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Baptist Church near Rowberrow
published by Pat Hase on Wed, 17/11/2021 - 23:20

I have had a query which asked if someone was a Baptist and lived in Rowberrow in the early 19th century - where was the nearest Baptist Church?  Could it have been Cheddar, Burnham, Weston or somewhere else? I believe the Lynch Chapel in Winscombe may have originally been Baptist - can anyone confirm this?

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Submitted by gricharduk on Sat, 04/12/2021 - 2:22

Hi Pat,

There was a Baptist chapel at Rowberrow from 1814. William Selway was the minister and Eli Stock was deacon/trustee - Reports from Commissioners. There was also a Baptist Sunday school at the School House, School Lane, Rowberrow - see Parliamentary papers, Volume 69, p. 388-I, Shipham and Rowberrow Female Club and this report in p. 8, Col. 4, Bristol Mercury, 3 September 1842. There was also a Methodist chapel next to the School House - I am guessing this might have been Baptist at some earlier stage. So, I think the chapel was at School Lane but now demolished (the school room might survive as a private house but I am not sure). I might take a walk around there at the weekend to see (it has a great pub!)

Best regards,
Richard

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Submitted by gricharduk on Sat, 04/12/2021 - 4:11

I just read my copy of the "The Heart of Mendip" by F. A. Knight and he has this to say on page 174 (Rowberrow chapter):

"The village of Rowberrow, which is now so scattered, was, in its more prosperous mining days, not only more populous but more connected. Even during the last half-century many cottages have been demolished and the size and character of the long-disused school building, built, as may be seen from the tablet on its front, in 1855, and now converted into a dwelling-house, and the ruins of a Baptist Chapel and a Baptist School in the same lane, afford further evidence of the decay of the population."

So, unfortunately, the Baptist chapel and school in School Lane are long gone.

Richard

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Submitted by Pat Hase on Sat, 04/12/2021 - 14:48

Thank you very much for your findings about the Rowberrow Baptists. I have forwarded your posts to the person enquiring who has been researching this part of his family for several years.   

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