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Balby Road Methodist Church, Doncaster

Prior notification of demolition of an ornate Methodist Church in Doncaster:


Even as public life grinds to a halt, still the cultural crimes fester. This stunning chapel from 1863 has been given prior approval for demolition pending a bat survey, which means the applicant, Mr Surjit Duhre, will be seeing off this example of Victorian splendor imminently.

It is rare that the Primitive Methodists displayed such ostentation, so this building seems to have caught them in an uncharacteristically extravagant mood.

The applicant argues that there is minor spalling on the brickwork (as there is in every brick building of this age); the only remedy for which is complete demolition. If thats the case why did you apply for conversion to flats 3 years ago?

Extremely sad to see this building go, as it offers a notion of civic life along this high street otherwise dominated by residential uses. With so many new churches springing up in inner suburbs such as this, namely by immigrant pentecostal communities, it is such a shame that these new congregations can’t make use of the already existing religious buildings. This is both a planning failure, and a market failure to marry supply and demand.

Doncaster needs to retain as much cultural heritage as possible, so I’ll be pressing for a spot listing from Heritage England. Sad to see no media coverage of this in the local press. Let’s hope that changes soon.


East Ardsley Methodist Church

Small Methodist church to be demolished in the centre of East Ardsley:

East Ardsley Methodist church.JPG


A village already stripped bare of much of its history, particularly along the high street, the purge will continue with the loss of this modest but vital Methodist church.

It is not about the merits of the individual building, but what the building embodies – clearly not much capital was available from the Wesleyans, but nonetheless the built a temple in this small industrial village.

The built form that constitutes the centre of a settlement is so vital to a sense of place. We can not judge buildings by their individual merit, but by what they contribute to the overall street form. Planning mechanisms that protect this are scarce and seldom called upon.

Former Methodist School, Farnley

Demolition of former snooker club, Farnley

Leeds snooker club.JPG

Quite a nice building that provides some nice high street active frontage. Not historical in the sense of The Royal Cresent or Saltaire, this building was erected in 1905 as a Methodist School and plays a part in the history of Leeds, which is a relatively modern city.

Maybe not the greatest loss, but my worry is that it will be replaced with a design that does not contribute to an active streetscape. Old building are very good at this.

Eccleshill Methodist Church, Bradford

Another Wesleyan Church is set for Demolition in Bradford:


This is a relatively recent building, built in the aftermath of Victorian Methodism in 1911. Nonetheless the sentiment was still there, and these chapels capture the austere modesty of Victorian towns like no other public buildings. The Wesleyan church is integral to the Victorian urban landscape along with the chimneys, the viaducts, and the mills. These buildings embody northern astringent  culture perfectly. Hopefully some will be saved in spite of the decline in worship. They make great wine bars don’t they?

Its only a church, get rid


This week sees the application to demolish the Wesleyan Church on Gib Lane in Skelmanthope; a street which is seamlessly historic, and is vital to the fabric of this small West Yorkshire town with a fascinating social history.

A similar chapel has already been successfully converted into flats within Skelmanthorpe. Lets not be lackluster with our housing. Please oppose this application by contacting Kirklees council.


I wonder what will happen to the stonework throughout the building engraved with the names of patrons of the church. It would seem their eternal homage in civic infrastructure will not be so trannt.