You are in [Places] [Churches] [Primitive Methodist Chapel, Ham]

Although somewhat outside the confines of Hungerford itself, it is interesting to record the existence of a small Primitive Methodist Chapel at the junction of the main A338 Salisbury Road, and the smaller branch road towards the village of Ham. This is near a cottage (now called Daniel's Cottage) in Daniel's Lane.

Daniel's Lane is clearly marked on the 6" Ordnance Survey map of 1925, with Wansdyke passing along it, and extending at either end.

The chapel is clearly marked as a Methodist Chapel.

Many such chapels were paid for by local working people, so that they could worship near their homes.

It is a small brick building, now derelict (but with a stone over the door stating it was a Primitive Methodist Chapel).

Mr Alec Walter once recalled (c1995) that his father was 'head man' there until he died in 1886. When his grandfather was a boy, a cottage in the lane was used as a chapel, and at that time a lookout had to be posted at each end of the lane to give warning of the approach of persons intending to interfere with them, and many a fight is said to have taken place there. There were four secret places in the house where their papers and books could be hidden.

Preachers used to walk from Ramsbury, Aldbourne or Lambourn to preach at the services, and walk back again after tea.

About every Quarter, the Ramsbury Band came over and led a march through the village of Shalbourne as far as the Plough and then back to the chapel, where a tea was served. On occasions, the whole of the Parish Church congregation would be missing, and found to be enjoying the tea!

Len Wheeler remembered (in 2006) that he had actually preached in the chapel on several occasions in the mid 1950s. He thought it might have been built around 1900, and understood that it was indeed paid for by the local farm workers, many of whom were on the Prosperous estate. The then lady of the manor preferred her estate workers to attend the Church of England church, but they felt strongly, and clubbed together to build the little chapel. He remembered a fine pulpit,. He thinks the chapel closed in about 1957.

[There were also two Wesleyan Methodist Chapels in Shalbourne - one formed part of a private house ('Ivy House'). The Hungerford end was a chapel with a barrel-shaped ceiling, the upper side of which could be seen in the roof loft of the house, but the underside was covered by a flat ceiling in the present room. When the property was sold, the new owners wanted greater privacy, and in 1911 they built a new chapel between The Barracks and The Elms, but this closed in 1968. Apparently the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel did not have the troubles of the Primitive Methodist Chapel, but flourished with the support of the local farmers, most of whom were either Methodists or connected to Methodists by marriage.]