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John Wesley's New Room

Bristol, South-West England & The Channel Islands

Facilities

Garden

An oasis of calm in the middle of the city centre, the Broadmead Courtyard is a suitable place for eating sandwiches.

Parking

For SatNav use postcode BS1 3JE. There are excellent road links from the M5, M4 and M32 into Broadmead and over 10,000 parking spaces within easy walking distance of the New Room. The nearest car park is The Galleries Bristol which has the postcode BS1 3DQ. Alternatively, the next nearest car park is Cabot Circus Bristol which has the postcode BS2 9AB. The nearest coach parking location Bond Street South (set down/pick up).c

Café on site

Enjoy delicious homemade cakes, a wide selection of drinks, light lunches and afternoon teas*. Open Monday - Saturday, 10am-4pm *Afternoon teas pre-book only

Shop

Visit our shop for gifts and books inspired by the Wesley family, supporting independent, local authors and artists. There is also a vast range of second-hand books for you to browse.

Toilets available

Toilet facilities are located on Level 1 and include one disabled toilet, one ambulant toilet and there is a baby changing facility.

Access issues

The visitors centre, including café is fully accessible with lift access to upper floors. The museum is partially accessible, although there is no disabled access to the chapel gallery due to the 18th century stairs. For further information visit the John Wesley's New Room website.

Chapel

Admission Chapel: Free, donations welcome.

Museum

Admission Museum: Adult £7/Senior (over 65) £6/Student £6/Child (5-16) £4/Child under 5 free.

Grade I listed
Library

Extensive 8,000 volume library.

Also nearby

Visitors to John Wesley’s New Room may also enjoy visiting Charles Wesley's House. Currently the house is open only for pre-booked groups (of ten or more people). For advance group bookings, please contact info@newroombristol.org.uk. Those wishing to visit individually can register their interest on the form here. The house is also within walking distance of Charles and Sarah Wesley’s children's grave in the old St James' churchyard. John Wesley's New Room is located in the heart of Broadmead, also known as Bristol Shopping Quarter in the centre of Bristol. Centrally located, it is surrounded by Bristol's amenities, riverside restaurants and cafes and other attractions, including Brunel's ship, SS Great Britain, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Castle Park with its Medieval ruins, We the Curious (science museum) and many interesting places of worship including Bristol Cathedral.

JWNR chapel
Photo credit: John Wesley's New Room

About

John Wesley's New Room

John Wesley’s New Room is a vibrant heritage site with a contemporary visitor centre and 18th century chapel. Located in Bristol’s Shopping Quarter, it a place to learn and explore, providing a space of reflection, curiosity and enjoyment for all.

It is a space that brings to life the story and legacy of the Wesleys. Stand in the pulpit where John and Charles Wesley preached. Explore the preachers rooms where early Methodists gathered for Bible study and prayer. Discover the story of early Methodism, its expansion nationwide and internationally. Find out how the community here played a vital role in providing healthcare and education for those in need and how John Wesley took a stand against slavery. John Wesley’s New Room is often referred to as the ‘Cradle of Methodism’, it is the oldest Methodist building in the world.

The Broadmead Courtyard at the front of the New Room has been described as an oasis in the heart of the city. It contains Wesley’s stable and the world-famous statue of him on horseback. The equally iconic statue of Charles Wesley graces its Horsefair entrance.

John Wesley’s New Room offers group and school visits, along with providing a range of venue hire opportunities. The events programme includes a variety of family activities, musical performances, and exhibitions. It has one of the best reference libraries on Methodist history in the country. Researchers can make use of this facility by prior arrangement. Every Friday a Communion service takes place in the chapel.


Early Beginnings

In 1739 George Whitefield invited John Wesley to preach in the open-air in Bristol. John accepted the invitation and began preaching to miners in Kingswood, 4 miles from the centre of Bristol. Within a few weeks work started on building a meeting place for two religious societies in the city. The building was put up in such haste that 9 years later in 1748 a ‘New Room’ was needed, adding an upper floor in order to accommodate visiting preachers’ bedrooms and a common room around a beautiful octagonal window.

Being well placed in the heart of the city, the New Room became a centre for the Wesleys’ work in Bristol. It was where John’s strong sense of social justice was first expressed. The New Room became a base for running a school for the poor, for providing food and clothes to the needy, for offering free medical care to the sick, and for helping those in the nearby prison. It was also the first place to use John Wesley’s ‘class’ system, where members were divided into sub-groups for mutual support and development.

The New Room was one of John Wesley’s three key centres. Many of the annual conferences were held there, including the one that first created Methodist circuits. Bristol’s trading links encouraged the growth of American Methodism. Thomas Webb, Francis Asbury, and others committed themselves to working there and sailed from nearby Pill. It was in Bristol that Wesley ordained some lay preachers in 1786 to become clergy in America and the New Room was a launching pad for his anti-slavery campaign.


Inside the museum...

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John Wesleys Broadmead Courtyard YT cover

Inside the chapel...

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Photo credit: John Wesley's New Room
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C Wesley House

Home of Charles Wesley

Home of Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley and widely regarded as the world’s greatest hymn writer. He used this house on his visits to Bristol until at least 1782.

5-Shillings

Latest Exhibition

Opening 1 May 2024.
How 5 Shillings, Faith and Belief inspired the Beginning of the Probation Service

Folk at JWNR

Upcoming Event

From creative workshops to an evening of music, there is always a busy schedule of events. Click the link below to see upcoming events.

JWNR chapel

A fascinating chapel steeped in history and a museum, suitable for all ages and families. There are plenty of interactive exhibits, including dressing up and the museum is engaging for both young and old. The café is also well worth a visit and serves delicious home made cakes, soups and sandwiches. A super hidden gem in the centre of Bristol.

Visitor to John Wesley's New Room
Photo credit: John Wesley's New Room

Consult the opening times to arrange your visit to the museum and chapel via the link below.