Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission, John Wesley’s House and the Museum of Methodism
Close to ‘the City’ of London, Wesley’s Chapel was built by John Wesley in 1778 as his London base, and replaced his original London chapel, the Foundery (the site of which is commemorated by a wall plaque just 50m away).
Today, Wesley’s Chapel is considered by many as ‘The Mother Church of World Methodism’ and has a thriving, cosmopolitan congregation.
This ‘cathedral’ of Methodism features Victorian stained glass and a baptismal font dating from 1891. Charles Wesley’s organ is in the ‘new’ Foundery Chapel, while a pulpit and some pews from the ‘old’ Foundery are on display and a memorial to Susanna Wesley stands just inside the gate. Her grave is to be found in Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, opposite the Chapel.
Wesley’s house is one of two built on this site a year after the chapel to house John Wesley and his servants, and visiting preachers and their families. The house is not only a rare example of a Georgian townhouse, but inside has been refurbished to show day-to-day life in Wesley’s time.
Many of John Wesley’s belongings are on display and give insights into his travels and his interests, such as the developments in medicine that he used in his ministry. In the study, visitors can find his personal library collection, where the books bear his signature, and his electricity generator, which he used to treat depression.
John Wesley died in this house in 1791 and his tomb, together with the grave of one of his sisters, can be found in the graveyard behind the chapel, which is now a peaceful garden.
The Museum of Methodism (located in the crypt of Wesley’s Chapel) tells the story of Methodism from the 18th to 20th centuries and explores the wide role the movement has played in British social and political history.
Additional visitor information
The Friends of Wesley’s Chapel
49 City Road
Getting there [TQ328822]