Primative Methodist Chapel (Salvation Army Citadel)


Primative Methodist Church Click to enlarge.

During the 18th century John and Charles Wesley founded the Methodist movement within the Established Church. After John Wesley's death the movement split resulting in the foundation of the Primitive Methodist movement in 1810. The huge and ornate chapel in Queen Street is, in fact, the third Primitive Methodist chapel. It was preceded by a chapel built in Newport Street in 1838, (later converted to houses number 82-86) which was itself the successor of the first Primitive Methodist chapel which stood on the site of the present central surgery in King Street.
The foundation stone of the Queen Street chapel was laid in April 1867 and the building was opened later the same year. The building cost 1500 and had seating for 600 people.The chapel, of red brick with polychrome brick and stone dressings, is in the High Victorian "Romanesque" style, with ornate round-arched doors and windows, bold stringcourses and colourful decoration. The main front has twin gabled doorways with carved stone shafts and deep brick arches, now approached by a modern flight of steps. Above are a series of stringcourses and decorative brickwork panels, paired arched windows, and an ornate pedimented gable flanked by narrow tower-like sections with tall hipped roofs. Adjoining the chapel to the south is a modest contemporary two-bay, two-storey, brick and pantile house for the caretaker.
The Queen Street chapel ceased to be used by the Methodists on Easter Day 1961. The organ was dismantled and sold. Subsequently the chapel became the Salvation Army citadel, which it still remains.
The interior of the main hall was subsequently redesigned by the insertion of a floor at gallery level and removal of the ground floor pews, although most of the gallery and the plasterwork to the ceiling and organ chamber arch survive. The building was reopened on 22 May 1965. In March 1989 a 60000 fund was launched by the Salvation Army for urgent repairs to the building.

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