The Primitive Methodist Chapel at Three Holes, nr Upwell, Norfolk

The Primitive Methodist Chapel at Three Holes, nr Upwell, Norfolk

        The Methodist Church 1850 - 1982 

        The small Methodist Church was opened in 1850. Before becoming a Chapel, the building had been 
        used to house the navvies working on the cutting of the Middle Level. 
        It was bought by the CAWTHORN family for use as a Church.

        It has a large congregation in its early years, and there was a large Sunday School.  Anniversary 
        Services were held in a large Marquee in Mr. Albert ELLINGTON's grass field on the bank, which 
        now belongs to D. FORTH.

        At the beginning of the Second World War Marquees were banned, and the Eastern Counties Omnibus 
        Company allowed the Bus Garage to be used. The buses were parked outside overnight. This was also 
        eventually stopped and Mr. George SEE allowed the church to hold their Sunday School Anniversaries 
        in his very old carpenters shop."

        And from my mother's notes:

          "It (the chapel) was originally a hostel for accomodation of navvies.
        Later bought by Walter Cawthorn and consecrated a Primitive Methodist Chapel in
        1850.  Became Methodist in 1932." 

             **More information + a photo of the Chapel can be found HERE
        My Gt Gt Grandfather's elder brother was William Walton CAWTHORN.

        In Kelly's Directory of 1900 & 1904 Three Holes village shop belonged to W.W. (William Walton) Cawthorn 
        who sold drapery, groceries and kept the Post Office.

        "Thomas FORTH lived at the Mill. In 1900 he moved to the "Walnuts", 
        the first house on the left down Squires Drove. The sails of the mill formed the joists in the roof in the 
        barn at The Walnuts. It is not clear if he only took the sails or whether the whole Mill was dismantled.
        Thomas FORTH married Rebecca Ann CAWTHORN, whose father kept the village 
        shop. The CAWTHORNs bought the chapel to turn into a Methodist Chapel in abt 1855. 

        Inscription on the plaque taken from the Three Holes Methodist Chapel: 

              "In loving memory of William Walton Cawthorn who passed to his eternal rest Jan 10th 1918, aged 83 years. 
               An official in the Primitive Methodist Church for over 50 years. He served faithfully as Local Preacher, 
               Church Steward, School Superintendent, Class Leader etc. He was painstaking, Devoted and Loyal.

               Also of Eliza Jane Cawthorn, wife of the above, July 22nd 1917 aged 77 years." 

        After the Chapel was pulled down, this plaque was stored in a Mr Watson's shed in Three Holes. 

        July 2001 - Apparently, about 2 weeks ago there was a big fire, and everything in his shed was lost.
        To quote my source, "I'm speechless!"

        I was visiting my parents in Christchurch at the end of June; if I'd known of the existence of this plaque 
        to my Gt Gt Grandfather's brother, I would have arranged to go and see it and photograph it.

        April 2002 - a new house has been erected on the site of the Chapel.    

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This page created 14 August 2001 & amended/updated 08:40 03/05/2020