Exford Wesleyan Methodist Chapel

DEVON Exford Wesleyan Methodist chapel
DEVON Exford Wesleyan Methodist chapel Sorry it’s not in colour

Exford Wesleyan Methodist chapel (now converted to private use) featured two stained glass windows of brilliant winged angels, holding string instruments and arrayed in scarlet gowns and orange stoles. The windows were made in William Morris’ workshop in 1880 to designs by Edward Burne-Jones and placed in Marylebone chapel. Years later they were acquired by the composer Cyril Scott, who lived in Exford during the Second World War, and he presented them to the chapel in memory of two close friends – Holland-Scott, Professor at Durham School who died at Lynmouth, and Bertram Binyon, the singer (brother of the poet Laurence Binyon), who is buried at Dulverton. A Porlock builder installed the windows.

In 1967 a small black board was fixed to the outside of the chapel stating THIS CHAPEL CONTAINS TWO BURNE-JONES WINDOWS. Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones was a 19th Century pre-Raphaelite. The windows were seven feet tall and completely dominated the little chapel. They were donated by Cyril Scott, a wealthy composer of music who lived in Exford during the Second World War and now lived in Eastbourne in his old age. The windows commemorated his two friends, Mr T Holland Smith and Mr Bertram Binyon, neither of whom was known locally. They were mounted in Ham Hill stone frames. The chapel also contained two large engravings from paintings by Herbert Schmalz dated 1891, named “The Return from Calvary” and “The Resurrection Morn”. The ceiling was of white-painted planks and had black iron hooks for oil lamps and there was a tiny Victorian pulpit with gilded cast iron scrolls.

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