History of the Former Wesleyan Mission Chapel
The site in Winchelsea, formed allotments 5 and 6 as part of section 11 (comprising 4 roods) in the Parish of Lake Lake Wollard. In 1863, the land was gazetted in the name of the Primitive Methodist Church. It appears that a Wesleyan Chapel was constructed on the site soon after as the Geelong Advertiser newspaper on 15 May 1865 reported the existence of a Wesleyan Chapel and Day School. The Primitive Methodist cause appears to have failed to take hold in Winchelsea, as by 1867 Edward Carse had a established school in the building. It was in 1867 when the the building was described by the Geelong Advertiser as the "old Wesleyan Chapel", confirming the absence of the Primitive Methodists on the site. Carse appears to have operated the school in the Wesleyan Chapel until c.1876. The impending opening of the Winchelsea State School No. 2015 in Gosney Street in 1879 may have caused the demise of Carse's school.
An historical photograph of the former Wesleyan Mission Chapel in c.1872 shows the early design and extent of the building at that time. It comprised a steeply pitched and gabled stone wing, together with an intersecting gabled timber wing. These roof forms were clad in timber shingles and the building was accessed by a small gabled porch having a belfry above. The photograph also shows a timber picket fence, with Edward Carse and the pupils of his school in front.
In 1876-77, the Winchelsea Shire Rate Books list Almiger Richmond, builder, as the owner of 'stone and wooden buildings' on the site at 37 Austin Street, comprising the former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. No reference was made of Edward Carse, which suggests that his school had closed by this time. By 1879 -80, the property was occupied by Joseph Richmond, while Almiger continued ownership of it. By 1889 -90, Joseph Richmond had acquired the property.
It may have been around 1909-10 when William Farquharson had purchased the property that the original gabled timber wing of the former chapel was removed and replaced with the existing, smaller gabled wings with a bullnosed verandah between. The bullnosed form of the verandah and the timber fretwork verandah valance are indicative of Federation era design.
The former Wesleyan Mission Chapel in Winchelsea, has significance as one of only three known surviving mid 19th century chapel buildings surviving in the Surf Coast Shire.