CONTACT US

The History of Pinnacle House

Pinnacle House is a former church building, which stands in a prominent position on Stanley Road in Bootle. The church closed in 1996, when it was converted to offices.
The building was originally founded in December 1876, when it was opened as the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church (Chapel).

Bootle was originally a hamlet, close to the estuary, which in the early 19th century became a bathing resort for the wealthy of Liverpool. Industrialisation and the development of the docks brought immigration to the area. Welsh immigration, much of which was from North Wales, brought with it, non-conformist chapels and the temperance movement. In the late 19th century, William Jones became the first Welsh speaking mayor of Bootle. The Welsh community in the Bootle area were largely Welsh speaking.

The Calvinistic Methodist movement separated from the Church of England in 1811 and became the largest non-conformist denomination in Wales.


The Welsh author Hugh Evans (1834-1934) moved to Liverpool in 1875 and worked for a year as a Labourer on the building of Stanley Road Chapel, writing his book “Camau’r Cysegr”, the history of the church in 1926.

Stanley Road Chapel was well renowned, not just in Bootle and Liverpool, but in North Wales too. Much of this was due to its minister Griffith Ellis, a much renowned Calvinistic Methodist Preacher, and author. Griffith preached at the opening of the new chapel in 1876. He graduated from Balliol College, Oxford in 1879 and then took the pastorate of the church until he retired in 1911. It is said that “He worked very hard in the church, which became a very large one; he was a model pastor, who gave every opportunity of service to young people.”

During Griffith’s time at the church, the church became important as part of the “Welsh Revival”. This was the largest Christian revival in Wales in the 20th century. In a report of a meeting that took place on Thursday 6 April 1905, it was stated that:

The Welsh author Hugh Evans (1834-1934) moved to Liverpool in 1875 and worked for a year as a Labourer on the building of Stanley Road Chapel, writing his book “Camau’r Cysegr”, the history of the church in 1926.

“Bootle has within its boundaries a great Welsh population and here they are tonight, numbering many thousands, outside a chapel which has seating only for 850. Possibly about 1,200 are squeezed inside. They have been here since 5 o’clock. Now at 6, the adjoining schoolroom is packed, and arrangements are being made for three or four overflow services in adjacent buildings.
‘There are hundreds here from North Wales,’ explains a minister. But North Walians are not the only visitors from a distance. Over there is a deputation of Irish Protestants… France too is represented.”

At the beginning of World War 1, when the Welsh Army Corps was being formed, a recruiting meeting was held at the Church, addressed by Brigadier-General Owen Thomas of Anglesey.

In 1938, after much fundraising, the Chapel and its organ were refurbished. Sadly, on Saturday 3 May 1941, a mass bombing raid was launched on Liverpool by the Germans. Stanley Road Chapel was destroyed, all that remained were the School room and the War Memorial.

A Memorial to the 26 members lost in World War 1, still stands at the front of Pinnacle House.

The Stanley Road Chapel community served in large numbers during the War. Hugh Evans produced “Rhol Anrhydedd”, a Roll of honour for the Chapel members. In 1917, it was noted that 214 were serving in war activity. 7 women were serving as nurses. The church members were busy raising funds and sending parcels to the front. A tea was prepared every Sunday afternoon to Welsh soldiers in nearby camps. Every serving member was to receive a monthly letter personally written by individual members of the congregation.

In 1938, after much fundraising, the Chapel and its organ were refurbished. Sadly, on Saturday 3 May 1941, a mass bombing raid was launched on Liverpool by the Germans. Stanley Road Chapel was destroyed, all that remained were the School room and the War Memorial.

A Memorial to the 26 members lost in World War 1, still stands at the front of Pinnacle House.

By 1945, the School room had been renovated and the services were held there. The rest of the site was cleared apart from the War Memorial, to which were added the names of those members killed in World War 2.

The church received some war compensation and following a fundraising campaign, the chapel was rebuilt by 1951. The Architects were Richard Owen and Son of Liverpool. 10 The new chapel re-opened in September 1956.

Stanley Road Chapel, the day after the bombing.

Stanley Road Chapel, after 1956

Liverpool Daily


Summary

Stanley Road Chapel appears to have been part of a very strong Welsh-speaking community. The church members were involved not only within their community; but entered into service at time of war. Their resilience can be seen in achieving the rebuilding of their church, when it had been destroyed. The building is a monument to the fortitude of those people.


Resources:

Dictionary of Welsh Biography. https://biography.wales/article/s-ELLI-GRI-1844
Dictionary of Welsh Biography. https://biography.wales/article/s-EVAN-HUG-1854
Evans, Hugh. Camau’r Cysegr Published 1926 Liverpool Record Office
Evans, Hugh. Rhol Anryhydedd. Published 1917. H287.1 (729) Liverpool Record Office.
Genuki. UK & Ireland Genealogy.
https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/LAN/Bootle/StanleyRdWelshCalvinistMethodist
Liverpool Echo. https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/nostalgia/
Liverpool Record Office, William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EW
The Great War Forum https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/207850-bootle-roll-of- honour-and-units-served/
The Story of Nonconformity in Wales.
http://www.welshchapels.org/nonconformity/calvinistic-methodists-presbyterians/ The Welsh Revival http://www.welshrevival.org/biographies/hughes/08.htm
Twentieth Century Society. https://c20society.org.uk/churches/welsh-presbyterian- church/
War Memorials. https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/warmemorials/welsh-calvinist- methodist-church-t3514.html

Call Us
Contact