Wesley's Chapel

The Cathedral of World Methodism
The Foundery Chapel

Now known the world over as the cathedral of World Methodism, John Wesley described his chapel in London's City Road as "perfectly neat but not fine".

Wesley's Chapel was designed by the architect George Dance the Younger, surveyor to the City of London. It was built in 1778 by the builder Samuel Tooth, a class leader and local preacher, and was opened by Wesley that same year (on All Saints' day).Just over 100 years later, in 1899, it was rebuilt after a fire. John Wesley is buried in the little graveyard behind the chapel and commemorated by a statue (J A Acton, 1891) on the forecourt. Wesley's Chapel is situated just outside the City of London opposite Bunhill Fields, the famous nonconformist cemetery. The site of the chapel was previously a dump used for disposing of earth during the construction of St Paul's Cathedral.

The following are features of the Chapel:

  • The fine mahogany pulpit and Communion rail are original.

  • The original pillars supporting the gallery were ships' masts from the naval dockyard at Deptford, a gift to Wesley from King George the Third. They were replaced in 1891 by the present pillars of French jasper, the gift of various Methodist Churches overseas.

  • The Adam-style ceiling was reputed to be the widest unsupported ceiling in England at the time it was built. The present one is a replica, using casts from the original.

The Foundery Chapel

Entered from the main vestibule of Wesley's Chapel, this small chapel is named after John Wesley's first base in London - a former royal cannon foundry, the site of which is nearby. The chapel contains some of the simple wooden benches used in the original foundry. And here is Charles Wesley's single manual pipe organ, which both he and his two musically gifted sons played.

Museum of Methodism

The comprehensive Museum of Methodism in the crypt provides an excellent introduction to Methodism from Wesley to the present day. You can see one of the world's largest collections of Wesleyan ceramics and some of the finest Methodist paintings, together with many early Methodist artefacts. Throughout the year there are temporary exhibitions and special events to commemorate and celebrate Methodism past and present. Methodist involvement in social work, in politics and in education is represented here, as well as the ongoing life of the Church itself.


Wesley's Chapel is situated just outside the City of London opposite Bunhill Fields, the famous nonconformist cemetery.

Address: Wesley's Chapel Leysian Centre, 49 City Road, London EC1Y 1AU (tel 020 7253 2262, fax 020 7608 3825).

On foot: The public entrance to the complex including chapel, Museum of Methodism, John Wesley's House and John Wesley's tomb, is on City Road, EC1, just a few 100 yards from the junction with Old Street.

By car: There is virtually no scope for car parking in the area on weekdays, except for expensive meters. Parking is possible in side streets on Saturday afternoons and on Sundays.

By bus: The following buses pass along City Road and/or Old Street: 5, 43, 55, 76, 141, 214, 243, 271, 505.

By underground: Nearest underground stations: Old Street (Northern line, exit 4), Moorgate (Northern, Circle and Metropolitan lines), Liverpool Street (Central, Circle and Metropolitan lines).

By mainline rail: Old Street (Great Northern Electrics), Moorgate (Great Northern Electrics and City Thameslink), Liverpool Street (Great Eastern).


122 Golden Lane, London, EC1Y 0TL, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7251 8414 Fax: +44 (0)20 7251 8600

Information and pictures from -  the Methodist Recorder's web site

or their own site -  http://www.wesleyschapel.org.uk/welcome/index.htm

Visit the web site and find out more about John Wesley's House and the Museum of Methodism

Please see our Home Page for important copyright notice

Up Arrow


email logo






This site has been constructed by, and remains the copyright of, its authors,
Edwin and Sheila Macadam,

Shelwin, 30, Eynsham Road, Botley,
Oxford OX2 9BP
July 2001 -