Portland Baptist Church, which formerly stood on Portland Terrace opposite Ogle Road, was built in 1840 and opened in 1841. It was built of yellow brick; the pilasters, cornices, etc. were of stone and cement. A virtual rebuild in 1859 by local architects William Hinves and Alfred Bedborough left only portions of the original front wall and one of the side walls standing.

Initially, the church struggled to attract a congregation and in 1846 had only 20 members. In that year Alexander McLarren, originally from Glasgow, became its minister and its fortunes and congregation improved. McLarren became a popular preacher and lecturer in the town before moving to Manchester in 1858. The chapel celebrated its centenary in October 1940 but within a few weeks was bombed during the Blitz (image 2). It was demolished soon after.

1. Portland Baptist Chapel

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Detail from a postcard, c.1920

2. Portland Baptist Chapel

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The front of the chapel in 1941 after destruction by bombing.


Further reading:

History of Southampton, by Rev. J. S. Davies, p431. (HS/h)
For Alexander McLarren – Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004, Volume 35.


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