Simon Lawton, Curator of the John Moore Museum in Tewkesbury, recently wrote to us to highlight the charms of the newly repaired Old Baptist Chapel in Tewkesbury. He says:
“The building has recently undergone a period of repair, refurbishment and reinterpretation and is now open to the public on a regular basis. Of particular interest has been our project to transcribe the church’s minutes book which dates back to the middle of the seventeenth century. This can currently be accessed as a touchscreen interactive in the OBC, but will also soon be available as an online resource on our website.”
Additional details, including information about visiting the chapel, can be found at on the John Moore Museum website.
The Tewkesbury Old Baptist Church website offers the following information about the chapel’s history:
“The original church building, known simply as ‘The Old Baptist Chapel’, is located off the Old Baptist Chapel Court, an alleyway running from Church Street down towards the river. The street is presumably named, not after the chapel, but after the grand Abbey building which stands opposite, forming a marked contrast to the small chapel building. A burial ground is located next to the chapel.
The chapel was originally a medieval timber framed hall house, built some time in the fifteenth century. It was first used as a place of worship some time in the seventeenth century, and in about 1720 is was modified to make it more suitable for this purpose.
Later on, after the church had moved to new premises, it was divided up and parts of it were converted into cottages, with just the central part retained as a meeting room. However, it has now been restored to show how it probably looked in about 1720. The one exception is the rear balcony, which was probably built around 1905 but which has been retained.”