Methodist and Congregational

The 'Temperance Hall'

The earliest purpose built non-conformist chapel in the village was the Methodist Chapel at the junction of The Green and Holywell Lane (the pathway to Main Street), now addressed as 58 The Green. Dated 1811, the beams from old galleons were used for the rafters supporting the roof. The 1813 Village Land and Property Survey lists a Meeting House, the proprietors being the Westley Meeting House Trustees (or more properly Wesley, after John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement along with his brother Charles?), which was probably the Methodist Chapel.

The Chapel became known as the 'Temperance Hall'. The Temperance Movement began in the early nineteenth century, and promoted moderation or abstinence from alcohol. The Methodist Church nationally still forbids the use of alcohol on church premises. Over time, three chapels were built on Main Street and the 'Temperance Hall' came to be used only as a standby.

Subsequently the Chapel housed framework knitting machines (once a significant activity in the village, with 79 framework knitters recorded in the 1841 census), and after the Second World War (1939-1945) it was used by a Mr Shooter to sell Army Surplus Goods. In more recent years, the late Bob Jones operated it as a garage, having moved from premises at Field Head. It still operates as a garage under this name. Little now remains to signify its original purpose, other than the 1811 date stone inset into the brickwork. The interior fittings are long gone, the windows are bricked up and the doors have been replaced.