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18 Oct 2018 85 views
 
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LOUGHWOOD

 

 

 

Loughwood Meeting House is a historic Baptist chapel, 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the village of Dalwood, Devon in England. There was a meeting house on this site in 1653, although the current building may date from the late 17th century or early 18th century. It is one of the earliest surviving Baptist meeting houses. Since 1969 it has been owned by the National Trust. English Heritage have designated it a Grade II* listed building.

The meeting house was founded by the Baptists of Kilmington, Devon, a village 1 mile (1.6 km) away to the southeast. Prior to the Act of Toleration 1689, the meeting house was illegal, but its location made it suitable as a refuge. It was built into a hillside, at that time surrounded by woodland and accessible only by narrow paths. Furthermore, it lay within a detached outlier of the county of Dorset, as the parish of Dalwood belonged to Dorset until 1842. From the outside it resembled a farm-worker's cottage apart from the gravestones surrounding it. It is still used for worship twice a year by the congregation of nearby Kilmington Baptist Church.

The building is of stone rubble with buttresses and a thatched roof. The interior dates from the mid 18th century to early 19th century. The interior is set up as a preacher's house with a high pulpit at the centre front. On the left are box pews at right angles to the wall, and on the right some are square pews and the others are parallel with the wall. The musicians sat in the front pews of the gallery where they had their music rests. A notch in the floor was used for the foot of the bass viol. Two small rooms at the back of the meeting house were used for cooking the midday meal when the congregation met on Sundays for the entire day. Outside is the graveyard, the first interment being in 1659, and in the corner of the graveyard is a stable for the horses of those members who had come from far afield. There was also a baptismal pool.

The earliest records go back to 1653, but the church had been in existence for some time before that. Two of the earliest members were John Vernon and William Allen who had been part of the victorious Parliamentary forces under General Fairfax in the English Civil War in 1645. Other early members had escaped from France, mostly being Huguenots, and because their names were difficult to pronounce, were known as "French". This remains a common surname among church members and in the vicinity.[

LOUGHWOOD

 

 

 

Loughwood Meeting House is a historic Baptist chapel, 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the village of Dalwood, Devon in England. There was a meeting house on this site in 1653, although the current building may date from the late 17th century or early 18th century. It is one of the earliest surviving Baptist meeting houses. Since 1969 it has been owned by the National Trust. English Heritage have designated it a Grade II* listed building.

The meeting house was founded by the Baptists of Kilmington, Devon, a village 1 mile (1.6 km) away to the southeast. Prior to the Act of Toleration 1689, the meeting house was illegal, but its location made it suitable as a refuge. It was built into a hillside, at that time surrounded by woodland and accessible only by narrow paths. Furthermore, it lay within a detached outlier of the county of Dorset, as the parish of Dalwood belonged to Dorset until 1842. From the outside it resembled a farm-worker's cottage apart from the gravestones surrounding it. It is still used for worship twice a year by the congregation of nearby Kilmington Baptist Church.

The building is of stone rubble with buttresses and a thatched roof. The interior dates from the mid 18th century to early 19th century. The interior is set up as a preacher's house with a high pulpit at the centre front. On the left are box pews at right angles to the wall, and on the right some are square pews and the others are parallel with the wall. The musicians sat in the front pews of the gallery where they had their music rests. A notch in the floor was used for the foot of the bass viol. Two small rooms at the back of the meeting house were used for cooking the midday meal when the congregation met on Sundays for the entire day. Outside is the graveyard, the first interment being in 1659, and in the corner of the graveyard is a stable for the horses of those members who had come from far afield. There was also a baptismal pool.

The earliest records go back to 1653, but the church had been in existence for some time before that. Two of the earliest members were John Vernon and William Allen who had been part of the victorious Parliamentary forces under General Fairfax in the English Civil War in 1645. Other early members had escaped from France, mostly being Huguenots, and because their names were difficult to pronounce, were known as "French". This remains a common surname among church members and in the vicinity.[

comments (18)

Nice. Like these shots.
Some classic history smile
Chris: Discovered by me a week or so ago on a day out Rob. You never know what's out there until you look..
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 18 Oct 2018, 02:28
I am impressed by their collection of Standing Stones, Chris.
Chris: Good aren't they
Joli toit de chaume.
Chris: Yes - quite unusual really Martine
Très originale cette architecture avec ce toit de chaume , l'interieur de cette chapelle doit être tout aussi interessant
Bonne journée
Chris: I will post an interior picture one day Claudine
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 18 Oct 2018, 07:11
A lovely little Baptist meeting house - it is as if it is looking at me with its two eyes. Could you visit the interieur?
Chris: Yes you can go inside Philine. I will post a picture when there is an available space
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 18 Oct 2018, 07:39
Thank you for this, and for the interesting commentary. What a survival, and how well it is cared for. Will you be showing the interior?
Chris: Yes I will Lisl
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 18 Oct 2018, 07:57
I. Just seek this out when I am next travelling in the area Tiff. You know, Seek and ye shall find.
Chris: I saught and was peppered with success Chad
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 18 Oct 2018, 08:00
An interesting read of fascinating little building. It appears to have a face with the two eyes formed by the windows and the shame of the brick flues.
Chris: I think you need to lie down
A fine old building and interesting narrative
Chris: Thank you Martin
I guess the garden is not terraced for growing vegetables then.
Chris: Not vegetables Mary..
Nicely shot from this angle, Chris. You not only get to see the Baptist chapel & graveyard but a bit of the surrounding countryside as well.
Chris: Indeed so Bev. The place is set in fine rolling countryside
  • Anne
  • United Kingdom
  • 18 Oct 2018, 15:07
What a wonderful building - thank you for the information, are we going to be able to see inside?
Chris: Yes we will do so Anne
What a delightful chapel and such a long history.
Chris: Luckily and happily it is preserved
what a wonderful old church / meeting hall Cris... it has undergone much restoration over the years....petersmile
Chris: And now is preserved for posterity
I have never heard of the place and must look it up in my NT guide
Chris: Yes you must, I think it's called Loughwood Meeting House.
Those tombstones do look ancient...
Chris: Everything is Frank, including the person who took the snap..
A sturdy building that has withstood the test of time!
Chris: And with any luck will continue to do so Tom
Wonderful history... and I love it's "face"!
Chris: Yes it does have a face..

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