Boston Centenary Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Lincolnshire

The impressive façade
Photo: D Secker

The first Wesleyan chapel in Boston was that of 1764, situated in Wormgate. It opened after one of John Wesley’s visits to the town.

A second chapel opened in 1808 on Red Lion Street. This seated 770 and was enlarged in 1818 to accommodate some 1100 congregants.

The third chapel, on the same plot, was built in 1839 and dedicated the following year – from 1849 a Wesleyan day school, with paid master, functioned from this site. The chapel, designed by John Marshall and built by W Greenfield, seated 1700.

Fire completely gutted the building in 1909 – a full report with pictures can be found in the newspaper listed below.

The structure was rebuilt and ready for use by 1911. Designs were by Gordon & Gunton, and the construction by Castle & Sons of Clapton. The cost was in the region of £12,000. It was opened in the presence of the President of the Wesleyan Conference, the Rev John Hornabrook.

Of Portland stone, the arresting two-storey convex front with columns has, at either end, square towers some 80 feet in height. Behind the façade, the edifice consists mainly of brick. The interior has a gallery to three sides, and the seating capacity of both floors combined is estimated at 1100.

This building would not look out of place in a city (Pevsner called it “somewhat megalomaniac”). For long it has been the equivalent of a cathedral to the numerous (and now not so numerous) chapels in the Boston area.

It remains open for worship, social activities and concerts.

Sources include
Wesleyan Chapels in 1812 (from Myers, W pub 1813)
Wesleyan Returns of Accommodation 1873
Boston Guardian 3rd July 1909
Buildings of England (Pevsner, N pub 1962)

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