Former Methodist church, now a private dwelling. 1866 by James Wilson of Bath. Coursed, dressed sandstone with a number of flush ashlar bands. Welsh slate roofs. Gothic Revival style, geometric tracery.
Reasons for Designation
Chapeltown Methodist Church is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: though no longer a place of worship the building retains its original appearance as a mid-C19 Gothic Nonconformist church with good-quality detailing including an imposing tower with dragon gargoyles and transepts with rose windows;
* Historic Interest: built shortly after the closely adjacent parish church of St John the Baptist (1859-60), the Methodist Church is equally strident in providing a strong local presence with its Gothic design incorporating a large tower to rival the Anglican tower and spire;
* Plan Form: whilst superficially similar to a mid-C19 Gothic parish church, the plan form, which remains readable, clearly exhibits its Nonconformist credentials with a very shallow west chancel, and east entrance and tower, with ancillary spaces and classrooms in the transepts.
The church was built in 1866 to designs by the architect James Wilson of Bath. The brief was for a church which was to cost not more than £2,500, to be in the Gothic Style, and to seat 450 adults and 250 children.
In the late C20 the church closed as a place of worship and in 2000 permission was granted to convert the building to a dwelling. This involved inserting two blocks of first-floor rooms into the nave, supported on cast iron columns and linked by a walkway reached from a spiral staircase adjacent to the chancel. Bedrooms were also created at first-floor level in both transepts. On the ground floor a kitchen was fitted in the south transept and the nave was subdivided by timber and glazed screens.
Former Methodist church, now a private dwelling. 1866 by architect James Wilson of Bath. Coursed, dressed sandstone with a number of flush ashlar bands. Welsh slate roofs. Gothic Revival style, geometric tracery.
PLAN: four-bay nave and shallow apsidal chancel in one, north and south transepts at west end, east tower with stair turret on north side in angle with nave. The building now has an inserted floor at both the east and west ends of the nave linked by a spine walkway. This is reached by a spiral staircase at the west end of the nave. The transepts also have first-floor bedrooms.
EXTERIOR: the east tower is square of three stages with a plinth with moulded coping and tall offset buttresses slightly set back from the quoined corners. There is a pointed arch doorway in the east elevation with timber double doors with decorative iron strap hinges. Above is a clock with a pointed hoodmould with crockets and head stops. There is an offset band beneath the second stage, which has two-light cusped and cinquefoil louvres. Large dragon gargoyles are linked by an indented cornice beneath octagonal corner turrets linked by an arcaded balustrade. The nave has a coursed rubblestone plinth and a moulded eaves course. The steep slate roof has small triangular vents and modern skylights. At the east end are diagonal corner buttresses and each bay is divided with an offset buttress and has a two-light cusped and quatrefoil window. The transepts are similar with a central doorway with a shouldered lintel beneath a decorative wallstone panel within a pointed arch. Both have a recessed rose window with eight quatrefoils and a central octofoil. The gables have square-cut copings. At the west end the north transept has a flight of external steps to a former transept gallery. The chancel has a shallow apsidal projection with a chamfered plinth and three two-light windows. The west end of the nave has a coped gable and a short decorative end finial.
INTERIOR: the nave has a plaster ceiling with squared panels of timber ribs and arched braces rising from stone corbels. The shallow apsidal chancel has timber ribs rising from stone corbels; the central panel is painted with the symbol IHS (Jesus Christ), with a trefoil painted in the flanking panels. The windows have plain glass panes with leaded heads and quatrefoils incorporating decorative coloured glass; the two rose windows have geometric leaded lights of plain glass.