Wesleyan Methodist Chapel and Sunday Schoolroom, built in 1839 and 1855 respectively; red brick with slate roofs.
Reason for Listing
* Architectural Interest: The design of the chapel is well balanced and demonstrates a careful attention to restrained detail. The design of the schoolroom shows a similar attention to detail, while its plan-form fully reflects its function.
* Intactness: Significant elements of the interior of the chapel survive, including the original gallery, upper pews, and late-C19 pulpit.
* Historic Interest: The chapel, its late-C19 additions and the mid-C19 schoolroom all illustrate the growth of Methodism through the C19 and the development of thinking within the Methodist Church. Together the chapel and schoolroom, built only sixteen years apart, form an important ensemble.
Bassingham Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built in 1839, during the period 1740 to 1840, that saw the greatest growth in Methodist membership. The Sunday Schoolroom was added sixteen years later in 1855. The Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1887 shows the chapel as a rectangular building with a smaller wing to the south stepped in slightly to east and west, with the long rectangle of the Sunday School Room to the south. By 1905 (the date of the 2nd Edition OS map) the rear wing had been extended to the east and a second storey added so that it could be opened into the main body of the chapel, beneath an arch, in order to create the south upper gallery. This work seems to have included the the refurnishing of the chapel and construction of a new pulpit. A partition wall is said to have been inserted into the Schoolroom in the C20 to create the area now occupied by a small kitchen, and a false ceiling has been inserted into the room at the south end.
PLAN: The chapel building forms a square with the south-west corner stepped in. The Sunday Schoolroom forms a long rectangle orientated north-south.
Chapel: The main two-storey north section has a pyramidal slate roof with deep eaves and is crowned with a wooden lantern over a central ventilation panel, while the slightly lower south wing has a pitched roof, extended over the addition to the east. The main north elevation has a central six-panelled door recessed within a moulded wooden surround. Above the door a panel flanked by consoles has the words 'Wesleyan Chapel' with the date 1839 in Latin numerals above. This panel is the width of a pair of storey bands, the upper band raised, the lower recessed, which continue around the east and west sides of the building. Above the storey bands are three plain glass windows with two horizontal glazing bars, under cambered arches, set within recessed panels formed by wide plain pilasters to either side and a decorative brickwork cornice above. This pattern is repeated on the first floor of both east and west elevations, but the windows here are six-over-two with hopper opening lower halves. Three diamond-paned, stained-glass, ground-floor windows, also hopper opening, correspond with the three first-floor windows. The windows are possibly replacements for the originals made at the time of the construction of the south gallery.
Immediately to the south of the east elevation of the main section is a side door giving access to the south wing and the stairs to the south gallery. In the south elevation a tall round-arched stained-glass window rises under the gable, flanked by two smaller, round-arched windows, below which are two, three-over-six, unhorned sash windows. A moulded brick cornice continues around the gable and under the eaves to east and west. The west elevation of the south wing has two windows above a storey band (both fully hopper opening) and two doors below, all under cambered arches. Evidence of the heightening of this wing can be seen in the brickwork.
Sunday Schoolroom: The main east elevation has two doors separating three large windows, barred, with a possible fourth window to the north now covered by a decorative mosaic. The doors are tall, with tall overlights, and all openings have cambered arches. Below the eaves is a cornice consisting of two bands of bricks set at an angle to create a zig-zag pattern separated by a single stretcher course. The west elevation has a similar cornice and five similar windows, also barred. In the north gable end is an inset stone plaque inscribed with the date 1855 in Roman numerals above the words WESLEYAN SCHOOL.
Chapel: The chapel contains two main spaces to the ground floor, the chapel in the main building and a small kitchen in the south wing. The gallery above the kitchen is accessed from stairs in the late-C19 addition to the south wing, and a continuous gallery to north-east and west in the main building, is accessed from stairs either side of a small entrance lobby. Next to each stair, to either side of the lobby, is a door into the chapel. Straight ahead, on the south side, is a raised wooden pulpit reached by stairs with turned balusters and newel posts: the front of the pulpit has three tiers of decorative panelwork, the balcony behind with similar decoration. To the west is the organ; to the east a door to the south wing. In the main body of the chapel, nine slender cast-iron pillars, three to each side, support the gallery which is fronted by delicately painted panelling. The gallery retains most of its seating, but the pews to the ground floor have been removed. The walls to both ground floor and gallery are lined with dado-height panelling.
Sunday Schoolroom: The main room is plain, with a stage to the south backed by panelling and plain panelled cupboards. A four-panelled door opens onto the south room, which has a false ceiling, and to the north a partition creates an additional two spaces, one containing modern kitchen units.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.