Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Park Road West, Crosland Moor
- also known as: Crosland Moor Wesleyan Methodist Church, Park Road Methodist Church
- location: Park Road West, Crosland Moor
- status: no longer exists
- category: church or chapel
The corner stone was laid on Saturday 29 October 1864 by the Rev. James Loutill on a freehold site purchased from James Eastwood for £115. Prior to the building of the chapel, the congregation had "met in small cottages". The following description was published in the Huddersfield Chronicle:
The building will front the road, and will be of a plain unpretending style. Its length will be 42 feet, 30 feet wide, and 17 feet high. It will be capable of seating some 280 or 300 persons. It will also contain a vestry and two class rooms, and will be lighted by four circular-headed windows on each side. The cost will be over £600, towards which nearly £500 has already been obtained. The architects are Messrs. Leech and Beaumont, Huddersfield; Mr. Luke Shaw, Crosland Moor, mason; James Blakeley and Sons, joiners; Josh. Sutcliffe, Linthwaite, plasterer and painter; Messrs. John Brook and Co., Huddersfield, plumbers; and Mr. Goodwin, slater.
The History of Lockwood and North Crosland (1980) by Brian Clarke:
Breaking away from the chapel that stood in Blackmoorfoot Road, when that church decided to join the United Free Methodist Church, the first record of this Wesleyan group is found in 1855 when meetings were held at the home of a Mrs. Bywater in Matlock Street. Known as the “Cushionites”, because they took the cushions from the old chapel as their share of the assets, the meetings were often so crowded that both an upstairs and a downstairs room were used, with the Preacher conducting the service from the stairs.
Early in 1864 land for a chapel was purchased in Park Road West at 6/8d a square yard, making a total of £115.5s.3d. The foundation stone was laid on 29th October 1864 and the building similar in design to that in Bentley Street but somewhat smaller, was opened by the Rev. James Loulit on the 24th September 1865. Costing £350 to build, accommodation was provided for 110 people. The Sunday School used the same building, starting with 14 teachers and only 27 scholars but growing within a year to 123 scholars and by 1897 to over 350 children. While no firm evidence has been found it is possible that for a while around 1866 the church also operated a Day School, for in that year a Sarah Charlesworth is listed as Mistress of the Wesleyan School, Crosland Moor.
Within ten years the church was proving too small, so four adjoining cottages and land were purchased and on Good Friday 1877 a Mr. Thomas Mallinson laid the foundation stone for extensions, which also included raising the height of the present chapel to permit a gallery to be installed. During the alterations services were held at the Crosland Moor Board School and the enlarged church was opened on 17th February 1878, the building then capable of seating 250 people and the work having cost £2,000.
Within twenty years once again the lack of space was felt and in 1894 a committee was formed, originally with the idea of enlarging the Sunday School which had then overflowed into the chapel. The first fund-raising effort raised £1.32 but future efforts were more rewarding. In 1899 additional land abutting on to the church was purchased for £500 and to finance this, shares in the land at 38p. a square yard were sold to the church members. An “Historic Roll” giving the names of the shareholders was prepared and put on display.
In 1901 it was decided that a new church would be built and plans were drawn up for the new building, however, the ground plan when completed proved to be a little larger than the actual site and an additional plot had to be purchased for £100. The original plan for the church also included a spire 95 feet high but, due to the cost, this was substituted by a neat minaret. Early in 1905 estimates of £3,586 were accepted and the first sod was cut on 22nd June 1905 by Mrs. B. Donkersley who was then the oldest member of the church. The new building, in the Gothic style, arranged with nave and transepts, with a gallery on three sides, was officially opened on 23rd June 1906, having cost a total of £4,200. A year later, due to the efforts of the choir, a 3 manual organ, built by Jas. J. Binns of Bramley was purchased and installed at a cost of £854. The 40 year old harmonium was left in the old Chapel for Sunday School use.
The expense of the new building left the Church in debt and many events were organised in the early part of this century to reduce the amount owing, all debts were thus cleared by March 1924. While the new Church was a very fine building the surrounding area was rather bare so, to beautify the grounds and as a fund-raising event, on 6th October 1906 a Tree Planting Ceremony was held and 70 trees and shrubs were planed by members of the Church. A similar ceremony was held the following year on 13th April.
In 1932 the differences between the United Free, Primitive and Wesleyan branches of the Methodist movement were finally resolved and so at this time the Bentley Street and the Blackmoorfoot Road chapels joined the same circuit as Park Road.
On 31st December 1957, Milnsbridge Methodist Church closed and that congregation joined with Park Road, as did the congregation of Blackmoorfoot Road two years later.
In May 1964 the old Chapel and Sunday School was demolished to provide the site for a new Church Hall and School. Costing £17,380 the new hall was opened on 1st May 1965.
With rising overheads and falling congregations, a factor common to most churches in recent years, in 1978 it was decided to discontinue use of the church building and to use the new hall for services. Vandalism caused severe damage to the chapel building during 1979 and so the decision was taken to demolish what the vandals had left standing, this being done in the early part of 1980.
- Huddersfield & District Family History Society — baptisms 1865-1967
Notes and References
- "Crosland Moor" in Huddersfield Chronicle (05/Nov/1864).