Wesley's Chapel

Coordinates: 51°31′25″N 0°5′13″W / 51.52361°N 0.08694°W / 51.52361; -0.08694

Wesley's Chapel is a chapel in London which was built by the founder of Methodism, John Wesley. The site also is now both a place of worship and a visitor attraction, incorporating the Museum of Methodism and John Wesley's House. The chapel was opened in 1778 to replace John Wesley's earlier London chapel, The Foundery.

In 1776 John Wesley applied to the City of London for a site to build his new chapel and was granted an area of land on City Road, London. After raising considerable funds the foundation stone for the new chapel was laid on 21 April 1777. The architect of his new chapel was George Dance the Younger, surveyor to the City of London. It was built by Samuel Tooth who was a member of the Foundery Chapel. The opening service was on All Saints' Day, 1778.


The building has Grade 1 listed status and is a fine example of Georgian architecture. However, the building has seen a number of changes over the years. Originally the chapel had no stained glass and no organ. In 1864 the gallery was modernised, with the front being lowered and raked seating was installed. The original pillar supporting the gallery were ships' masts donated from George III. In 1891 these pillars were replaced by French jasper pillars donated from Methodist Churches overseas.

The site also house one of the few surviving examples of a Gentleman's Convenience built by the renowned sanitary engineer, Josiah George Jennings, in 1891 and restored in 1972.

The site

John Wesley also built a house for himself next to the chapel. He lived in the house, which is also Grade I listed, for the last eleven years of his life. He died there on 2 March 1791 and was buried at the chapel a week later. His tomb is in the garden to the rear of the chapel, where he is buried with six of his preachers, his sister Martha Hall and his doctor and biographer, Dr John Whitehead. The house is well preserved example of a middle class eighteenth century home.

Museum of Methodism

The Museum of Methodism is also housed in the crypt of Wesley's Chapel. It contains artefacts and relics relating to Methodism including several of Wesley's speeches and essays on theology.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com