Home > history, religious > Ushaw Moor Historical Website – Religious History (Methodist)

Ushaw Moor Historical Website – Religious History (Methodist)


The Wesleyan Methodists at Ushaw Colliery are first recorded as holding their meetings in 1894. Two leaders of the movement from New Brancepeth, Robert Bottoms and Isaac Wood are remembered as helping with the first services which were held in the colliery house of Mrs Metcalfe. Later the mine owners, Pease & Partners, allowed them to use ‘the huts’ , a row of 12 wooden houses which had been used to accommodate the first workmen.

The last two of these miserable dwellings (they had earth floors and were dark and cold) had been united to form a single large room which later became the first miners institute. Two years later the Wesleyans were allowed the use of the colliery office which was situated in the centre of South Street. A request was made to the colliery owners for a site on which to build a permanent church. Pease & Partners presented them with land and bricks , a gift valued at £125.

The new church was erected, and opened on the 1st September 1900 by Mrs Philipson, the total cost being £360, a debt which was cleared by 1912. As further consolidation it was included in the Crook Wesleyan Methodist Circuit. A harmonium was loaned by one of the members until 1903 when a larger American organ was purchased. In 1920 a small pipe organ was installed and dedicated to the memory of the men who died in the first world war. Ralph Wilson held the position of organist for 37 years The Chapel On The Hill as it became known locally or Esh Road Methodist Church which was its official name, held its last service on the 28th July 1954, after which the membership transferred to the Durham Road chapel in Ushaw moor.

Paul Clough o^o

via Ushaw Moor Historical Website – Religious History.

  1. noodles
    November 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks for the memory Wilf. I can remember this little chapel which was situated about 100 yards from the home of the then Colliery Manager, Mr. Wilson. There were iron railings along the front of the building and the entrance to the chapel was through wooden double doors. It was built of white bricks. I can remember the Chapel being used for a few years after the village of Ushaw Moor Colliery was demolished. The name Ralph Wilson brings back a few memories. Ralph was a player for Ushaw Moor Cricket Club for a lot of years. He was also the foreman electrician at New Brancepeth Colliery and I can remember Ralph coming to our home at 29 Harvey Street in New Brancepeth to read the elecric meter. The electricity in that part of the village was generated and supplied by the Colliery.

    This should go onto Mitzi Simpsons New Brancepeth Web Site. Just after the war ended 1945/1946 I remember Ralphy Wilson and other workmen erecting and installing street lighting in Harvey Street at the entrance to the Club opening which led onto Unthank Terrace. This was a great novelty especially for us kids as most of our lives we had lived under a strict blackout. During the War years I remember the Air Raid Wardens patrolling the streets during the hours of darkness checking house windows for any light showing. If there was they would knock at the door and see that the light was blocked by the blinds. Ralphy lived in High View in Ushaw Moor.

  2. November 22, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Hi-) Brian -) Not Wilf this time. It was me paul. I merely posted from historic site. Thanks for the comments-)

  3. September 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Robert Bottoms, one of the Founders of the Chapel was my Great, Great Grandfather. He died in 1937 at the age of 73 and I believe is buried in Waterhouses Cemetery. From the 1911 census found he was living at 6 Unthank Terrace but I have no idea what happened to him between 1911 and 1937. He was a miner all his life as well as a lay preacher and it was his wife, Jane, using the bible who taught him to read and write.

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