Nenthead Primitive Methodist Chapel (1823)

It may be taken for granted that many residents of Alston, Nenthead and the neighbourhood had been in Weardale, had been witnesses of the remarkable scenes accompanying the preaching of the word there, and had been partakers of the joy of the believing souls, before Anthony Race missioned Nenthead and Garrigill in the spring of 1823. Others followed, and before the close of the year the revival in the Wear valley had reached the head of the Nent. From the first, the people waited patiently on the ministrations of the missionaries and wanted to pay for them by taking up a collection. On one of his visits, Thomas Batty took his stand on a flag by the door of Isaac Hornsby, an official of the lead works the same flag on which Mr Wesley had stood to preach and after he had finished his discourse, a collection was taken, which, though it was a week-night, reached three pounds.

Occasional visits were only paid at first once a fortnight on week-nights, and not at all on the Sabbaths; but the work grew so mightily, and the excitement became so intense, that more frequent ministrations were imperative. Meanwhile, however, numbers of the converts joined with other societies, which was then generally the case wherever our missionaries went. Isaac Hornsby, a man of influence in the district, received the pioneers into his house (supposed to be Ivy House, near the Workmen s Reading Room), and became a class-leader. The religious awakening assumed extraordinary proportions. A man who was seized with such deep convictions while going to his work that he lost his bodily strength, leaned against a wall, and shouted for mercy. When the neighbours gathered around him, he declared: "We are all going to hell together," and exhorted them to turn from their sins and to walk in the way to heaven.

‘Northern Primitive Methodism’ by W M Patterson, published in 1909, p172.

The first meeting place at Nenthead was Matthew Latimer s barn, at the foot of Dykeheads Road, and in it marvels of grace were wrought. The entire character of the place was changed, and some of the greatest reprobates were savingly converted. Recently a vestry has been added to the chapel.

According to the venerable Thomas Carrick, Primitive Methodism, under God, succeeded on account of the free hand and the direct message: " Go! enter every open door, and stay there so long as God works!" "No gin-horse, perfunctory circuit work! When I was at Nenthead fifty-five years ago (1852), the circuit said: Stay there till your work is done. I stayed sixteen weeks, and hundreds were saved."

‘Northern Primitive Methodism’ by W M Patterson, published in 1909, p173.

Additional Information

The chapel is now a private house.

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