- Sadly now closed
John Wesley visited
frequently and these visits led to the formation of a small group who met at a shop in
Greencroft Street early in 1750.
In 1759 a chapel was built in St Edmunds Church Street and Wesley described it as the most complete in
and was delighted with the congregation when he preached there in 1769. This enthusiasm for Methodism spread throughout the country and
was no exception although there is no evidence of any 'Dissenters' until the early 19th Century.
In 1811 with the passing of the 'Tolerance Act' it became compulsory to register with a Bishop or Justice of the Peace any religious assembly at which there shall be present more than twenty persons. A licence had to be obtained and in "The Book for Dissenting Meeting House Certificates 1811-1838" it shows that certificates were issued for
in 1811, 1812, 1813, 1820 and 1834. In 1825 a chapel was built. The building can be seen on the 1838 Tithe Map and Schedule for
and shows it to be where we see the Chapel today. This building was replaced in the 1860's because 'the said chapel being small and incommodious it is intended forthwith to take down and erect a new chapel or meeting house'. The date above the door is 1869. By 1886 a piece of land had been purchased from Mr. David Read to enable a schoolroom to be built at the rear of the building. David Read became involved with the Methodists and their chapel around 1850 and from that date the Salisbury Circuit Registers show many Read babies baptized at this little chapel, as indeed, my own sons were.
It is interesting to see, on the left hand side of the Chapel porch, a
Roll of Honour
listing the brave men of
who served in the Great War of 1914 to 1918.
Many of the Read family have been
Christened and Married in West Grimstead Chapel. There have been burial services for those Read family members who have passed away, when the chapel bulged at the seams, with villagers paying their last respects.
It is with great sadness that I now have to say that the final service of the
West Grimstead Methodist Chapel was held on 6th September 2009. The chapel closed and
was bought by a developer and duly converted into a residential home. The new
owners moved in late 2012.