Road widening in the 1950s entailed a partial dismantling of the old stone stack yard wall, which was reduced and rebuilt slightly to the east.
By 2005, the land forming part of this stack yard had been sold for development and building work began soon afterwards. The site now comprises a small modern housing complex called Churchill Court.
The actual chapel was built in 1843 by the village grocer, shoemaker, blacksmith and two labourers, and in 1890 underwent restoration work which included the addition of a porch.
In 1913, the Wesleyans vacated the premises, but returned just for the duration of the First World War.
In 1921, the Chapel was sold to a local dignitary, Colonel T.W. Elliott, who lived nearby, in Monkseaton Cottage on Front Street. Colonel Elliott converted the chapel into a Village Hall, where it was put to general use as a meeting house for the benefit of the local community.
In 1923, an attempt was made to establish Sunday evening services with lay-preachers, but this was abandoned after nine months as the congregation was small and services poorly attended.
In 1927, the building was purchased by a Mr. Henry B. Saint, a local benefactor, who dedicated it for use by the Congregationalists. He named it ‘Fairway Hall’. A renewed attempt was made to encourage evening services during this year, but with an average attendance of only 20 these were also abandoned, though a Sunday School established in 1928 proved very popular.
Henry Saint was a keen amateur artist and as a member of the North East Coast Art Club, he encouraged a number of local young ladies to paint murals to hang in the premises. In October 1933, eight scenes relating to early Christian history were unveiled and displayed in Fairway Hall for a number of years.
During the Second World War, on 29th August 1940, an air raid took place over Monkseaton. After taking a direct hit with a bomb, the chapel was completely destroyed and never rebuilt.
The site was later used as a builder’s yard and a covered glass store, later built up to become a glazier’s workshop. The premises are still evident to this day as Jenkinson Glaziers (see here).
by Charlie Steel © 2014
His published books include ‘Monkseaton Village’ Vols 1 & 2, and ‘North Shields Public Houses, Inns & Taverns’ Parts 1 & 2, all of which are available from most local booksellers.