Non Conformist Chapels in Hessle

Methodism in Hessle

During the nineteenth century Methodism increased in strength. John Wesley had brought Methodism to the area in the late eighteenth century, though there is no record of him ever having preached at Hessle. Its popularity as a religion for the working classes and middle classes (especially in places such as Hessle, which were not under the influence of any one individual) grew rapidly. There is no definite record of the site of any Methodist chapel in Hessle in 1800 but before 1813 a small Wesleyan chapel existed in Deadman's Lane. It is not clear whether this chapel operated in a separate building or if it was part of a dwelling place. However, the meeting room was apparently so small that it was almost possible to shake hands across the room.

In 1813 this chapel was replaced by a new one in Vicarage Lane at a cost of £700, which quickly rose to £1,060 when neighbouring cottages were acquired to extend the premises. The new chapel was renovated in 1861 at a cost of £360 and then replaced in 1877 by the present building on Tower Hill, which cost £5,000. The Reverend W B Fitzgerald was the minister. The new, larger, Wesleyan Methodist chapel opened on Good Friday, 30th March, 1877 with special trains from Hull laid on to transport the hundreds who wished to attend the historic ceremony. 1000 people were present at the opening service despite the accomodation being designed for 600.

Two years later a mission room was built at Springville with room for a hundred people. This together with the Anglican chapel of ease at St James suggests that a sizeable community was now building up on the eastern edge of Hessle, around First Lane.

Old Methodist Chapel, Vicarage Lane, 1813.

The United Free Methodist Church built a chapel in Northgate in 1863.

United Free Methodists

The UFM Church built a chapel in Northgate in 1863. This later became a club and was demolished in the 1970s. A much larger chapel in Southgate, which had formerly belonged to the Primitive Methodists, was used for over fifty years. It is now the site of the Orchard Drive flats.

Primitive Methodism in Hessle

In 1819 the Rev William Clowes, of Burslem, came to Hull and formed a class at Hessle. He was, however, preceded by a few days by Miss Jane Brown who stood on a stool to preach. This society was one of the first to be established in the area and from 1827 a Primitive Methodist chapel was situated in an upper room in Chapel Yard, Southgate. This was accessed by an outside stairway and was rebuilt in 1857.

The Primitive Methodists opened a chapel in Southgate in 1857 and worshipped there for 52 years before moving to South Lane. The site was taken over by the United Methodists (formerly the United Free Methodists) but it has now been re-developed for housing and is the Orchard Drive Flats.

In 1909 the Primitive Methodists opened their new chapel on South Lane. The chapel was designed by T B Atkinson and is estimated to have cost £3,700 of which £900 came from the United Methodists who moved into the old chapel.

The chapel opened on 11th November 1909 with a parade, starting at 2:30 pm, making its way from the old chapel on Southgate and along Prestongate singing "Jesu, lover of my soul". When they reached the chapel Mrs W Fawcett performed the cutting of the ribbon with a pair of gold plated scissors presented to her by the architect. After the opening ceremony and service a public tea was held in the schoolroom at a cost of 1/- per person. In the evening there was a public meeting with speakers and singing, with C V Rudston as soloist.

South Lane Primitive Methodist Chapel opened November 1909

In 1973 the Primitive Methodists united with the Hessle Wesleyan Methodists and the United Free Methodists to form Hessle Methodist Church, using the premises on Tower Hill. The former chapel on South Lane was sold and was used as retail premises before being demolished and re-developed for housing as Clowes Court (named after William Clowes, a renowned Methodist preacher).


There seems to be no evidence of a place of worship for Congregationalists in Hessle before 1897 when they had a tin tabernacle in South Lane that was large enough to accommodate two hundred people. Two years later a start was made on a more permanent structure in Station Road. It was replaced in 1900 by the Trinity Congregational Chapel, which later became the United Reformed Church. This chapel was closed in 1978 and demolished the following year. The Tin Tabernacle eventually became a meeting place for scouts and fulfilled this role until 1982.

Iveson's Survey of 1853 records a Ranter's Chapel in Crosier Lane.