SOUTH WEST HERITAGE TRUST: Devon Archive Catalogue
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Newton Abbot Methodist Circuit: 1st Deposit, 1813 - 1966
Devon Heritage Centre
1813 - 1966
91 files [4 boxes; volumes]
In this Circuit the great majority of chapels were originally Wesleyan Methodist. There were few Primitive Methodist chapels (none of which appear in these records) and no Methodist New Connexion chapels in this Circuit.
The main Bible Christian chapel was at Queen Street, Newton Abbot, and the only United Methodist Free Church (formerly Free Methodist) chapel was at Courtenay Street, Newton Abbot (not to be confused with the Wesleyan chapel in the same street).
The Bible Christian, Methodist New Connexion, and United Methodist Free Churches, united in 1907 to form the United Methodist Church. By the Methodist Church Union Act of 1929 (not implemented in this Circuit till 1934) the United, Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist Churches united to form the present Methodist Church.
Methodism began in this area around 1770 and the converts met originally in private houses. The first Wesleyan Chapel in Newton Abbot was erected in Mill Lane in 1817. The growth of the Wesleyan Newton Abbot Society necessitated the erection of a larger chapel in Courtenay Street next to the Town Hall in 1848 and its replacement by aneven larger one in the same street in 1867. The Sunday School was established in 1826 in the Mill Lane chapel, in 1848 it was transferred to the Courtenay Street chapel, and in 1862 to a new Sunday School building on part of the site of the second Courtenay Street chapel. In 1966 the two societies of Courtenay Street and Queen Street combined and moved to a new chapel in the Avenue. The original Mill Lane chapel is now a private house, the first Courtenay Street chapel is now part of the Town Hall, the 2nd Courtenay Street chapel was demolished and replaced by a new Woolworths, and the Queen Street chapel has also been demolished.
The Wesleyan Circuit covering the area round Newton Abbot has undergone various changes in name and area during its history. For example, the Newton Abbot Wesleyan Society was originally in the Cullompton Circuit, then in the Ashburton Circuit which was formed in 1802, then in the Torquay Circuit which was formed in 1810 and which in 1812 was renamed the Brixham Circuit, then in the Teignmouth Circuit formed in 1819 which in 1867 was renamed the Torquay Circuit, and finally from 1870 onwards in the Newton Abbot Circuit.
List of Wesleyan Methodist Circuits and their Chapels
I Moretonhampstead Circuit, up to 1888: Northern Bovey, Bovey Tracey, Chagford, Hennock, Manaton, Moretonhampstead.
II Teignmouth (in 1867 renamed Torquay) Circuit, up to 1870 (when split into two, i.e. III and IV): Barton, Bishopsteignton, Chudleigh, Dawlish, Ipplepen, Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, Paignton, Shaldon, Teignmouth, Torquay.
III Teignmouth Circuit (excluding IV), 1870 onwards: Bishopsteignton, Teignmouth, Shaldon.
IV Newton Abbot and Torquay Circuit, 1870 onwards: Barton, Chudleigh, Ipplepen, Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, Paignton, Torquay.
V Newton Abbot Circuit (excluding Torquay section), up to 1888: Chudleigh, Ipplepen, Newton Abbot.
VI Newton Abbot Circuit (including I), 1888 onwards: Abbotskerswell, N. Bovey, Bovey Tracey, Chagford, Chudleigh, Hennock, Ipplepen, Keyberry in Wolborough, Kingsteignton, Manaton, Moretonhampstead, Newton Abbot.
Wesleyan Methodist -
Abbotskerswell Barton in Torquay Erected 1806 Bishopsteignton North Bovey Chagford Erected 1867 Chudleigh Dawlish Erected 2nd 1861 Denbury Hennock Ipplepen Erected 1st 1815, 2nd 1865 Keyberry Park in Wolborough Kingsteignton Manaton Moretonhampstead Newton Abbot (see also Keyberry): Mill Street Erected 1817 Closed 1848 Courtenay Street Erected 1st 1848, 2nd 1867 Closed 1966 The Avenue (Methodist) Erected 1966 E. Ogwell Paignton Erected 1869 Shaldon Erected 1867 Stokeinteignhead Teignmouth Erected 2nd 1845 Torquay (see also Barton) Erected 1st 1808, 2nd 1852
Bible Christian (Torquay and Newton Abbot Circuit) -
Newton Abbot: Jubilee Chapel, Queen St. Erected 1865 Closed 1966 Paignton Stokeinteignhead Torquay S. Petherton Manse
Free Methodist, later United Free Methodist -
(? Exeter Circuit) Newton Abbot: Courtenay St. Erected 1853
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