having taken a foremost part in its institution. When Thomas Haigh was called to his rest, the good work begun by him was carried on by his son Joseph. The latter set apart ground at Wood Royd, for the purpose of building a Chapel. The foundation stone for the building was laid in April, 1840, and the Chapel was opened for service on September 23rd, 1840. Joseph Haigh defrayed the cost of erection, with the exception of subscriptions from his sons. When the foundation stone was laid, Henry Martin Haigh, a grandson of the founder, was baptized upon the stone. The first person to be interred in the peaceful burial ground was a child belonging to a member of the family. The second person was Joseph Haigh himself, whose memorial stone will keep in memory one of the old worthies of Honley.

The original doctrine of the New Connexion body underwent 1907 a change in 1907. The Union of three Methodists’ Societies took place at that time, and are named “The United Methodist Church.” The members of Wood Royd Chapel are now joined to this Union. The Jubilee of the Chapel was celebrated on October 11th, 12th and 13th, 1890, when a three days’ festival, both of a religious and social character, marked the interesting event. The name of Mr. and Mrs. Henderson and family have long been closely and honourably connected with this Chapel and its good work. I am indebted to Mr. and Mrs, Henderson for supplying me with particulars regarding both Chapel and Sunday School. Mrs. Henderson is a granddaughter of the late Mr. Joseph Haigh, and still resides near the old homestead.

Historic England Listing

  • Grade II
  • first listed 30 April 1982
  • listing entry number 1216556

HALL ING LANE (Honley). Wood Royd Methodist Church (formerly listed under Gynn Hill Lane). Simple, rectangular chapel, with Sunday School to rear. 1840 (dated). Hammer dressed stone. Half hipped slate roof with moulded stone brackets. Main elevation (east): central 6 panel double door with fielded upper panels and round arched fan with radial glazing bars. To each side is large stained glass window with round arch with key and impost blocks. Pediment has ashlar coping, and occulus with radial glazing bars. Central inscription reads: BETHEL CHAPEL 1840 West elevation: 2 storeys by 3 bays. Stained glass window to first floor. Entrance and 2 single lights with glazing bars to ground floor. To north and south are later additions, the one to south with round arched stained glass window.


Notes and References

  1. Yorkshire Returns of the 1851 Census of Religious Worship: Volume 3, West Riding (South) (2000) edited by John Wolffe.
  2. Holmfirth Methodist Circuit Bicentenary 1810-2010 (2010) compiled by Peter Beetlestone.
  3. West Yorkshire Archive Service: Off the Record.