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Brierfield Methodist Church
This picture was taken in the early 1900s maybe 40/50 years after it was built, and you will notice the lamppost and the original railings. Also notice the windows are different from those currently in place.
1840 Services in the kitchen of Mr.Tunstill, then Sunday School opened in Colne Road
1849 In a room in Halifax Road (the chapel was a large room over two cottages)
1861 Date stone on new chapel built in Colne Road
1862 New chapel opened
The building of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, the Blackburn to Addingham Turnpike road and the railway line from Preston to Colne led to the town of Brierfield developing during the early 19th century. Before these new transport links were constructed, there was just a scattering of farmhouses forming part of the township of Marsden, which also covered what was to become Nelson. The construction in 1832 of the first cotton mill, just off Lob Lane (now Clitheroe Road) close to the Marsden coal pit, led to the massive growth of the settlement during the mid-19th century. New mills were quickly established along the banks of the canal and people flocked to the area to work in the cotton industry, many coming from the mining areas of the North Riding of Yorkshire as the lead seams were worked out. The cotton industry continued to be the main employer until well into the 1960s, and it was only in 2006 that BSN (formerly Smith & Nephew) finally ceased production of woven cloth at Brierfield Mills.
On June 14th, 1884, the foundation stone of new school premises was laid on a site, given by the Messrs. Tunstill, behind the present chapel. The cost of the premises, exclusive of furniture but inclusive of land, was £3,400. Accommodation was provided for 900 Sunday scholars and 568 day scholars; and the day school was opened on August 3rd, 1885, with an attendance of one hundred children.
In Memory of William Ingham, wounded in the Great War, August 4th died August 9th and interred in Proven Cemetery Belgium. This window was a gift of the family unveiled by his daughter and placed over against the family pew.
The interior of the church has changed dramatically since this picture was taken. Gone are the organ, balconies and pews. Also the central pulpit has disappeared. The church is now an dual purpose building so that it can now be used for a variety of church and community uses.
The original organ was introduced into the chapel in 1879, at a cost of £547. Certain structural alterations were subsequently made at a cost of £400: and in 1897 the organ was enlarged and other alterations made at a cost of £300.
Since its inception the Church has undergone several facelifts and the numerous additions tell something of the history of the church and Brierfield in particular and how world and national events have had their effect.
Research into the history of the building
In Memory of members of the Church and Sunday School who fell in the Great War 1914-1918.
This plaque remembers the tragic accident in 1962 when Kenneth Hiley, a football referee, and his father were killed on their way to officiate at a Football League match.