There is evidence of a group of Primitive Methodists meeting in Priors Hardwick in 1849, but it was not recorded in the 1851 religious census and ceased at the end of 1852.1 Successful missionary camp meetings were held there in 1858 and by September there were plans to build a chapel.2 Finding a site proved to be hazardous:
Priors Hardwick…was missioned a few years since by our ministers…A chapel became a desideratum, and preparations were made to secure land. In accomplishing this object the writer was bruised, torn, and gored by an infuriated cow, and was saved from an untimely and melancholy death by a most striking interposition of Divine Providence. 3
In spite of this, a chapel was built there in 1859; it had 58 sittings and cost £141.4 A few children were attending a Sunday School in the 1890s but the congregation struggled; it closed in 1920 and the building was sold in 1922.5 The chapel appears in Warwickshire trade directories from 1874-1921 and on the 1st and 2nd edition OS maps (from the 1880s & 1900s). I struggled to find the building in the village but was assured by a local Methodist that ‘Priors Cottage’ is the former chapel. This building is in good condition and the chapel was probably the central part, with extensions added later at either end.
1 Warwickshire County Record Office reference CR 1688/46 Leamington Primitive Methodist (PM) Circuit minutes
2 Warwickshire County Record Office reference CR 1688/47 Leamington PM Circuit minutes
3 Primitive Methodist Magazine, May 1860, p. 301.
4 Warwickshire County Record Office reference CR 1688/53 Leamington PM Circuit Station Reports
5 Warwickshire County Record Office referenceCR 1688/59 Leamington PM Circuit Property Schedule