Author: Chris Skelton.
Photography: Chris Skelton/Ces Mowthorpe

With major alterations to Cross Hill Methodist Church imminent (2003) now is a good time to look at the rise of non-conformism worship in Hunmanby. Charles Wesley in his letters recalls "preaching at Hunmanby for three days whilst staying at Mr Osbaldestons "big house". This must have been prior to 1810 when Humprey Osbaldeston, Lord of Hunmanby Manor began adding the North and South wings to his "big house " and forming the Hall Park and driveway. When these alterations were completed (c1820) the "big house" became known as Hunmanby Hall

Places of non- conformist worship in Hunmanby can be traced back to the early 1800s when the Baptist Chapel and burial ground was built in Hungate Lane in 1811. The only access to the burial ground (image 4) was via an internal doorway, which can be seen on the left (now bricked up), below the window. The large building on the right is a rear view of Hudson Court Flats which when being built overlooked the decaying headstones which formed part of the- afore mentioned Baptist Chapel burial ground so they were removed. The name 'Haxby' was the only recognisable name on one of these headstones.

Moving into Stonegate, a Weslyan Chapel was built in 1816. This became after 1870, when the 'new' chapel was built in Bridlington Street, the 'Temperance Society Hall'. Reverting to a dwelling c.1900, it took the present day name (2003) Temperance House.

A Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1841 on the north side of Hungate Lane close to where the Hungate Court sheltered accommodation now stands and was the largest of the (then) Hunmanby chapels. It was demolished in the 1960s to make way for Hungate Court.

Perhaps the most recently and best remembered of Hunmanby's Chapels is the Weslyan Chapel which now houses the local Co-op supermarket. Built in 1871 and in use up to the 1950s. It had however by this time become too small, due to the influx of girls from the Methodist Girls Boarding School (Hunmanby Hall). In the 1940s plans to enlarge the chapel eastwards were turned down due to envisaged traffic and parking problems. It is also worthy to note that this chapel had severe acoustic problems. With the building of Cross Hill Church, this property was bought by Herbert Smith (co-owner of Smith's Supply Store on the opposite corner) and after demolishing the tower and porch, to improve the traffic visibility on the corner, converted into a supermarket.

Bringing us up to date we turn to the Cross Hill Methodist Church . Built for joint worship and shared use of school and village congregations. It replaced the Bridlington Street Chapel previously mentioned. Seating up to 400 worshipers, the opening service took place on July 19th 1958. The writer also recalls a weekly Sunday-School taking place here which he attended during his sixties childhood. Upon the closure of Hunmanby Hall Girls Boarding School in 1991 the congregation decreased significantly and The Chapel Trustees took the brave decision to redevelop the site. Architects plans for developing and extending the existing Chapel School Room into a new chapel have council approval. The main Chapel is to be sold with planning permission for development into dwellings with the surrounding grounds being landscaped as part of this exciting and ambitious scheme, about which further information will be posted on this site in due course.

Finally we come to the Weslyan Manse (now Simla Lodge). Built on Muston Road in conjunction with the then 'new' Wesleyan Chapel in 1871. At this period, Hunmanby was the main circuit chapel for the Wesleyan local circuit. (Filey took over when Trinity chapel was built some 25 years later). Thus accommodation had to be provided for the circuit Minister. When the Filey circuit superseded Hunmanby, a Manse was built in Filey and the Hunmanby Manse sold into private hands being renamed 'Simla Lodge'.

A Wesleyan school-room was built for the 1870's chapel on the site that now houses Stonegate Garage. Remembered by many older village residents as Whipps Garage. The Wesleyan chapel purchased the old Baptist chapel for a schoolroom about 1873 and sold its purpose-built schoolroom mentioned above to Hunmanby School who used it for the infant classes. With the building of the 'new' village school in Stonegate in 1905 this property fell into disuse before becoming a Reading Room, Band Room and Jack Garbutt's garage. Post-war it was opened again by Grantham and Shaw for motor repairs, followed by the Whipp Bros. Finally demolished in the 1960's.

It should be pointed out here, that the difference between a Chapel and a Church is briefly:- A church has a permanent recumbent i.e., a Vicar (or similar). A chapel has no such permanent incumbent but is part of a circuit under a circuit minister (or similar). Cross Hill Methodist Church attained its 'church' qualification because whilst Hunmanby Hall School was in the village, this Wesleyan school always had its own Minister of the staff. Hence the 'new' Cross Hill Methodist Church had, at that period, its own incumbent via the Minister on the Hunmanby Hall staff.