Croft Methodist Chapel was built in 1817
That we do know for certain, as it was taken apart and the materials used to build Culcheth Independent Methodist Chapel at Twiss Green in Culcheth.
Here is an extract from ‘A Short History of Independent Methodism’ by Arthur Mounfield, published in 1905.
‘James Wood, a tenant of an old farm near Kenyon Hall, allowed his kitchen to be used for worship by a group of his peers. His co-workers included Timothy Leather, John Fearnhead, Richard Hunt, John Goulden and John Massey, among others. Public worship was continued in the kitchen until 1845, when a chapel at Croft, which was disused, was taken down and removed to a site given by Richard Hunt.’
‘The Story of The Lancashire Congregational Union 1806 – 1906’
by Nightingale has Croft listed under ‘Churches formerly aided but that have now been abandoned’
Croft, near Warrington 1830 – 1834 Amount £75 Abandoned
It was then registered as a Wesleyan Methodist place of worship in 1837.
By 1845 it was disused and so taken apart and used to build Culcheth Independent Methodist Chapel as stated.
After the rebuilding of the chapel, the previous site was forgotten about.
Every source I have found that does mention Croft Methodist Chapel, states that the site is either missing or unknown.
Historic Culcheth: The Story of a Village by Rosemary Keery
‘It is thought that a disused church in Croft was demolished and rebuilt on the present site, but the details of this cannot be traced.’
Croft: The History of a Village by Alan Sharpe
‘Records show that an Independent Methodist Chapel was built in Croft in 1817, though the site on which it was built is unknown.’
A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4, (1911) William Farrer and J Brownbill
'An Independent Methodist chapel was built at Croft in 1817 but has disappeared.'
These sources are all accurate to a point. There seems to be nothing at all in any archives or other available means.
One source claims that the burial ground on Lady Lane (belonging to Croft Unitarian Chapel) is the burial site from the missing Methodist Chapel.
I can only assume this is just a wild guess from the author, as his dates for burials at Christ Church are also inaccurate.
Celtic Warrington and Other Mysteries: Book One by Mark Olly
‘This cemetery is part of the old original burial ground of the Independent Methodist Chapel built in 1817 which had been demolished by the 1870’s after burials began in earnest at Christ Church.’
2022 Location Found
I recently had the chance to look through the tithe registers from 1837 to 1843, which also included the full tithe plan, to scale with the current map.
The Methodist Chapel was on the list with full details and a reference number for the plan.
The landowners at the time were George Birch & John Byrom & Peter Philips & William Bowker as Trustees of The Methodist Chapel dated from 30th April 1837. The site of the chapel and yard were included. The quantity of land was 10 Perches (Land was split into Acres, Roods and Perches), with a charge of 1d. payable to the rector.
The Green Pin Marks the Location
A document held at Lancashire Archives entitled ‘Highway Papers’ with the date 5th October 1831 contains a
Plan and notice for stopping up order for footpath between Southworth Hall, Heath Lane and Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Southworth with croft, Warrington.
Looking at the tithe plan overlaid with the 1834 map, this makes perfect sense as the footpath is clearly shown.
The location using todays measurements and maps are:
Latitude, Longitude 53.448348, -2.5626590
Eastings, Northings 362728, 394767
British National Grid Reference SJ627947
I have checked with Land Registry and the land is now owned by Peel Investments (NORTH) Limited.
See more local places of worship
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Cheyvonne Bower is a local historian with a passion for the past.