Haughton Green Methodist Church

Two Trees Lane, Haughton Green
This brick-built church stands on the corner of Two Trees Lane and Sunningdale Road. It was founded in 1810 as the Haughton Green Wesleyan Chapel and it is a typical building of the period with a slate roof, a gable at each end and plain rounded windows. Inside, there is a central pulpit at the southern end, a gallery on all four sides and a pipe organ behind the pulpit. There is a small Communion table and Communion rail in front of the pulpit for the purpose of Holy Communion. A new entrance was added in 1913 and a house attached to the right-hand elevation was demolished in 1981.

The half-acre site, which incorporates a graveyard, was purchased for £130 and the chapel cost £700 to build. The chapel opened in 1811 and the first minister was the Rev. William Jones. Slater's Trade Directory for 1903 states that the chapel could seat around 450 persons but in 1812 the return of members, which at the time embraced neighbouring towns, was 174 persons. Slater's Trade Directory for 1909 states that it could seat around 300 persons.

In early 2011 the church closed and services are now held in the former Sunday School on the opposite side of the road.

Left: The church viewed from Two Trees Lane, early 20th century.
Right: The church viewed from Sunningdale Road, 13 September 2008.

The Church Organ
The organ at Haughton Green Methodist Church was supplied by Alexander Young & Sons Ltd, a firm of organ builders based in Eldon Street, Chorlton upon Medlock, Manchester. It has a plaque attached to it that reads, 'ALEXR. YOUNG & SONS, ORGAN BUILDERS, MANCHESTER, 1894.'

Alexander Young was born in Glamis Forfarshire, Scotland, in 1809 and by 1837 he was living in Chorlton upon Medlock, Manchester, where he was employed as an organ builder, and by the time of the 1871 census he had become a foreman. The 1871 census also records that his son, William Alexander, was employed as an organ tuner but in 1872 he founded the family business of Alexander Young & Sons Ltd, which was established in Vine Street, off Stretford Road, Hulme. His father joined him in 1873 and in 1875 the business moved to 27 and 29 Eldon Street, Chorlton. The couple’s eldest son, David Farquharson, was also associated with the family business.

Alexander Young married Emma Jackson of Burnage, at St John’s Church in 1837. This church is likely to be St John’s Church, Byrom Street, Manchester, because the nearer church of the same name in Longsight had not then been built. Known children are David Farquharson (b.1840), Emma Jackson (b.1847), Eliza (b.1852), William Alexander (b.1850), Lucy (b.1854) and Sophia (b.1856). David Farquharson married Christina (or Christiana) Gulland in 1862 and William Alexander married Agnes Jane McKay in 1874.

In the 1860s, Alexander Young was living in Welbeck Street, Chorlton, and by 1871 he had moved to Ludlow Street. In the 1880s, William Alexander Young was living in St John Street, Longsight, and by the 1890s he was living in Spring Gardens, Didsbury. In the same decade, David Farquharson was living in Cecil Street, Greenheys. Alexander Young died in 1880, aged 71 years, David Farquharson died in 1911, aged 70 years, and William Alexander died in 1917, aged 67 years.

Correspondence with Jardine & Co Ltd (another firm of Manchester organ builders) relating to organ tuning following the liquidation of Alexander Young & Sons Ltd is deposited with Cheshire Archives and Local Studies. Reference P209/3464/3/22-25, dated 1926.

The church was damaged by fire during the week ending 25 July 2020 and it is planned to convert the building into four, two-bedroom flats. Subsequently, it was alleged that gravestones have been removed without due process being followed.

Haughton Green Methodist Sunday School, now Haughton Green Methodist Church Hall
This brick-built Sunday School was erected in 1877 and it incorporates a number of foundation stones that are now severely eroded. These are located at the corners of the front elevation and below the two windows. The two stones on the right hand corner were laid by a Mr Enoch Moores and a Mrs James Brown of Bolton on the 30 March 1877, the latter being a memorial stone. The top stone below the right-hand window was laid by a Mr Joseph Wilcockson. The top and bottom stones below the left-hand window were laid by a Mr George Shaw and a Miss Lever of Bowdon, respectively.

In 1915 a porch was built in front of the entrance incorporating seven foundation stones which show that they were laid on the 28 August 1915.

Haughton Green Methodist Sunday School, c.1920 left and 2011 right.