Primitive Methodism in Hockliffe
Ordnance Survey map showing the Primitive Methodist chapel
Primitive Methodists were meeting in Hockliffe from at least 1861/2, when the congregation appeared on the circuit preaching plan for the Leighton Buzzard Primitive Circuit. A house was purchased and converted to a chapel which appears regularly in local directories from 1877. This was situated near the corner of Woburn Road and Watling Street, to the south of the school, in an area originally part of Chalgrave parish which was transferred to Hockliffe in 1929. Due to the dingy, unhealthy nature of this chapel the Primitive Methodists found themselves needing alternative premises and from March 1913 they rented the building of the Congregational Church at Hockliffe which had recently closed. However, in 1920 Secretary of the Bedfordshire Union of Christians [Congregationalists] reported that "the members worshipping in the Congregational Church premises are severing their connection with the Leighton Buzzard Primitive Methodist Circuit in March and are desirous of becoming a Congregational Church". Therefore in March 1920 the Primitive Methodist connection with Hockliffe ended and the Congregational Church was revived.
The old Primitive Methodist chapel was sold in 1923. Under the terms of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925 every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on them. When Chalgrave was assessed in 1926 it was part of a group of buildings owned and occupied by W. Ayre. Along with a barn used as a store, an old cottage used as a stone and paint shop, and an "inaccessible" timber store, the valuer mentions the "old chapel used as carpenter's shop", constructed of brick and tile and 15 feet by 33 feet in size. This building was demolished along with the other cottages in the "old meeting yard" in 1933 to make way for the widening of Watling Street.
Bedfordshire and Luton Archives does not hold any records relating to the Primitive Methodists in Hockliffe.