Protestant Nonconformity in Grimston

Grimston is a village in north-east Leicestershire, north-west of Melton Mowbray, but in ecclesiastical terms it was a detached chapelry of Rothley, in Charnwood Forest.

No dissent is recorded in the 17th century,[1] and there still appears not to be any in 1706.[2]

William Gee’s house was licensed for Protestant worship in 1768, although there is no record of the denomination.[3] John Marston’s house was similarly registered in 1833,[4] with other sources suggesting he was a Wesleyan.

Wesleyan Methodism

Wesleyan Methodists are first recorded on the 1829 Return of Religious Meeting Places, which counted them at ten.[5] The 1851 Religious Census recorded the existence of a chapel built in 1839, containing 44 sittings, 20 of them free. On census day, a congregation of 70 was recorded for one service, held in the evening. This was unusually high, however, as average attendance was marked at just 20.[6]

After 1851, the only other information about Wesleyan Methodists is provided by Kelly’s Directory of 1895, which recorded that a chapel had been built (or rebuilt) in 1892.[7] This stood at the extreme north-eastern end of the village. The building, now converted to a house, is still there today (2015).



[1] R.H. Evans, ‘Nonconformists in Leicestershire in 1669’, Trans LAHS 25, (1949); A. Whiteman, The Compton Census of 1676: A Critical Edition (London, 1986), p. 372

[2] J. Broad (ed.), Bishop Wake’s summary of visitation returns from the diocese of Lincoln, 1706-1715. Part 2, Outside Lincolnshire (Huntingdonshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Leicestershire, Buckinghamshire) (Oxford, 2012), p. 890

[3] Leicestershire and Rutland County Record Office (ROLLR), list of religious meeting places, Grimston, QS 44/2/66 and 182.

[4] Ibid., QS 44/1/2.

[5] 1829 Return of Religious Meeting Places, entry for Grimston, Wesleyan Methodists, QS 95/2/1/46.

[6] 1851 Census of England and Wales, entry for Grimston, Wesleyan Methodists, HO 129/418/47.

[7] Kelly’s Dir. (1895) p. 78.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.