Measham and the joint townships of Oakthorpe and Donisthorpe were formerly in Derbyshire, but became part of Leicestershire in 1897. Most of this entry is taken from Leicestershire records.
The General Baptist Chapel in Chapel Street, Measham was founded in 1811. In 1840, the congregation united with that at Netherseal, and a larger chapel was built at Measham the following year, with 600 sittings, 200 of which were free. It had its own burial ground. There were 210 worshippers at the morning service on Sunday 30 March 1851, and 380 in the evening. The morning Sunday school was attended by 137 children. The entrance to the chapel was moved in 1972 to create a central doorway. Internally, it has is a gallery round three sides.
The Primitive Methodist Chapel was built was in 1859.
The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on Bosworth Road was built in 1854 to replace an earlier chapel built in the late 18th century. This first chapel could seat 300 people, of whom 170 could occupy the free seats. The two services on Sunday 30 March 1851 were attended by 96 people in the afternoon and 72 in the evening, and a further 46 people attended the afternoon Sunday School.
In this area of scattered settlement it is not always easy to match written records to physical chapels, as the boundaries between the townships of Oakthorpe, Donisthorpe and Moira are not entirely clear.
In 1877 it was said that the Primitive Methodists in Oakthorpe worshipped at a chapel in Donisthorpe. By 1908 they appear to have had their own chapel in Oakthorpe.
By 1908 there was a Wesleyan chapel in Oakthorpe .
A Wesleyan Reform chapel is also noted in Oakthorpe in 1908, which may be the chapel noted at Moira in 1888, which then ceases to be mentioned within that parish.
A Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in Donisthorpe in 1852. By 1908 there were said to be two Primitive Methodist chapels, besides that at Oakthorpe. The Ordnance Survey map of 1884 shows one Primitive Methodist chapel just to north of the Engine Inn, but in 1901 that site is empty and the chapel is further north at the road junction. Further investigation is required.
A Wesleyan chapel in Donisthorpe is mentioned in 1908.
Return to Protestant Nonconformity: A-Z
- Leicestershire trade directories
- 1851 ecclesiastical census
- Ordnance Survey maps
- RCHM, Nonconformist Chapels and Meeting-houses in Central England (London, 1986).