The development of Methodism in the Wirksworth and Matlock area is very complex, with chapels belonging to two or even three denominations in some villages.

Wirksworth itself had a number of chapels, including one at Gorsey Bank and a UMC preaching house at Folly Corner, now a private house. From 1815 the Primitive Methodists met in a house at the top of The Dale owned by Joseph and Hannah Frost. At that time the circuit church was at Kniveton, but this was transferred to Wirksworth in 1860, by which time a large chapel had been opened at the bottom of The Dale. (It celebrated its centenary in 1959.) The Wesleyans had Ebenezer in Chapel Lane, while the UMC had a larger church in St. John Street, Warmbrook, not far from Folly Corner at the opposite end of town; this became known as Bede Memorial Church.

The three strands eventually came together under one roof in 1960 and settled at The Dale Chapel. When this became too costly to maintain, it was replaced by the refurbished Adam Bede Memorial Chapel, which by 1971 was the only Methodist church in Wirksworth. Ebenezer Chapel was rented out for some years, was badly damaged by fire, and is now a private residence called ‘Ebenezer House'. The Dale Chapel and school were eventually converted into a house and two very stylish maisonettes in 2010. Bolehill also closed in 2010 and the congregation transferred to Wirksworth.

See also

Entry written by: PB
Category: Place
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