Methodists & Methodism Washburn Valley – Norwood/Havarrah Park to West End By Stanley Merridew

North Yorkshire Record Office holds Pateley Bridge Circuit records which cover the chapels from Brown Bank to West End. These include baptism records from 1825 to 1961.  All the chapels are together in each volume but the place of residence is shown.

Norwood/Havarrah Park

Known as Brown Bank, this chapel was situated off Watson’s Lane, now a private house.  Northallerton record office have a copy of the Sunday School register 1941-1979. Several names are shown on the Wesleyan Roll:  Darnbrook,  Grange, McKenzie, Gill, Hobson, Hutton


The chapel opened as early as 1763 and was enlarged in 1894 when there were 26 members.  It closed in 1959, also now a private house.  Marriage records 1908-1943 at are held at Northallerton.  At NYRO I came across a list of seat rents for 1910 which mentions the following names:

Mr H Beecroft, John Beecroft, James Hart, Mrs Luty, Mr T Newall, Mrs Patten, Miss J Pennington, Mr F Pennington, R Pennington, Mrs Umpleby, T Varley, Mr W Yeadon.   The only names shown for Fewston on the Wesleyan Roll are John Myers & J Bramley.

Hardisty Hill

The chapel, situated on a lane just to the east of Hardisty Hill opened in 1838 and closed in 1994. 

Hardisty Hill Chapel

There was also a Reading Room until relatively recently at the foot of Hardisty Hill.  The record office holds a copy of the Sunday School register, attendances shown below:

John W Andrew 1896 to 1898                   Dewhirst Beecroft 1909 to 1911

William Beecroft 1895 to 1897         & 1909 to 1911    James E Gill 1892

George Hardcastle 1892 to 1895      Charles Harrison 1897 to 1898

Richard Knowles 1910 to 1911                  Andrew Maud 1893

Bradley Maud 1895 to 1898             Titus Maud 1894 to 1895

Ethel Maud 1897 to 1898                           Lucy Maud 1895 to 1898

Emily Neal 1896 to 1898                           Annie L Newall 1909

Annie M Watkinson 1894 to 1896   Richard Watkinson 1895 to 1896

Charles Watkinson 1895 to 1897                       

Five members of the Gill family contributed to the Wesleyan Roll ( 20th Century Fund), Michael, John , Wilks, Sarah & Esther.

West End

West End Chapel

Taken at the centenary celebration in 1936

An article in the Wharfedale & Airedale Observer 12th May 1962 regarding the above chapel,  just before closure, states it opened in 1836 and was built on land previously owned by John Hall of Thruscross.  The chapel was located at the top of Clogger Lane.   Some of the families involved in the past are mentioned: Newbould, Wigglesworth, Gill, Bulmer, Metcalf & Verity.  It also states that the tea at the Centenary was served by Mrs F Nelson, Mrs Wood, Mrs Newbould, Mrs J Verity, Mrs V Verity, Mrs Smith, Mrs G Marshall, Miss S Peel, Miss S Walker.

There was also a Primitive Methodist chapel.  From documents of a land sale held by Mikki French, one of her ancestors, Godfrey Horsman  of West End, sold to Joshua Hardisty (cordwainer), Joseph Dinsdale (linen weaver), James Fryer (flaxdresser), Thomas Shepherd (weaver) all of Thruscross, Joseph Stott (farmer), Francis Sutcliffe (miller), both of Stonebeckdown & John Watson (wheelwright) of Stonebeckup in 1929  a plot of land for the purpose of building a Primitive Methodist Chapel.  The document states the plot of land was close to Holmefield and Brecks Lane.  This site was, I believe just north of the present Reservoir Road.  The building was sold in 1902, so I assume the two congregations came together.  See the first paragraph regarding baptism records.

Just two names appear on the Wesleyan Roll: Enoch Garth & John Verity.

In an account book dated 1811 there is a list of where collections were received.  At this early date many of the chapels were not in existence and these may have been house meetings.  Amongst the places mentioned, Bramley Head and Bramelane are shown.  The Wesleyan Chapel at West End (opened 1836) was close to Bramley Head and Bramelane is near to Brown Bank.   .       

A list of Circuit members dated 1838 for each chapel within the Pateley Bridge Circuit: 

Blubberhouses Isabella Cadman Brown Bank John Renton
Blubberhouses James Child Brown Bank Dinah Renton
Blubberhouses Margaret Child Brown Bank Thomas Robinson
Blubberhouses Thomas Elliot Brown Bank Thomas Simpson
Blubberhouses Ann Elliot Brown Bank Mary Stockdale
Blubberhouses Matilda Elliot Brown Bank Grace Stubbs
Blubberhouses Hannah Keswick Brown Bank Sarah Thackrey
Blubberhouses Ellen Lawyer Brown Bank Joseph Todd
Blubberhouses Robert Metcalfe Brown Bank Eliza Todd
Blubberhouses John Newell Brown Bank Hannah Turner
Blubberhouses Susannah Newell Brown Bank William Turner
Blubberhouses Margaret Sunter Brown Bank Elizabeth Whitaker (child)
Blubberhouses Ellen Terry Brown Bank Jonathan Whitaker |(child)
Blubberhouses John Thackray Brown Bank Hannah Wilson
Blubberhouses Mary Thackray Brown Bank Robert Wilson
Blubberhouses Mary Webb Brown Bank Benjamin Wilson
Blubberhouses Hannah Whitehead Fewston Henry Bramley
Blubberhouses Emma Yates Fewston Mary Bramley
Brown Bank Joseph Ainsworth Fewston Ann Bramley
Brown Bank Jonathan Andrews (child) Fewston Mary Bramley
Brown Bank Hannah Bolton Fewston Mary Buck
Brown Bank Hannah Bolton Fewston Elizabeth Buck
Brown Bank Robert Bramley Fewston Sarah Buck
Brown Bank Hannah Bramley Fewston Susannah Buck
Brown Bank John Bramley Fewston Hannah Demaine
Brown Bank William Broadbelt Fewston Mark Demaine
Brown Bank Sarah Broadbelt Fewston Matthew Demaine
Brown Bank Mary Darnbrook Fewston Jane Dickinson
Brown Bank Ann Darnbrook Fewston Elizabeth Dunwell
Brown Bank Mary Dibb Fewston Thomas Elison
Brown Bank Thomas Driver Fewston Mary Elison
Brown Bank Mary Driver Fewston George Hardy
Brown Bank Ann Emsley Fewston Henry Jackson
Brown Bank Charles Emsley Fewston Hannah Morris
Brown Bank Mary Ann Emsley Fewston Thomas Peel
Brown Bank Hannah Ferndale Fewston Susannah Peel
Brown Bank Joseph Grange Fewston Samuel  
Brown Bank William Green Fewston Elizabeth Reed
Brown Bank Daniel Green Fewston Joseph Settle
Brown Bank Samuel Hudson West End Elizabeth Abbot
Brown Bank Mary Hudson West End Walter Buckle
Brown Bank Joseph Irish West End Sarah Buckle
Brown Bank Benjamin Jackson West End Ellen Garrs
Brown Bank Joseph Jackson West End Anthony Garth
Brown Bank Elizabeth Jackson West End Stephen Hardisty
Brown Bank Henry Jackson West End Sarah Holmes
Brown Bank Mary Jackson West End Ellen Holmes
Brown Bank William Margerison West End Elizabeth Imeson
Brown Bank Thomas Moon West End Betty Imeson
Brown Bank William Moon West End Ann Myers
Brown Bank Jane Peel West End Martha Newbould
Brown Bank Robert Peel West End Emmanuel Shepherd
Brown Bank Joseph Rawson West End Elizabeth Waite
Brown Bank Susannah Rawson West End Amelia Wilkinson
Brown Bank Susannah Rawson      

I assume those headed under “Blubberhouses” refers to Hardisty Hill Chapel.

At the archives there is also a Society Roll Book dated 1931.  The circuit members list, plus the roll book and the baptisms would make a useful publication – a willing transcriber needed!

Methodism & Methodists – Addingham By Stanley Merridew

Addingham, along with most Wharfedale villages was visited by travelling Methodist preachers from the middle of the eighteenth century.

Grimshaw, Colbeck, Maskew and John Wesley all preached in the village.  One of those converted at the time was Thomas Lee.  Born in Silsden, he served an apprenticeship in Addingham and became one of Wesley’s travelling band of preachers.

Originally the converts would have met in private houses.  One farmhouse on Addingham Moorside continued as a meeting place for methoidst until well into the twentieth century.   The first chapel was erected in 1778 in Lidget Lane (Back Lane).  This was enlarged in 1808 at the time when Addingham became the head of a circuit stretching from Burnsall to Ilkley and across into Airedale.   The land was donated by the Greenwood family and their family mausoleum stands in the large burial ground adjacent to the building.  Wharfedale FHG transcribed the gravestones in the early 1980s.   

 This chapel remained in use until 1973 when it was converted into housing.  The chapel moved to Chapel Lane/Wesley Place, which had previously been built as a Wesleyan School.  It remains there to this day.

We have published the registers of baptism, marriages and burials as well as the memorial inscriptions.  In addition, Bradford Archives hold day school and Sunday School records from 1848 to 1943 plus other material including leader’s minutes and chapel steward’s accounts which will identify families involved with the running of the organisation.  I found at the archives an “Assignment of Right of Burial” signed by John Smiles of Addingham, Grocer dated 25 January 1855:

………..£25 paid by Joseph Styles of Grassington to place a gravestone in the chapel burial ground at Addingham granted by the trustees – Thomas Lister the elder, Isaac Bland, John I’Anson, William Greenwood, Thomas Mason, Francis Wall, James Cockshott, William Cockshott, Henry Flesher Bland, Abraham Emmott, John Beck, Joseph Smith, William Smith, Richard Steel, William Lister, Lister Cockshott, Frederick Alexander Greenwood.   

From around 1850 part of the Wesleyan Church movement decided to breakaway from the main body, forming the Wesleyan Reform Church.  This included part of the congregation of Addingham and they constructed their own chapel in 1861 on Main Street.  This chapel is still in use. 

Addingham Mount Hermon

Wesleyan Reform Chapel

We have transcribed and published the baptisms from 1861.  Further records may still be in the possession of the church.

The Memorial Hall, built in 1913 was originally a Primitive Methodist chapel.  But by 1955 it had become the Memorial Hall we know today.  Sadly no records appear to have survived

Addingham appears to have been a breeding ground for Methodist preachers.  William Kendall Gale, born in 1873 in Addingham   and baptised at Mount Hermon where he later became Pastor.  There is a plaque in his honour at the chapel.

Another was Henry Flesher Bland, born 1818 in Addingham  son of Anthony Bland and Martha Flesher.  He married Emma Levell in Addingham.  He first became a preacher in Addingham and emigrated to Canada, where he rose to become one of the leading lights in methodism.  Two of his sons also became preachers.

The Methodist School was built largely by subscription from local families.  A booklet dated 1876 held at Bradford Archives gives the names of all those who made donations.  It also lists the trustees as follows:

Joseph Gill, clogger

Robert Mitton, manufacturer

William Simpson, draper

Joseph Pighills, farmer

James Thackray, farmer

James Brown, warp dresser

George Whitaker, shoemaker

Michaels Pighills, farmer

Joseph Steele, shoemaker

Edwin Townson, farmer

Charles Wade, cabinetmaker

Jesse Drake, grocer

Starkie Starkie, minister

All the above of Addinghham plus:

Robert Shiers, farmer of Draughton, John Gill, farmer of Beamsley, William Mitton of Ilkley and Giffard Dorey, minister of Ilkley.

Also at Bradford Archives, amongst a large volume of various papers and correspondence, much relating to the school, are two registers concerning the Band of Hope movement, a nonconformist initiative to discourage particularly the young from alcohol.  They run from 1919 to 1948, although some years are missing.  I have photocopied the Roll of the Young Abstainers League 1919-1927.  This shows full name, age at enrollment and address.  Plus Abstainers Roll (Senior Section)  1927-1938.  This only gives name as Mr or Mrs in most cases and few addresses.   These are too large to include in the journal but if you think your family may have been involved please contact me and I will transcribe the relevant information.  I wish they were mine!

Methodism & Methodists By Stanley Merridew Adel & Harewood


This linear village was part of the parish of Adel until 1865 when the village church was opened.  It is a good example of how the Church of England’s slow response to a rising population allowed nonconformists to thrive in communities remote from the parish church.  Arthington is three to four miles from Adel church, uphill virtually all the way.  Not an easy journey for a family with toddlers and elderly relatives in tow.

The earliest evidence I have found of a Methodist presence is in 1790 when it is named as part of the Otley Circuit.  By 1798 a property belonging to the Waterhouse family was licensed as a preaching place.  Those signing the license were Joseph, Moses & John Hainsworth, Joseph Todd, William Nicholson, Matthias Cooke, James Waterhouse & William Cockitt.   

Several generations of the Myers family from Creskeld Grange were involved with the movement along with the Ingham family who were related by marriage.  At one time Arthington Hall was the home of Thomas Farrer, treasurer of the Methodist Missionary Society.  His successor at the Hall was Reverend Wm Sheepshanks, who it appears took a relaxed view of the Methodists and shared the Sunday School with them.

Finally in 1894 a Methodist chapel was opened.  Unfortunately the only records that have been deposited are the marriages for 1901-1974.  These are held at Wakefield Record Office.

Arthington chapel


Eccup is mentioned on a preaching plan of Leeds as early as 1777, at this date meetings would have been held in a barn or private house.  The chapel, built in the nineteenth century, stood on Eccup lane, close to the New Inn.  It was demolished in the 1950s.  No records appear to have survived.


Part of the Harewood Estate, so presumably the Lascelles family were sympathetic to the Methodist cause.  The chapel, which still survives, although now used as Weardley Cattery was built in ===.  Records of

Baptisms 1943-1963 are held at Leeds Archives.

The Old Chapel, Weardley

Weardley Chapel

Weardley Chapel


John Pawson, originally of Thorner, is credited as the prime mover of the Methodist movement at Harewood.  He was employed at Harewood House from 1856, aged 20, and from 1762 is shown as a preacher in the Leeds Circuit.  He became President of the Wesleyan Conference in 1793 and 1801.

From 1772 the house of John Pool was licensed for worship.  The application was signed by Richard Hargreaves, Richard Wilkinson, Richard Snow, William Pool and George Hunter.  In 1796 William Thompson’s house was licensed, the signatories being Richard Snow, Abraham Barrett, Wm Pool, Richard Snow jnr, James Horner & John Labron.  At the same date Edmund Parker’s house was also licensed the signatories being some of those above plus John Ingham & Samuel Nicholson. By 1814 they were meeting in two cottages on Harewood Avenue.


Again within the bounds of the Harewood Estate, the chapel here was one of the first in the area, being erected in 1796.  The registration was in the names of: Charles Atkinson, John Pickard, William Taylor, John Abbott & Peter Hindle.  At the time of the 1851 Religious Census the Chapel Steward was Robert Denison.  The chapel closed in 1938 and sadly no records are traceable.   


Along with its near neighbour, Weeton, Methodism  in these villages was linked by the Atkinson family, who resided at Huby Farm, now the Old Post Cottage on Strait Lane.   A cottage belonging to John Taylor was licensed in 1796.  The application was put forward by John Jackson, Thomas Farmery, Ralph Snowden, Thomas owther, William Gatenby & Wiiliam Hill.

Huby, 1889/90, replacing 1840 chapel

North Rigton

Another village which was largely part of Harewood Estate.  Its early involvement with Methodism is shown by being listed as part of the newly formed Otley Circuit in 1790.  Once again 1796 is an important date, when the house of Robert Wade is licensed for worship, the applicants being: Henry Robinson, John Rhodes, Isaac Denison, Robert Whitaker and William Garth.

North Rigton Opened 1932. replacing earlier chapel


The Barrett family who lived in the hamlet were heavily involved in the chapels of  Harewood, Huby, North Rigton and Weeton.  However I can find no record of a chapel in Dunkeswick, perhaps meetings were held in a local house. 

The places mentioned above are all well documented on the Wesleyan Roll taken between 1895 and 1905 to celebrate the centenary of the death of John Wesley.  Due to space it is not practicable to include them in this article.  However, if you would like me to consult those parts I have indexed, please contact me.  (See inside front cover)