Old Street, London

Wesley's Chapel, Old Street, London

In 1778 John Wesley had a Chapel built close to his ad hoc previous chapel, The Foundary, which stood approximately 200 yards from here. The architect George Dance the Younger was employed to design the building. At this time Dance was surveyor to the City of London and thus a very high profile choice.

Wesley called the Chapel “perfectly near but not fine” which is probably his way of remaining humble as the Chapel is considered to be one of the finest Georgian religious structures in London.

In 1891 the Chapel was rebuilt inside using marble pillars from Methodist Churches around the globe to replace the original wooden ones. New pews were added and stained glass was placed into the windows.

Sadly by 1972 the Chapel was structurally unsound and had to be closed. The next six years were spent raising close to £1 million to stop the Chapel being demolished and to repair. With great ceremony 1 November 1978 was chosen to re-open the Chapel – precisely 200 years after Wesley first opened it.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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