Luddenden Dean Wesleyan Chapel

Luddenden Dean Wesleyan Chapel: The Halifax Courier recorded the fire of 1954 which destroyed the Chapel in the following article

Remote Chapel Destroyed in Night Blaze

FOR 125 years, the remote Luddenden Dean Methodist Church provided a place of worship for the scattered community in this outlying valley.

But on the morning of January 4 [1954], the historic church, at the head of the valley, presented a desolate scene after being reduced to a smouldering shell by a night time blaze.

Five machines from Halifax had been joined by others from Sowerby Bridge and Mytholmroyd but difficulties in getting adequate water supplies frustrated all efforts to save the building.

More than one and a half miles of hose, the combined 75ft lengths from all machines, were used to pump water from the nearest supply at Low Farm – but only after firemen had dammed the stream to a sufficient depth.

Narrow roads also delayed the firemen and once they arrived at the scene, walls had to be knocked down to enable the engines to be manoeuvred into position.

The building had apparently been burning for several hours before Mr William Lund of Lower Saltonstall spotted flames pouring from the church's windows and raised the alarm.

It was believed the fire had started in the boiler room.

The following morning, Mr Alfred Lund of Pellon, who had sung in the church choir for 43 years and whose parents, grandparents and cousins were buried in the churchyard, surveyed the wreckage.

"It's a shame," he said as he took off his hat.

"I came as soon as I heard of it this morning.

This will break hundreds of hearts throughout Halifax"

The chapel had a membership of about 25 although it could hold a congregation of about 200 and was usually filled to capacity at the church anniversaries.

It had first opened on Christmas Day 1828 and was used for both public worship and a Sunday School.

Prior to that, local Methodists had met in Head House, a cottage in the grounds of Castle Carr, before moving to Catherine House Farm.

The chapel was built a cost of £459 17s 7d and much of the work was carried out voluntarily, the stone being hewn locally.

An adjoining Sunday School was built in 1878.

Following the fire, the ground floor of the school was adapted for use as a chapel.

The final service was held there in November 1978 after membership had dwindled to eight


See Luddenden Dean Wesleyan Chapel: Graveyard, Luddenden Dean Wesleyan Chapel: War Memorial and Thomas Midgley

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 13:03 / 24th May 2021 / 4721

Page Ref: QQ_3

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