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Heaton, Newcastle

Leighton Primitive Methodist Chapel

Last Updated:

1 Mar 2024

Heaton, Newcastle

This is a

Church, Place of Worship

54.977728, -1.579604

Founded in 

1877

Current status is

Demolished

Designer (if known):

Thomas Parker

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Now a disused commercial lot

The bottom of Heaton Road, right next to Shields Road - an interesting one on two fronts this. Of course, it's one of a couple surviving Kwik Save's in the region (another at Felling!), but it was also the site of the Leighton Primitive Methodist Chapel. It was one of a number of churches on Heaton Road, and perhaps a contributor to why there were very few, if none at all, pubs on the road.

This impressive church was one of a few Prim's in the city, but this was by far the prettiest (IMO). It opened in October 1877, in part thanks to the swelling population in the area requiring a much larger space. Previously, the chapel was located at Ballast Hills near the Ouseburn and was cramped to say the least.

William Brogg Leighton started the original Sunday School at Ballast Hills at just 18, and provided £1000 towards this church. It was designed by a Mr Thomas Parker, costing in total £5000. The chapel on Byker Bank opened in the 1840s and was finally demolished in the 50s, having been reopened due to the swelling congregation in 1922.

The frontage was 76ft and extended back 131ft and afforded accommodation for 600 people. There were four classrooms and two school rooms for scholars.

By 1965, it merged with the Bainbridge Memorial Chapel down the road, and this site was closed and later demolished. The current building replaced it in the 1970s.

Listing Description (if available)

Both maps above illustrate the church between the 1900s and 1910s. The first is a much higher resolution, which enables us to see the gardens at the front of the property alongside the infant school situated at the rear. Heaton Road is extremely well preserved to this decade, apart from the shop fronts which have been constructed in front of the terraces. The terraces to the east and west have mostly been demolished in favour of higher density residential and commercial.

The 1916 map typifies just how many churches there were round here. Just in this view there are four, but a few more are scattered outside of the shot. The tramway led all the way up Heaton Road and terminated outside the United Free Church on Simonside Terrace.

A little jaunt back in time to well before any of these villas and terraces appeared. This was the main lane to Heaton Hall and featured a south lodge which permitted access over the lane north. It was only a decade or two before the terraces would be built here.

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The site of the church in 2024. This unit was its replacement.

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The chapel at the bottom of Heaton Road in 1910. Original source unknown but hosted by the Heaton History Group on their piece "In Memory of William Brogg Leighton": https://heatonhistorygroup.org/2014/11/05/in-memory-of-william-brogg-leighton/

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