Monday, 2 July 2012

Wesley's House & Chapel - City Rd EC1

Why, in 13 years of living in London, had I never stumbled across the lovely Wesley's Chapel in City Road?  It was only after leaving Salvation Jane and deciding I fancied a meander through the City (I love the City on weekends - no people!) that I found it.  A statue of John Wesley guards the entrance and behind it is the imposing Chapel.  I had a look inside and it was all very grand and Georgian.  I felt bad skipping the museum (the rather earnest woman on duty
 did look a little disappointed) but I spent some time looking round the grounds and as a big fan of Georgian architecture, I was particularly taken with this fine specimen to the right of the Chapel entrance.  I realised I knew very little about John Wesley and to be honest, having skipped the museum I didn't know much more when I left but my post visit research has told me that in the 18th century, John Wesley was an Anglican evangelist who eventually led the split from the Anglicans to form the Methodist Church.  You can read more about him and the Chapel, Museum and Wesley's House here if you are so inclined.  Exiting the Chapel ground and heading across the road I discovered another hitherto unknown (to me at least) gem, Bunhill Fields, a rather lovely old cemetery, used to bury "Non-conformists" (not only non Christians but at that time, also non-Anglicans, like our friends across the road) from the late 17th to the middle of the 19th Century.  On a sunny Saturday, Bunhill Fields was a calm oasis from the rather unlovely City Road and I was treated to several colourful jays flying around (one pictured below) and possibly the most confident and pushy squirrel I have ever encountered.  I'm sure during the week this place must be a popular lunch spot for nearby workers, but on this visit I had it almost to myself and it felt quite special.

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