Rechabite House

A semi-detached house in Pound Lane is named Rechabites.  This article explains why.  The Rechabites take their name from an Old Testament figure and were founded in 1835 to encourage total abstinence from all alcohol.

The earliest reference to a building on this site seems to be a Primitive Methodist chapel known as Mill Field chapel, listed in a city directory for 1888.  The area had been acquired in 1840 by William Cannon a Canterbury miller (1798-1876).  William’s daughter Mary married the artist Sidney Cooper on 19 March 1863; the artist later purchased some of William’s estate as a means of assisting his mother in law financially.

For nearly 100 years the building (both the modern houses) served as a chapel in a variety of ways:  Primitive Methodist (1888); Plymouth Brethren (1890s); Gospel Hall (1899); Rechabite Temperance Hall (1900-1950s); and Christadelphian Meeting House (1956-1970).

Conversion of the hall to two modern houses took place in 1974.

What to see:

  • the two modern houses (Image 1)
  • the house name plate (Image 2)
  • the property as it appeared in 1909 (Image 3)

Sources:  Westwood (1991) and Stewart (1983);  city directories;  also helpful information from current owner of the house.