The Wesleyan congregation in this part of Richmond started meeting in Mrs. Blackledge’s front room in Brougham Street in 1843.
As the congregation rapidly expanded, a brick two room chapel was erected in Brougham Street in 1846. This chapel, too, was soon outgrown and a larger building was required.
Harry ‘Money’ Miller donated land in Church Street, and a temporary wooden church (now called Enderby Hall) was opened on 17 July 1853 as a Wesleyan Methodist chapel.
The rear door leads to the two-bedroom caretaker’s cottage. Previously the hall was used as the Sunday School kindergarten. More recently the space has been refurbished as an art studio.
In spite of the added kitchen facilities and storage cupboards, the stacks of easels and partly completed artworks propped around the space, the building with its high pitched ceiling retains strong echoes of its original intention.
The need for a chapel large enough for the expanding congregation in Richmond was acknowledged at a public meeting on Tuesday 17 July 1853. There was £1,400 still in hand after the erection of the temporary chapel: “[s]uch liberality and enthusiasm were shown at the completion of the wooden structure that the stone chapel” was quickly built. It was opened on 11 June 1854.
Built of locally squared basalt the church’s English Gothic design, by architect George Wharton, presents a severe exterior with its rendered façade and rough stone carcass. Originally 45ft x 50ft, it was constructed to admit an extension to 80ft.
In 1858 the chapel was enlarged by 12 ft and the vestry and an upstairs organ loft were built. In 1872 a gallery at the front of the church was added as well as an arched porch also in the Gothic style.
In 1888 a custom built Fincham organ was installed replacing the earlier organ; it is still in its original position, high in the apse.
The church interior, completed around 1900, with wood panelling, decorative stencilled walls and the ceiling of gold stars on a turquoise background continues to astonish and delight.