About this church
Today it remains without alteration, the outward appearance belies its existence.
This Grade II primitive Methodist chapel sits on the main A684, since 1974 it has been in Cumbria but remains within the boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, despite its now tranquil setting the area once echoed with the noise and growth of the 19th railways.
Built in 1841 probably by two stonemason brothers, the site some 10 yards square confined the brothers to a simple layout.
The interior remains basically unchanged, with painted box-like tiered seats to help eye contact between preacher and congregation! The ‘penitent form’ where public confessions were made still stands below the pulpit
The chapel interior remains basically the same as when it was built. Inside are painted box like tiered pews, improving eye contact between preacher and worshippers, a style that was copied in later chapels in the area. The original bench known as the 'penitents form' remains standing below the pulpit, it is from here where public confessions were encouraged to be made. Apart from minor changes to lighting and heating it remains a good example of a period Primitive Methodist chapel.
Garsdale Street Chapel forms part of a trail of small chapels linked to the history of the railways and religion in the Western Dales. The Carlisle to Settle railway line was built between 1870–1876, by Midland Railway Company. It was one of the most difficult railways to construct in the UK. Its 73 miles include 20 viaducts and 14 tunnels cut by hand through steep, often boggy, isolated and exposed countryside. Over 6,000 'navvies' lived and worked in appalling conditions during its construction. The Methodists in this part of Cumbria were significant providers of welfare and spiritual help to the railway workers. Education and care of children and the elderly were a feature of their work.