Pocklington and Methodism
Pocklington was founded in Anglo-Saxon times and the name indicates that "Pocela's people" lived there. Pocklington was recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086 as an extensive Royal Manor and has been a market town since the 13th century. The last recorded burning of a witch in England was in the Market Square.
Records indicate that John Wesley visited Pocklington
18 times, the first being on 25th April 1752. The following is an
About five, Saturday 25, we took horse, and made to Pocklington. I was sorry when I found it was the fair - day, that notice had been given of my preaching, especially when I heard there was no society and scarce any one awakened in the town.
The unusual bitterness of several who met us in the street, made the prospect still more unpromising. However I went to see the room provided for preaching but found it was not above five yards square. I then looked at a yard which was proposed but one circumstance of this I did not like, it was plentifully furnished with stones - artillery ready to hand for the devil's drunken companions.
Just then it began to rain upon which a gentleman offered a large commodious barn. Thither I went without delay and began preaching to a few, who increased continually. I have known no such time since we left London. Their tears fell as the rain, none opposed or mocked, so that these made full amends for the behaviour of those at Hull.
The man and his wife at whose house we dined had been bitterly persecuted both by his and her mother. These were some of the first whose hearts were touched. Immediately after preaching they came up into the room where we were and confessed, with many tears, how eagerly they had opposed the truth of God, and troubled their children for adhering to it.
How wise are all the ways of God!. Had it not been fair-day these had not been here.
John Wesley also visited Pocklington on Friday 15th 1757 and recorded in his Diary:
At three in the morning there were all the probable signs of a violently hot day, but about four - God sent a cooling rain. It ceased about seven.
But the clouds continued and shaded us to Pocklington. Yet it was too hot to bear the house. So I stood in the main street, and cried "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink".
A large mob soon gathered on the other side and, for fear they should not make noise enough, the good Churchwarden hired men to ring the bells. But it was lost labour for still the bulk of the congregation heard till I finished my discourse.
By 1764 a meeting house existed - believed to be on the site of the current Chapel where in 1813 a new chapel was built.
Pocklington Wesleyan Church became the head of a Circuit in 1786 which stretched, and included, Bridlington.
By 1788 the Wesleyan society consisted of 88 members. In 1820 a Primitive Methodist society was also formed and its chapel opened at another site having 58 members by 1832.
In 1864 the Wesleyan Chapel was rebuilt and the Primitive Methodist Chapel rebuilt on a new site in 1865. In more recent years the two societies united into the Chapmangate premises to become the Pocklington Methodist Church.
The 1864 premises of the
Methodist Chapel had served
the society well for 136 years, but for some time it was accepted as
need of major redevelopment to provide the amenities and comfort for
century. A major redevelopment of the premises was completed and re-opened in
The photograph on this Website homepage is of the redeveloped Chapel entrance, the Circuit Manse is shown on the left and Chapel ancillary accommodation house on the right
NOTE that easy disabled wheelchair access is via the side passageway and doorway.
The photographs below show the redeveloped Chapel interior