MSO10319 - Methodist Chapel, Chapel Street, Exford (Building)


The former Wesleyan chapel was opened in 1838. It contained two stained glass windows featuring two angels created by Edward Burne-Jones, the 19th Century pre-Raphaelite painter, given to the chapel by Cyril Scott in 1949.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A former Wesleyan chapel, opened 1838. The building had plain rendered walls with two round-arched windows to front and back. The glass in the rear windows featured a pair of angels playing musical instruments. These dated to c.1890 and were Edward Burne-Jones. The glass had come from a chapel in London and was reset in Exford in 1949. The chapel was closed in 1979 and the glass removed. [1] The building appears to have been demolished. [2] Originally Methodist meetings in Exford were held in the house of W Adams in 1811 and two years later regular services were maintained by the Reverends E Chapman and T Dodd. They were eventually discontinued due to poor response and the bad roads leading to the village. Mr O Lock, an agent for John Knight of Simonsbath, opened his house at Higher Mill for meetings in 1820 but these stopped after three years. About 1835 he tried again and in 1838 the present chapel was built in the centre of the village near the river Exe. The plot was purchased from James Moor for a peppercorn rent. A small vestibule leads into this typical country chapel of unadorned walls, rows of benches and preaching platform. It contains two long narrow windows on the right hand side featuring two angels created by Edward Burne-Jones, the 19th Century pre-Raphaelite painter. They were given to the chapel in memory of two friends by Cyril Scott, a wealthy musical composer and author, who stayed at Exford during World War Two. The chapel was badly damaged in the 1952 floods but was restored with aid from the Devon and Somerset Relief Fund. [3] This building was originally mapped at SS 8533 3837 on the HER. A review of available sources shows that the building concerned is actually sited at SS 8530 3837 (across the road) and it is still extant. The record has been remapped to reflect this information. [3,4,5] Former Methodist Chapel, 1838, stuccoed. [6] The church is no longer used but the building remains. It was known to possess two stained glass windows by Burne-Jones unveiled in 1949. The building still retains its round headed arched windows, quite frequently found in Methodist halls. It has been converted to a dining area for the adjoining Exmoor Guest House. [7] The building is shown on the Exford Tithe Map and labelled 1200. The accompanying Apportionment describes the building as the Wesleyan Chapel, owned and occupied by the Wesleyan Society. [8] The building can also be seen on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map. It is labelled as "Methodist Chapel (Wesleyan)". [9] The Methodist chapel (now converted to private use) featured two stained glass windows of brilliant winged angels, holding string instruments and arrayed in scarlet gowns and orange stoles. The windows were made in William Morris' workshop in 1880 to designs by Edward Burne-Jones and placed in Marylebone chapel. Years later they were acquired by the composer Cyril Scott, who lived in Exford during the Second World War, and he presented them to the chapel in memory of two close friends - Holland-Scott, Professor at Durham School who died at Lynmouth, and Bertram Binyon, the singer (brother of the poet Laurence Binyon), who is buried at Dulverton. A Porlock builder installed the windows. [10] In 1967 a small black board was fixed to the outside of the chapel stating THIS CHAPEL CONTAINS TWO BURNE-JONES WINDOWS. Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones was a 19th Century pre-Raphaelite. The windows were seven feet tall and completely dominated the little chapel. They were donated by Cyril Scott, a wealthy composer of music who lived in Exford during the Second World War and now lived in Eastbourne in his old age. The windows commemorated his two friends, Mr T Holland Smith and Mr Bertram Binyon, neither of whom was known locally. They were mounted in Ham Hill stone frames. The chapel also contained two large engravings from paintings by Herbert Schmalz dated 1891, named "The Return from Calvary" and "The Resurrection Morn". The ceiling was of white-painted planks and had black iron hooks for oil lamps and there was a tiny Victorian pulpit with gilded cast iron scrolls. [11] The chapel dates from 1838 and was built on land purchased from James Moor. During World War Two, children evacuated from Leyton in East London attended Sunday School here. In 1951, it gained two stained glass windows by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, which were unveiled by the Reverend R Pyke. The building was very badly damaged in the 1952 Exmoor flood but was fully repaired from the Relief Fund. [12] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Monograph: Stell, C.. 1991. An Inventory of Nonconformist Chapels and Meeting-Houses in South-West England. Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Talya Bagwell, Somerset Historic Environment Record, 25 August 2005.
  • <3> Monograph: Allen, N.V.. 1974. Churches and Chapels of Exmoor. Exmoor Press. 30, 55-56.
  • <4> Website: Google. 2014 -. Google Maps. Stree View, 6 March 2018.
  • <5> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 6 March 2018.
  • <6> Monograph: Orbach, J. and Pevsner, N.. 2014. The Buildings of England: Somerset - South and West. Yale University Press. 300.
  • <7> Monograph: Prabhu, S.S.. 1992. Churches on Exmoor. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Croydon. 53-54.
  • <8> Map: 1840. Exford Tithe Map and Apportionment. Land parcel 1200.
  • <9> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <10> Monograph: Lawrence, B.. 1984. Exmoor Villages. The Exmoor Press. 42.
  • <11> Serial: Exmoor Society. 1959-present. Exmoor Review. Volume 8 (1967), 63-65 (Peter Hesp).
  • <12> Monograph: Hamilton, C.M.. 1953. A history of Exford. N/A. 1st Edition. 20,22.
  • <13> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1488062, Extant 26 January 2022.

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NE157
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1488062
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 18494



Grid reference Centred SS 8530 3837 (12m by 11m)
Map sheet SS83NE

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Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jan 26 2022 3:28PM


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