Heptonstall Wesleyan Octagonal Chapel

HEPTONSTALL Wesleyan Octagonal Chapel

Methodism in Heptonstall began with the firebrand Scot William Darney. He founded many societies on both sides of the Pennines as he travelled, preaching as he went.
The Heptonstall “Darney Society” was visited by Charles and John Wesley in 1747. In these early days, Heptonstall had a preacher every sixth Sunday, with the travelling preachers receiving no stipend or allowance, eating where they could. John Wesley continued to visit Heptonstall and there were always immense crowds to hear him.
The society was so successful it was decided to build a chapel. The octagon shape was then fashionable for Methodist preaching houses, as it avoided conflict with the established church.
The building was finished in 1764. It was intended to hold 200 people, but by 1802 there were 337 members and over 1000 scholars. The solution was to knock down the far end of the chapel, lengthen the walls and rebuild it, preserving its octagonal shape.

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