MEM15269 - Beulah Chapel (Building)
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Type and Period (1)
Chapel built in 1861 on a site located at the intersection of the B3190 and B3224. Existing plan consisting of entrance lobby and adjacent store, leading into meeting rooms with dais and demountable screen to former schoolroom. Solid masonry wall with external rendered elevations, and plaster finish internally. Main slate covered pitch roof with hipped ends to east and west, and lower hipped lean-to roof over entrance. Replacement stained timber window frames with modern glazing and plastic air-ventilators.  Shown on the Ordnance Survey first edition County Series annotated as 'Bible Christian'.  Opened in 1861 to replace a preaching room at Beverton in Huish Champflower. Fell into disuse following the closure of the mine but was restored in 1910 and remains in use.  A Welsh mining engineer set up the Ebbw Vale Mining Company, with headquarters in Esplanade House, Watchet. In 1852 they began work at the Raleighs Cross mine, with a railway built in 1856 to carry the iron ore down to Watchet, to be shipped to South Wales for smelting. Several hundred miners came from other parts (largely Cornwall) and dozens of cottages for built for the family men. A large number of the Cornish were Methodists, either Wesleyans or Bible Christians, and for a short time services were held in a room at Beverton Farm [ST 0270 3360, outside National Park]. Then the local Bible Christians got together and bought a plot of land for £5 from the Company and built the chapel, which opened for worship on 31st May 1861. The cost of £200 was mainly paid by Mr Robert Burston of Venn, Kingsbrompton. The chapel became the centre for much social life, such as concerts, teas, temperance rallies, which the mining company supported and often the building was full. There were never more than 20 members but up to 100 attended. In 1878-9 the mines were closed down and the mining families moved away. The five remaining members struggled on until 1889, when the chapel closed. Sunday School work continued, however, although it is not clear where. In 1907 the railway reopened for mineral and passenger traffic and mining resumed. The Reverend TC Jacob (the circuit minister) called a meeting of local representatives to the chapel, who supported his proposal to restore the chapel and the contract for £139 was won by Messrs Sully and Son of Stogumber. The chapel reopened in 1910 and stayed open, despite the mines closing once more. [4,5] The chapel is depicted and labelled on modern MasterMap data. 
- <1> SEM6860 Report: The Hartley Conservation Partnership + David Sekers Consulting Partnership. 2004. West Somerset Mineral Railway Conservation Plan. P.36.
- <2> SEM6703 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
- <3> SEM7035 Report: Croft, R.A.. 1992. The West Somerset Mineral Railway Research Design. P.5.
- <4> SEM8535 Leaflet: Glyn Court, A.W.. Unknown. The Bible Christians 1815-1907: A worldwide family. N/A.
- <5> SEM8537 Leaflet: Glyn Court, A.W.. Unknown. Beulah Chapel, Brendon Hill, built 1861. N/A.
- <6>XY SEM8512 Map: Ordnance Survey. 2017. MasterMap. [Mapped feature: #31276 Extent of chapel, ]
|Grid reference||Centred ST 0276 3428 (15m by 11m)|
|Civil Parish||OLD CLEEVE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (0)
External Links (0)
- National Park: Exmoor National Park
Record last edited
Feb 13 2018 1:25PM
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