The number of members belonging to the body of Wesleyan Methodists has vastly increased during the last few years. The original place of meeting was on the premises now occupied by the Harrogate Club. In 1824, a chapel capable of holding 530 persons, was erected in Chapel Street, nearly opposite the present handsome structure, which will accommodate twice the number. The foundation stone of this new chapel was laid October 2nd, 1861, by J. Tombleson, Esq., of Barton -upon-Humber. It is designed in the Italian style of architecture, and occupies a prominent position at the angle of Chapel Street and Cheltenham Parade. Its principal front is decorated by Corinthian columns and pilasters, supporting a handsome entablature and pediment, filled in with a richly-carved ornamental shield and inscription, and the apex of which rises to the height of fifty feet above the road.
The principal entrance to the chapel is by three arched doorways in front, leading to an enclosed corner vestibule, from which the chapel aisles and the gallery stairs are reached. The chapel internally is seventy feet by fifty-two feet, exclusive of the organ recess, and is galleried round on three sides. The pillars of the galleries are continued up to the roof, which is thus divided into three compartments, the central one being raised and circular, by which means a ceiling of much novelty and beauty of effect is produced. The organ stands in a recess behind the pulpit, and under it is the minister's vestry. Comfortable accommodation on the ground floor and gallery is provided for 1,000 persons.
A basement story contains excellent and well-lighted class-rooms, large vestry for tea-meetings, and a residence for the chapel-keeper. The whole buildings are lighted with gas, and properly and thoroughly warmed and ventilated, and a handsome pallisaded
enclosure wall surrounds the premises. The architects were Messrs. Lockwood and Mawson, of Leeds and Bradford.
Previous to 1857, Harrogate was part of the Knaresborough circuit, but the increase in the number of Wesleyans was so great that application was made to the Conference of that year, and Harrogate was made a separate circuit. The number of members in the Harrogate society exceeds 500. During the summer months this chapel is supplied by some of the most celebrated ministers in the
Service, on Sundays, at half-past ten in the morning, and at half-past six o'clock in the evening.
Prayer meetings are held three or four evenings in the week, and a sermon is preached every Wednesday evening.