great places to visit off the beaten path.
The Wesley Chapel, House and Museum are a complex of Georgian and Victorian buildings located in a fine Georgian courtyard near the financial district of London. These act as a focal point for the life of John Wesley – generally credited as the founder of the Methodist movement. As a leader, Wesley is recognized for his achievements in both prison reform and leading the abolitionist movement to end slavery.
The Chapel was built by John Wesley in 1777-1778 to replace his earlier Chapel, ‘The Foundery’. John Wesley is buried in the garden at the rear of the Chapel. The building itself is Grade I listed, and while it has been modernized over the years maintains many original features.
The Museum of Methodism opened in 1984 in the crypt of the Chapel. It tells the history of Methodism from its founding through to the present day. It also explores the influence and contribution it has made to British life. The museum holds one of the world’s largest collections of Wesleyan ceramics and some of the finest Methodist paintings. Visitors can step back in time and stand in Wesley’s original pulpit from The Foundery Chapel. There are also temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
Wesley’s House is one of London’s finest surviving examples of a small Georgian house. Built by Wesley in 1779, he lived here next to his Chapel for 12 years – mostly in the winter while not travelling to preach. The house also provided a home for the preachers of the Chapel, their families and servants. Visiting his house allows you to visualize the day to day running of a small Georgian town house of that era. The house contains many of John Wesley’s belongings and furniture, including his electrical machine and his study chair. His small Prayer Room is considered by Methodists all over the world to be the Power House of Methodism.
All buildings are open daily (generally 10-4 Mon-Sat, shorter hours on Sunday) – check their website for specific details and information: www.wesleyschapel.org.uk
Located at: 49 City Road, London EC1Y 1AU
Closest tube: Old Street