Primitive Methodist Movement
Mow Cop is very much associated with the Primitive Methodist movement;
in fact it is Primitive Methodism that put Mow Cop on the map much more than
The Castle or its centuries of industry. On the first page in a book published
in 1939 called `MOW COP AND AFTER - the story of Primitive Methodism’ is a
passage that states in a Wesleyan Chapel in
Hugh Bourne was born April 3, 1772, in
The day started cloudy and rained threatened to spoil the day,
however it soon brightened and people had travelled from as far as Macclesfield
and Warrington, it was not well organised. Pulpits were made from piles of
rocks, and yet so many turned up. The first meeting lasted 14 hours and ended
at 8:00pm. The day had been a success, and so began the organising of a second
This took place some 3 months later on the Saturday August 22nd
1807, and was much better organised. This was to be a day and night affair
and started at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and continued throughout the night.
There were many, mainly from the Methodist church that tried in vain to get
the camp meeting abolished. The Methodist authorities condemned the proceedings
as "highly improper in
In 1811 Bourne was joined by another evangelist who had not been
allowed to join the .
.The Camp Meeting Methodists were joined by the Clowesites and became known as the Primitive Methodists. It is believed they agreed to this name to show they wished to get back to Wesley’s Primitive ways for street and field evangelism. It was this year that the first
By 1820 the Primitive Methodist movement had 7,842 members and
they held their first conference
As the need for a larger building became apparent they moved and built a larger church just across the road next to Pointons Farm where it all began; The Primitive Methodist Memorial Church. Work commenced in 1857 and the Church was opened in 1860. It then had to be re-built in 1882 due to storm damage.
In 1907 the Primitive Methodists celebrated their centenary with
Camp Meetings up and down the country, it was however to be another spectacular
day at Mow Cop with an estimated attendance of 100 000 people. The meeting
started on the Saturday May25th and continued to Monday May 27th.
So, this event lasted longer than the average celebration following graduation
announcements, or even wedding announcements for that matter There were over 80 speakers invited, these would
conduct their brief sermons at four different stands and in two tents. On
the Sunday morning joint services were held in Tunstall and
The Camp Meeting returned to Mow Cop in 1910 as part of the yearly conference with events and meeting held all up and down the country, it was well attended but not as large as the 1907 meeting.
The next large camp meeting recorded was the 150th anniversary where I believe the attendance to have been 5000, a some what smaller number than 50 years previous. It was just before this meeting the memorial stone was placed in front of the castle with the inscription
"TO THE GLORY OF GOD" Camp meeting near this spot on May 31st, 1807, began the Religious Revival led by Hugh Bourne and William Clowes known as Primitive Methodism."