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The Warren and Eliza Griggs

by | Aug 12, 2021 | Exodus | 2 comments

With many thanks to Denise from Australia who has been so inspired by the Exodus exhibition that she has been doing some research of her own!

A little bit of history of Marrickville where Eliza Griggs (nee Woods) and her husband lived, late 1890’s

It seems that many families who emigrated to Australia from Chrishall were of the Primitive Methodist faith. This included my 4th great grandparents Joseph and Mary Pitches who settled in Moonee Ponds Melbourne Victoria.

There were others of course, but of particular interest to me is Eliza Griggs (nee Woods) who with her husband, settled in a place called The Warren which was in Marrickville, now an inner city suburb of Sydney NSW. I grew up in Marrickville and we always knew The Warren as a small selection of shops of the top of a hill, not far from where I lived. I didn’t know anything of the history of The Warren but was delighted to discover that The Warren Methodist Church was situated opposite and across a road from where I lived as a child. This church was built in 1907 and demolished in 1972. I lived in Marrickville from 1945- 1963 when I left home to study to be a teacher.

The following quotes are taken from a book written about the church on the corner of Illawarra Road and Warren Road, called the Roseby Memorial Church (originally the Congregational Church): ‘A Cloud of Witnesses’ – A Guide to Roseby Memorial Church Marrickville by R. Wesley Hartley. 1978.

“The first denomination to be officially active in Marrickville was the Primitive Methodist Church. Services began in the mid-1850s, the preaching place being known as “Bentley’s Brickyards”.

“In 1860 a chapel was built in Chapel Street. Another Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in Renwick Street on the The Warren Estate in 1885.”

“A new church was built on the corner of Illawarra Road and Warburton Street in 1907. This was called The Warren Methodist Church and replaced the Renwick Street Chapel which was then sold. Another Methodist Church was located in Wardell Road near Cooks River. A small wooden building, it was bought in 1911. When it was sold in 1969 the congregation joined The Warren Church. Old Marrickville had been sold in 1967 and this congregation also became part of The Warren Church. Finally, The Warren Church was sold in 1972.”

“Following a period of co-operation, including joint worship, between the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in Marrickville the Marrickville Joint Parish was constituted in 1971. The congregations of Roseby Memorial Congregational Church, The Warren Methodist Church and St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church then formed a single congregation meeting within Roseby Memorial Church. This arrangement continued until 1977 when the Uniting Church was inaugurated. The Uniting-Church Parish of Marrickville was formed with one congregation, Roseby Memorial Church.”

The first link below has information about the history of the Church of Christ faith in Marrickville but also has an introduction about the Primitive Methodist faith. If you scroll down, you will find a photo of The Warren Methodist Church, 346 Illawarra Road on the corner of Warburton Street Marrickville. Next to the photo of the church is what is standing in that location now.

I have also included two other links for those who might be interested. You can find information about The Warren on both sites. I noticed that the first site mentions that Marrickville Station is only 7.6 metres above sea level. My parents lived in Station Street Marrickville for over forty years and I grew up there.


Written by Denise Ewin, 4th great granddaughter of Joseph and Mary Pitches






  1. Rod Aanensen

    Hello Chrishall from Marrickville, New South Wales. Thank you for publishing the links to our website, it is great to make connections back to the lands of Marrickville settlers. People who followed the Primitive Methodist faith played a significant part in the early days of the establishment of Marrickville. Their chapel was the first to be built on Chapel Street, which was named after it, and the chapel was used as the first school house in Marrickville. Chapel street was the main street of Marrickville in it’s infancy. A big hello to Denise, a Marrickvillian in exile, we would love to see you again.

    • Rosemarie Gant

      Hello Rod – thank you so much for your comment – good to be linked!


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