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Englesea Brook's First Primitive Methodist Meeting House

by Charles E S Fairey & Caroline Wood, 2018

"Primitive Methodism was born out of (Wesleyan) Methodism in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire around 1810. It emerged after the first Camp Meeting, organised by Hugh Bourne, at Mow Cop in 1807. Hugh Bourne, one of the pioneers of the new faith, was linked with local families, in the Englesea Brook area, which is near to Weston, and the town of Crewe, in Cheshire. He is buried in the graveyard opposite Englesea Brook Chapel & Museum, located in this South Cheshire hamlet."

In 2017, Dr Jill Barber of Englesea Brook Chapel & Museum, set a volunteer researcher, Caroline Wood, with the task of proving where Sarah Smith's house was located at Englesea Brook, because before the dedicated Primitive Methodist Chapel was built here in 1828, her house was used for worship, from 1811, as the first meeting house for the movement in Englesea Brook.

Caroline soon brought local historian Charles E S Fairey on board with the quest, who wrote 'The History of Weston', the parish in which Englesea Brook is located, to help with identifying Sarah Smith's home.

The extensive research undertaken by Caroline and Charles, culminated into a free digitally published book documenting our research and the identification of Sarah Smith's home, written by both of us, which is provided here for download, as well as @

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"The published book identifies the early Primitive Methodist Meeting House at Englesea Brook (as well as another meeting house, before the dedicated chapel was built), with map evidence, photographs, the ancestral and family ties of Sarah Smith, and her family tree.

As well as that many of the farms and cottages in Englesea Brook, and nearby, as well as their histories appear in the publication, which helped to identify which property was home to Sarah Smith, along with extracts from Charles E S Fairey's 'The History of Weston (South Cheshire), 2010, (Revised Private Digital 2nd Edition, 2018)'.

In the book you will find the background to the research, details about the life of Sarah Smith, the evidence which located Sarah Smith’s home, followed by the identity and history of her home, and associated properties, followed by the Family Tree of Sarah Smith, and the historical evidence linked to the tree, as well as other associated history uncovered during the research, including both people and properties, which was necessary, before identification was fully complete."

The book is included in downloadable 'Adobe PDF Format' and is in A4 page size, and comprises 106 pages of both colour and grayscale, maps, plans, drawings and photographs.

Please also remember 'Englesea Brook Primitive Methodist Chapel & Museum' is open to the public, and includes a lot of history about Primitive Methodism, its people, places, artefacts and personal items, as well as a cafe, library and shop. 

They have a busy schedule each year of heritage services, talks, events and even a second hand bookshop, located at nearby Alsager. The museum relies upon donations from the public and the sale of second hand books for its funding, so do please visit.

Please see their website for visiting details, exhibits, history, talks, events and what you can find there @