The New Room - The Horsefair, Bristol, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 27.492 W 002° 35.427
30U E 528453 N 5700860
Quick Description: This chapel, known as The New Room was built by John Wesley in 1739 and was his first chapel and dwelling house. It is also the oldest methodist chapel in the world. The building extends from The Horsefair through to Broadmead.
Location: South West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/13/2019 11:04:03 AM
Waymark Code: WM11RZZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member wayfrog
Views: 15

Long Description:

On the Broadmead side of the building, a stone plaque is set into the wall that reads:

John Wesley's
First Chapel
Dwelling House

Close by, a bronze plaque carries the words:

This chapel was built by
John Wesley
AD 1739
and know as the
New Room in The Horsefair.
He rebuilt and enlarged it
AD 1748.

It was acquired for the use of
The Welsh Calvinistic
Methodist church
AD 1808:
repurchased and restored
by private benefaction
AD 1929:
given to the
Wesleyan Methodist Church
and re-opened
13th Febriary 1930.

Wikipedia has an article about The New Room that tells us:

The New Room is a historic building in Broadmead, Bristol, England.

It was built in 1739 by John Wesley and is the oldest Methodist chapel in the world. Above the chapel are the rooms in which Wesley and other preachers stayed. The chapel includes a double decker pulpit, which was common at the time, and an octagonal lantern window to reduce the amount paid in Window tax. In addition to meetings and worship, the New Room was used as a dispensary and schoolroom for the poor people of the area. The pews and benches were made from old ship timber. The Baldwin and Nicholas Street Methodist groups combined to form the United Society, which met at the New Room from 3 June 1739. Wesley insisted that meetings at the New Room should only be held outside of Anglican church hours as he wanted Methodism to complement rather than compete with Anglican worship.

The courtyards around the building contain statues of John Wesley and his brother Charles.

In 1748 it was extended, possibly by the Quaker George Tully because of the stylistic similarities with the Friends' Meeting House at Quakers Friars of the same period. Wesley believed that liturgical worship should be carried out in churches, and only reluctantly allowed the enlarged New Room to comply with the Toleration Act of 1689 making it a formal place of worship. John Wesley lived at the New Room from 1748 to 1771 and administered sacrament there when his brother Charles Wesley was away. Wesley added to the Methodist offer in Bristol by selling his published works from a bookstore in the New Room. Analysis of the complete printed output of Bristol between 1695 and 1775 shows that over half was written by Methodists. After Wesley's death the property passed into the hands of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists. In 1929 it was given back to the Methodist Church.

The John Snetzler Chamber Organ of 1761 is a 20th-century addition following the restoration of the building in 1929 by Sir George Oatley.

It has been designated by Historic England as a grade I listed building, and is the only piece of land in Broadmead for which the freehold has not been bought by Bristol City Council during expansion after World War II.

A garden in the Broadmead Courtyard was opened on 24 May 2011 by the Lord Mayor of Bristol. This was followed by the opening of the Horsefair Visitor Centre on 13 July 2017 by the Duke of Gloucester. The new facilities include a cafe, library and archive and conference and education facilities plus an expanded museum in the preachers' rooms above the chapel.

The New Room The Horsefair Bristol Avon United Kingdom

Worship services:
Friday: 1pm

Wesleyan District: Unknown

Church's web site: [Web Link]

Date building was constructed: 1739

Date church was organized: 1739

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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BRISTOLIAN visited The New Room - The Horsefair, Bristol, UK 3/28/2021 BRISTOLIAN visited it