Domain Name for sale email to make an offer


View of Chapel


Another View of Chapel

This is the history of the chapel as written at the centenary in 1962 today 2002 the chapel is being converted into a house





Chairman: Rev. J. Alderson

Friends of Black Bourton Chapel will bring greetings and give short addresses
a Special Singing by Chilson Friends
SUNDAY, 25th MARCH, 1962
CENTENARY SERVICES, 2.30 and 6.0 p.m.
0 Preacher: Rev. J. Alderson
Special Singing



The Early Days

Thomas Russell brought Primitive Methodism to Faringdon when he visited the town in 1832, and the Faringdon Circuit was formed in 1836, with the Rev. H. Heys and the Rev. W. Peaceful as the first ministers. In addition to Russell, G Price and T. Cummin had also been traveling preachers. Those men had no chapels to preach in but travelled the villages, preaching in the open air and eventually finding cottages where meetings could be held In 1838, J. Coxhead and mercy Burden joined the staff of the Circuit and it was in this year that the Society was first formed in Blackbourton. Other early ministers were Thomas \Williams, William Harvey, Thomas Burgess and George Wallis

The man who first gave hospitality to the Preachers was John Maisey, who’s life story appears below - This was in 1838 and the names on the first Class Book are John Maisey, Eleanor Maisev, Ann Harris and John Hedington. The last soon left and Ann Hams soon removed, Black Burton was first put on the Faringdon Circuit Plan in 1839 when there was one service at 2pm . The membership increased to seven in 1843 and to 17 in 1844. Names were added to the list after special missions and after one or two attendances at class meetings. Here is a list of names on the Class Book of 1849 John Maisev, Eleanor Maisey, James Musty, William Adams. Sarah Hedges, John Harris, Ann Harris, Charlotte Cockhead, Mary Wearing Martha Maisev, William Holtharn, Maria Holtham, Elizabeth Clarke, Eliz. Rouse, Rachel Gunn, Rhoda Mills, Mary Hedges, Richard Silman, Ann Wearing, Charles Silman, Henry Elbrow, Sarah Acres, William Gelev, John Monk, John Wearing, James Lovesey, Elizabeth Cockhead. Some of these were on trial and never came to full membership. This was the largest number of names ever recorded in the Class Books.

The following account appeared in the Primitive Methodist Magazine Per 1832 concerning John Maisey

He was born in thee parish of Alvescote in the County of Oxford on January 6th, 1781, His parents being ungodly, he was in his youth so suffered to pursue the way of sin and death unrestrained, and he unhappily became a drunkard and a profane swearer. When young he went to live at Burford with a family who were members of the Society of Friends, and his master reproved him for his conduct. he left his situation because of this and enlisted as a soldier but he remembered his reproof While in Ireland he was brought to God under the Wesleyan Methodists but never joined that Society. On his discharge in 1814 he returned to his native village and then settled at Black Bourton, where he- began business as a gardener. He married in 1822. Later, the Primitive Methodists came to Black Bourton ad Brother Maisey attended their ministry, and when a Society was formed he became one of its first members and exerted himself in the support of its interest.

He subsequently built a room which was licensed for the worship of God and has ever since been occupied by our Society without remuneration He also became a Local Preacher and walked long journeys to his appointments and was well received wherever he went_ For the last eight or nine years he could only take appointments near his home. His contacts with the world brought the opinion that he was a good man and a Christian, At the end he became more and more spiritual and Christ was all in all to him. He died on June loth, 1850, in the 70th year of his age.

So, for 12 years John Maisey was the mainstay of the Black Bourton cause, but at his death leadership passed into the hands of J. Monk and J. Harris. We do not know how long the Society was able to use Maisey’s room for services, but there is no reference to another place until December, 1860, ten years after Maisey’s death A document in the Circuit safe is a certificate recording that - a certain building occupied by Richard Silman and near the Parish Church will accordingly be forthwith used as a place of meeting for religious worship by the Primitive Methodists”. This place was used for two years until the new chapel was built.


The Building of the Chapel

On October 1st, 1861, an agreement was signed between-George Yeatman on the one hand and John Harris, Joseph Clarke, Richard Silman, George Clack, Charles Cooper, Obadiah Cooper, John Monk, James Clack and Charles Silman on the other. These men were the first trustees of the chapel and George Yeatman sold them the land for -5.

The land on which the chapel was built was originally waste land but was enclosed by George Yeatman in 1820 with the sanction of the Trustees of the Farmgdon and Bur-ford Turnpike Roads. As he had had undisputed possession of the land for 40 years. no one questioned his right to sell. Haines, the Faringdon solicitor, made up the Indenture and Conveyance which George Yeatman signed with a cross, as also did Richard Silman, Charles Silman, George Clack and James Clack, which suggests that they could not write.

Reference is made in the deed to the first Primitive Methodist Deed Poll of 1830, also, it states that if there is any money surplus to the needs of the chapel the money shall be applied to aid the funds of other chapels belonging to the said P.M. connexion in such a manner as the Quarter Day Board shall appoint. The same method of disposing of money is referred to if the chapel should be sold.

The Rev. John Wright, the superintendent minister at Faringdon, presided over a meeting of the above Trustees at Black Bourton on 9th October, 1861, It was decided to build the Chapel 36 feet by l8 feet 6 inches, the Chapel to be 24 feet long and the Schoolroom 12 feet. A minute asked Mr. Wright to write to the Building Committee of the Church and provide for the Trustees to ‘. . . draw out and send specifications, receive tenders and let work, and borrow money - . - that we will raise one¬third of the expenses according to rule and will let the sittings at 6d. per Quarter The minister acted as Treasurer and John Monk as Secretary.

The total cost of the building Was £183- 10-9 ½ of which £73-14-1 ¼ was raised by the first audit of accounts at the Trust Meeting of 1862, The Auxiliary Fund had made a grant of £15 but £ l 10 of the debt remained. John Hams, a trustee, loaned £80 at 5%, John Strafford also loaned £25 at 5%, The builders and carpenters were paid by installments as the work proceeded and as the money was collected.


Some individual items of expense noted are:

To W. Hemming (a Circuit Official), 2/6d for measuring out the land;
3/6d for journey to Oxford to come to terms with the carpenter,
7/10d. For turnpikes and given to men who drew stones.
To Ned Farmer, £2 5 6 for whitewashing and painting Chapel and School.

Opening services, conducted by Elizabeth Bid titude, were held on 30th March 1862 The collections taken at three Services the Sunday and at the opening and meeting and tea were £7-17- 5 ¼ The proceeds from the tea were f3 0 2 ½ . There was a re-opening in October 1862, when £2 6 7’/x was raised

The people who supported the chapel were poor and badly paid, therefore, the burden of debt remained on the chapel a long time. Each Anniversary, in March, subscriptions were solicited and the Golden System introduce. In 1886, Mrs. Clack collected 972 farthings while the profits from the Anniversary Tea were 2/5d. in 1867 and £l 1 0 in 1868.

The real problem of the Society was its inability to raise money to liquidate the capital debt on the premises. In the first 14 Years this debt involved the Society m paving £73 14 3 in interest and in the next 24 years it paid another £49. The capital debt on the chapel lasted 55 years and in all, £138 18 3 was paid in interest- about three-quarters of the total original cost. In addition to those already mentioned, money was borrowed from W. Rawlings, J. Monk, Mr. Hutt and the Chapel Aid Association. The Rev. A. R. Whiteman saw the debt cleared.

The Chapel Schedule gives some interesting facts. The population of Black Bourton is given as 300, the members of the chapel as 22. Accommodation of the chapel is given as 90-50 in the pews and 40 free sittings. Atterdances are given as 90 for Sundays and 70 for Weekdays. we wonder where they all sat!


New Trusts

A new Board of Trustees was formed in 1893 with Charles Cooper, John Monk, Charles Silman James Clack, Frederick Neville, David Clack, Philip Packer, John H. Strafford, Joseph Turner and the Rev. John Sheppard as superintendent minister.

A new Board of Trustees was formed in 1924 when the Rev. H. Pope was superintendent minister. The Trustees Were: Frederick Neville, David Clack, Joseph Turner, Albert Yeatman, Thomas Richens, James Clark, George Clack, Harold J. Langham and Frederick Carter.

The present Board of Trustees was formed in 1950, when the Rev. J. A. Stratton was minister at Faringdon. The Trustees are-: Albert Yeatman, Frederick Carter, George Clack, William Reeve, Dora Norton, W. George Reason, Walter J Aven, Hettie Chard, Walter J. Langham, Jack Fisher,’ Bernard Norton, Nellie Cooper, ivy- Beckinsale, Lizzie Clack, Audrey Temple, Laura Farmer and Jack Farmer-all but A. Yeatman and D. Norton alive for the Centenary.


Contributed by the late Charles Farmer

of Longworth The village of Black Bourton in Oxfordshire may strike the passer-by as quiet and of little interest, Yet, like many places when past history is revealed, it provides interest for many.

Some two centuries ago, this village, like many more, possessed an old Manor House, standing near the Church and occupied by a family named Hungerford. A tragic story is told of this household. One of the young Indies formed a friendship with a gentleman named Colston, of Filkin’s Hall, two or three miles away; but for some reason the marriage was opposed. it is said that she retired to her room, refused to eat or drink or to associate with anyone and subsequently starved to death. Some years ago a friend took me to the spot where once stood this beautiful house with its well-kept gardens. Now, unsightly mounds, wild fruit trees, thorns and briars alone remained.

Few people living there today are aware that the village once played an important part in agriculture and was noted for its output of drill; and other implements. The maker lived in the old house opposite the “Horse and Groom” and the works were in the field at the back, At the time, there was a “Hire System” for engaging agricultural workers which was a boon to the small farmers of 150 years ago but very often far from a boon to the labourers engaged, In those days the village must have been a hive of industry. I remember seeing, as a lad, one of those Black Bourton drills, with the maker’s name-‘ ‘David Yearn, Black Bourton”.

A story is told that the year 1866(?) was noted for showers of stars and as a result many people became very serious and believed the end was near. One night in particular the heavens seemed a mass of falling stars and the Methodists, instead of going to bed, met in the street and held a service. We wonder if they sang “Lo! He comes with clouds descending”, which would have been appropriate to that midnight hour and the solemn occasion.

The building of the Chapel, at about the same time, was a triumph of faith as most of the land belonged to the Lord of the Manor, the Duke of Marlborough. Money was scarce and people very poor, but at last a site was obtained and the work begun; though, through the opposition of supposed authority, the back wall of the Chapel was ordered to be pulled down two or three times, thereby delaying the work besides greatly adding to the expense of building. Eventually the Chapel was opened.

by Miss Boititude, a successful evangelist: her theme was the rebuilding of the city wail of Jerusalem. The text was Nehemiah, ch 4, v. 6-For the people had a mind to work”. The late Mr. C. Cooper of Langford was at that service and told me he never forgot the wonderful time. ‘These ancient Jews had”, she said, “through the Spirit of Unity, accomplished what was thought to be impossible, and you, a small section of His church here, with all your difficulties and limitations, can attempt great things for God if you have this unity, and this tittle church can become a power for good”. One present said, “She let us on the mountain top”.

Mr. Cooper once told me that he was brought up at Black Bourton by his grandmother, who was an ardent Methodist. He would never forget what a service they had one night during a Revival Service. Though long past closing time, no one seemed ready to leave but, at last, when the congregation dispersed, instead of going home, he walked down the Cianfield Road, and there at that midnight hour he had a vision of his life work and what God would have him do, and there he made up his mind, by God’s help, to do it. The revival produced-some fasting results and the cause was built up. I have heard my father speak of one member in particular, Charles Wakefield, known by some as “the Singing Shepherd”. He found real joy in the services and singing, but met with an accident, which resulted in his death. The Society was the poorer for his passing.

I may mention Frederick Webb of Broadwell, who, with other young men, went to the “Love Feast” to make fun, but God spoke to him and he became changed in every sense of the word. He became a local preacher and often walked to Highworth, a distance of nine miles each way, to take services.

About 60 years ago the Salvation Army came into the locality and made a considerable impression. There were many conversions: while some “went back”, others endured and remained faithful to the Army; but when the Salvation Army services were discontinued many of them joined the Methodists and proved their worth in allied service. In this way Black Bourton received the following members: Albert Yeatman, Charles Silman, Thomas Cooper, good, faithful members for many years.

This is a list of the local preachers as I remember them: David Clack, Frederick Neville, John Monk, Albert Newport, James Cox, Thomas Cooper, Charles Silman; Albert Newport once had a narrow escape from death when returning home from his appointment at Eastleach. A violent thunderstorm came on and he took shelter in a lonely outhouse, which was struck by lightning. Though he escaped the actual flash, he received a severe shock from the effects of which he suffered more or less until his death.

Black Bourton had a vigorous Sunday School and Band of Hope. The Sunday School Treat at Christmas was an important affair, largely due to Women Workers who were united in the Temperance Cause.

I recall the Camp meetings and one in particular. The late Mr. Cooper preached in the field near the Chapel from Jeremiah, ch. 9, v. 1, holding a large congregation in silent and impressive awe with his marvellous eloquence on that occasion.

I would pay a small tribute to Mr. Henry Akers of the Manor Farm. For some years there were four local preachers in his employ. I have never heard that he opposed any of them in their religious convictions, which often was not the case in those days. Though a Churchman, he was always willing to lend a field and a wagon for the Ammal Camp Meeting. I should like to tell two stories concerning him. When in the company of other farmers who were complaining of dishonest servants, he quietly said, °‘I have nothing to complain of in that way”. John Monk worked for him for many years and on one occasion when giving him his wages, Mr. Akers questioned whether the wages were earned, but said, “I must never forget, John, you have been a faithful servant’. If all masters had been so considerate, fewer servants would have been forced to seek shelter in the workhouse.

And so the curtain falls on the past and I come to the end of the things of which I have tried to speak; but to my mind come the words of our founder, John Wesley, when he said of the people of Blewbury that he did not think the time would ever come when the Society would not be found there. May we say the same of Black Bourton-both here and m most of the surrounding villages you will shill find the people called Methodists.


Gleanmgs from the Records

From the Baptismal Records of the Faringdon Circuit.

The first baptism recorded was that of Harriet, daughter of John and Rachel Mills, formerly of Banbury. This was in October, 1846, by the Rev. William Wiltshire, Others were of George son of Amos and Ann Grubb, in 18.52, by the Rev. &. Wallis and of Henry Silman, in 1856, by the Rev. H Keys. The first baptism in the Chapel was that of John Henry, son of William and Elizabeth Baston, in 1863, and the’ second that of Joseph, son of Charles and Caroline Cooper, in 1863, both by the Rev. John Wright.

From the Sunday School Returns. A Sunday school was first reported in 1839, with three teachers and 35 children; nine years later there were eight teachers and 30 children. For some years this was the only Sunday school in the Faringdon Circuit, The school was closed in 1854, but was reopened when the chapel was opened in 1862, this time with eight teachers and 39 scholars. By 1867 the numbers were reduced to 16, the reason given being “the influence of the Church being strong against us”. The school was dosed again in 1872 and 4 reopened once more in 1881 with two teachers and 16 scholars, in 1903 there were two teachers and 28 scholars. ‘The school was closed again in 1915.

From the Band of Hope Returns. A Band of hope flourished in the wars 1903- 1917, with J. Neville, A. Yeatman and Mrs. Luckett as organisers. It came to an end when the Church started a Band of Hope.

From the Trust Minutes. 1879. Item. That Mr. Cooper employ Mr. J. Farmer, Jun, to whitewash and colour the chapel A re-opening service to be arranged by Mr. Cooper, the charge for tea to be lid. Broken seats to be mended and the pulpit to be made complete.

From old Plans. Services at Black Bourton before the chapel was built were held in the afternoon only, at 2 p.m. when the chapel was built services were at 2 and 6 p.m. The Society Stewards through the years were J. Monk, D. Clack, A. Yeatman, G. Clack. Chapel Stewards were j. Harris, F. Neville, D. Clack, G Clack. Midweek services were at one time held every Thursday, later changed to fortnightly. 1887 written on the back of an old Plan: June 12th, Love Feast, 2164.; Night, 1/8’/1 d.; July 10th, - Afternoon, 1/64.; Evening, 1/-; July 31st, Camp Meeting, 9/2d Evening, 2/8 ½ d. The plans show the return of members and the amounts paid quarterly to the Faringdon Circuit: 1893 four members paid 3/4d1844 17 members paid 18174: 1830 18 members paid 19/8 ½ d: 18.56 nine members paid I1/4d: 1893 13 members paid 29/34: 190212 members paid 18/94: 1915 9 members paid 21/¬


More Recent Days

1925 a new organ was bought for £14 and the old one sold for €l
1935 Renovation of Chapel costing €18
New Methodist hymn books bought
1946 Another organ bought for £8,
Electric light installed for £11/1711
1956 Renovation of chapel, costing £142/1416
Albert Yeatman Legacy of £100. this is invested with the Methodist board of Trustees at 4 ½ %
1958 New Carpet and staining floor costing £32
1960 Roof Repairs costing £29.

The Services During the War 1944, the afternoon services were given up, mainly because of the shortage of local preachers, but evening services at 6.00pm continues. The Sunday school, though small continues to met on Sunday afternoons under Miss Dunsby and Mr. G Clack, with Mrs. Clack as treasurer.

Mrs. Jenkins, who died in 1961 ran the Sunday school for some years and also organized a women’s meeting, during the war in her own home and later at the chapel.

The women’s meeting continued to meet fortnightly with Miss Dunsby as Secretary and Mrs. C Clack as treasurer. The Rev J Alderson is President and takes the meeting monthly.

Generous giving p has been a characteristic of our people in recent years. Though few in numb r, they have given great support to Overseas Missions, now averaging about £35 a year, £67 was paid to the Circuit Fund and the Trust Fund spent £40 last year. The chapel is cleaned voluntarily and is well cared for.

The Clack Family. From the building of the chapel the Clack names has appeared consistently through the records as trustees, preachers, stewards and organists -The family has given freely a century of service and continues to serve. A generation ago Mr. D. Clack was a household word as a preacher, Jim Clack served the chapel as organist for many years and George- continues to serve as Society and Chapel Steward, Israel Clack and Ray Clack are preachers in other Circuits.

At the Centenary

The members are George Clack, George Townsend (Society Stewards), Lizzie Clack (Poor Steward), Mrs. A. Smith, Peter Law-, Joan Law, Mrs. Townsend, Muriel Townsend and Joan Barton. Miss Donsbv, Mr. F. Johnson, the Misses Edgington and Mrs. Ayris have been regular in attendance; others attend some of other. meetings.

We praise Him for all that is past
and trust Him for all that’s to come.”


These sites cover the ox18 area of Oxfordshire England, including  the following villages, OX18, Alvescot, Bampton, Black Bourton, Burford, Broadwell, Carterton, Clanfield, Kelmscott, Kencot, Langford, Lechlade, RAF Broadwell, Shilton, Parish Pump, Oxfordshire Events,