Epworth Old Rectory

Epworth Old Rectory
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Welcome to Epworth Old Rectory. A visit to this impressive grade 1 listed Queen Anne building set in beautiful gardens will transport you back into early 18th century life and introduce you to the remarkable family who lived here.

This is the home in which the rector of St. Andrew's Parish Epworth, Samuel Wesley, and his wife Susanna brought up their sons John and Charles Wesley (the founders of Methodism)and their eight brothers and sisters in their childhood years. As you tour the Old Rectory under the guidance of one of our trained guides you will see how people lived in the early 1700s: come through the front door into the impressive entrance hall, visit Samuel's study and Susanna's kitchen, enjoy the space of the family drawing room, see the family bedrooms and then spend some time in the peaceful gardens.

The history of 18th century England will be brought to life, and you will learn about the huge influence the Wesleys had on it. John was not only a preacher and writer, but was active in many social spheres ranging from prisons to slavery, from education to herbal medicines. His brother Charles was the greatest of English hymn writers, many of whose 7,000 hymns are still popular today.

There's plenty for all the family at Epworth, so step back in history and experience the gentle tranquillity of this Lincolnshire town and its Old Rectory which brought to birth such an amazing family.

Venue Type:

Museum, Sacred space, Historic house or home

Opening hours

March, April, and October
Tues-Sat and Bank Holiday Mondays 10.30am-3.30pm
May to September
Tues-Sat and Bank Holiday Mondays 10am-4.30pm

Closed: November 1st to February 28th/29th each year, apart from for special events

Admission charges

Please see our website for up-to-date admissions charges

Additional info

We have a regular programme of special events. See http://www.epwortholdrectory.org.uk/events.php for the latest information on events.

Portraits of the Wesley Family, both ancient and modern.
Oil paintings of scenes relating to the Wesleys and their histories and to the history of Epworth Old Rectory.
Prints of scenes from the lives of the Wesleys and the house.
Ceramics - including church crockery, commeorative church plates from around the world, busts of the Wesleys and other significant early Methodist people, statues, the wedgewood teapot designed for John Wesley.
Furniture dating from 1650 to 1790, and a few Victorian pieces. Some has claimed provenance to the Wesley family, including the Wesley sideboard and John Wesley's travelling clock.
Textiles - an eighteenth century patchwork quilt, some Victorian Christening gowns and a Turkish habit reputed to have been worn by a Turkish man baptised by John Wesley.
Books and letters - original Wesley letters and a variety of books some of which are early and contain signatures of the Wesley family.

Collection details

Social History, Religion, Personalities, Music, Literature, Fine Art, Costume and Textiles

Key artists and exhibits

  • Lily portait of Charles Wesley by Thomas Hudson
  • John Jackson portrait of John Wesley
  • Portrait of Susanna Wesley - Anon - mid 18th century - London School
  • John Wesley's travelling clock
  • Micrography portrait of John Wesley by Louis Gluck Rosenthal
  • Quilt owned by the Bolton sisters of Witney
  • The Wesley sideboard
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days: Epworth Old Rectory

  • 12 September 2015

Welcome to this family home... Epworth Old Rectory, a Queen Anne rectory built in 1709, was the home to Samuel and Susanna Wesley and their remarkable family. It was within the walls of this home that the seeds of Methodism were first sown - a movement that changed the face of 18th century Britain and spread world wide.

Whilst here you can explore the rooms of the wonderful house, furnished with fine period furniture and portrait
, many of whom once belonged to John Wesley. Our experienced guides will bring the house to life and help you discover the stories of this amazing family..

The house is surrounded by a beautiful garden were our visitors can stroll, enjoying the tranquility of a typical English country garden. John Wesley, back in the 18th century, grew medicinal plants and used herbal remedies to help people who couldn't afford professional medical care. He meticulously described what plants he used and what ailments they treated in his book 'The Primitive Physic', from this book we have replicated his 'Physic Garden'.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Epworth Old Rectory new Schools' Programme


A day of activities for a class (30 children) of years 4 and 5 primary school children. In groups of 10, they experience a costumed home-school lesson in Susanna Wesley's kitchen, an interactive guided tour, and one other activity chosen in advance by the school. The choices are : 'garden detectives', 'shock pots and loving cups', and 'learning about portraits'.


  • Claire Potter (Epworth Old Rectory Development Manager) in conjunction with the history coordinators from Epworth Primary School and Scunthorpe C of E Primary School, made possible through a MLA Learning Links grant.


  • Epworth Old Rectory (Produced in-house)


  • Only available in English at present

How to obtain

Forms can be downloaded through the website.
By telephoning 01427 872268 and asking for a schools pack to be sent to you.
Packs are free to schools and teachers. The day costs £2 per pupil. 3 accompanying adults are free. Additional adults are charged £5 per head.

Epworth Old Rectory
1 Rectory Street

logo: Heritage Open Days 2014






01427 872268

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.