Is your name in the frame on former chapel’s Cradle Roll?

Peter Gilkes estate agent at the poster on the wall of Methodist Chapel on Blackburn Road, Wheelton with all of the names of people christened there. Pics of Josh Vosper
Peter Gilkes estate agent at the poster on the wall of Methodist Chapel on Blackburn Road, Wheelton with all of the names of people christened there. Pics of Josh Vosper
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Estate agent Peter Gilkes was stunned when he looked around the former Methodist Chapel in Wheelton, and found a mystery dating back more than half a century.

The 17th century building boasts stained glass windows, a pulpit and beamed rafters, and is now being marketed by Chorley property agent Peter Gilkes.

However, during an inspection he made an unusual discovery about the history of the former church.

In one of the back rooms he found a poster on the wall called ‘Cradle Roll of our Church’ which features 56 names of people who had been christened at the church.

The first name featured on the poster was George Hackett in 1944, while the Blackledge family name featured on the list with Thomas, Leslie and Graham being christened in five years between 1944-49.

The most recent name featured on the list was William Taylor Baron, back in October 2001, and the property agent says it would be interesting to find out more information about the church, which closed in June 2008.

Mr Gilkes said: “When we first inspected the property we thought this poster was great, because it shows that the chapel was well-supported by the local community and surrounding areas.

“Seeing all those names makes you want to know more about who they are. What they are doing now?

“It is very rare that we get the chance to sell a chapel or church.

“However, it is great to see things like this when you look at old buildings, and all these names have been part of the community for the past 60 years.”

Among the other names featured in the list included: James Wood, Peter Dixon, Michael John Hoyle, Graham Paul Snape and Andrew Miller.

One of the local people who knows about the history of the chapel is former secretary Marion Bennett, of Morris Fold Bungalow in the village.

She said: “It was really sad the chapel closed but you have got to move on when the congregation numbers were reducing.

“It makes it no longer viable and a lot of the people have went to Withnell Fold Chapel.

“The Cradle Roll was an important part of the church, as everyone loved to put the names of their children who were christened there.”

The stone-built chapel is on the market at £150,000.

It also is set on a generous 650sqm plot which has planning permission for three double bedrooms, two bathrooms and two reception rooms.

Mr Gilkes added that the chapel played a key role in the community of Wheelton dating back to 1842 and he believes they will have a quick sale.

He said: “We have had a lot of interest in the building and is in a great position with open fields and views into the countryside to Hoghton Tower.

“The grounds are a quite reasonable with grass verges to the left of the building, and it has been given planning permission to be kept as a residential property.

“We think one of the best features of the property is the beamed ceilings and ecclesiastial windows which will be kept by the new buyers as part of the plans.”

- If you can shed any light on the poster, or if your name was on the list of people christened at the chapel, then contact the Guardian on 01257 264911.