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Wiltshire Community History

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Silver Street Presbyterian Chapel, Trowbridge

Silver Street Presbyterian Chapel, Trowbridge Date Photo Taken 1959
Uploaded 27/05/2003 08:30:05
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Original Media Location: Charles Marshman

In 1669 it was reported that there were between 20 and 30 Presbyterians meeting at Robert Jeams' house and scarce 20 at the Widow Davis's. In 1672 the Presbyterian Thomas Rutty was given a licence to preach.This congregation is believed to have once been part of the Conigre and Southwick Baptist churches, but by the 1680s they had cut all connections and were meeting separately in a disused factory building. This building was adapted for worship between 1695 and 1700. In 1702 this building on Abel Pierce's land was certified as a meeting house and from around 1720 there was a permenant pastor. A new chapel was built in the early 1720s, although architectually it was late 17th century in style, and a licence was granted for the 'newly erected meeting house' in 1723. The petition was signed by Abel Pierce among others. In the late 1820s the chapel was enlarged by the provision of galleries and in 1829 the congregation numbered 450. A Sunday school, with a library, was in existence by 1835. By the mid 19th century there were many dissensions and the congregation fell to only 18. By 1862, under the Rev. David Salmon, this had risen to 82 and the Sunday School was restarted. In common with other local churches the burial ground closed in the mid 1850s. The chapel was reroofed and renovated between 1876 and 1880 but the numbers were falling. The last settled pastor resigned in 1891 and the Sunday school was gone by 1906. The chapel closed in 1927 and by 1932 was being used as a Conservative Club. Later it became the Trowbridge public library, pictured here, until 1959 after which it was demolished, with the adjacent New Inn, and replaced with a Co-operative Society store. At present (2003) Bewise occupies this site.

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