News has reached us of the tragic gutting of the interior of the former Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Chapel on Midland Road, Bristol. This unlisted chapel is also at immediate risk of total demolition. The Society in 2011 had previously contributed to an unsuccessful application for listing for this rare and striking example of Primitive Methodism.
The chapel is unlisted and dates from 1849, accommodating 250 congregation members and appears to have been the Primitive Methodists’ first purpose-built chapel in Bristol. Congregational decline in the 20C together with the destructive impact of wartime led to its closure just prior to the Second World War. The chapel however did not remain unoccupied, its last use being an architectural salvage business. It is the only surviving example of these mid-nineteenth-century places of worship in the immediate area.
The building is a competent example of the Norman revival style, constructed in coursed Pennant sandstone rubble with ashlar surrounds to windows and doorway, pitched slate roof over. The interior had retained many features from its time as a chapel. Pulpit, timber galleries set on cast iron columns with neo-Norman arcading on the front panels dating from 1867. There exists an undercroft, a semi-basement hall which was designed for school use.
Stripping of the interior was carried out over the early May bank holiday and plans for demolition to make way for flat development are well underway. Local opposition to the loss of this important historic landmark are strongly vocal and they ask for any help and assistance with this case.
More information can be found online.
If any members have any further information or wish to help support the campaign to save this chapel please do get in touch with our casework co-ordinator.