London Borough of Islington
Greater London England
Postal Code: EC1
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Wesley's Chapel is a chapel in London which was built by the founder of Methodism, John Wesley. The site 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 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 chapel is set within a cobbled courtyard off City Road, with the chapel at the furthest end, and Wesley's own house on the right. The house is a well preserved example of a middle class eighteenth century home. It is Grade I listed, and Wesley's residence there for the last eleven years of his life is commemorated by a blue plaque on the City Road frontage.
Wesley's tomb is in the garden to the rear of the chapel, alongside the graves of six of his preachers, and those of his sister Martha Hall, and his doctor and biographer, Dr John Whitehead. A statue of Wesley with the inscription "the world is my parish" stands at the entrance to the courtyard.
The site also houses 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.
[text added by Geoffrey Gillon]