LincolnshireRAITHBYBYSPILSBYRaithbyMethodistChurch(davehitchborneCC-BY-SA2.0)1 DaveHitchborne

Raithby Methodist Chapel

The chapel is above the old stables built at Raithby Hall in 1779 by the then owner Robert Carr Brackenbury, and is one of the oldest Methodist chapels still in use in the country.

Raithby by Spilsby, Lincolnshire

Opening times

Access to the chapel can be arranged by contacting us.
Please see website for information about events and services.


Raithby Hall
Raithby by Spilsby
PE23 4DW

It is the oldest in the county of Lincolnshire, having been opened by John Wesley on 5th July 1779.   The chapel retains the original dado rail below a segmental vaulted ceiling.

The story starts with Robert Carr Brackenbury, heir to a large Lincolnshire fortune. He became a Methodist as a young man and in 1776 met John Wesley. At that date he appears to have been living at Raithby, although about this period he started to rebuild the house.

John Wesley’s Journal records that he visited Raithby in July 1779 where 'The shell of Mr Brackenbury’s house was just finished, near which he built a little chapel. It was quickly filled with deeply serious hearers'. Brackenbury became one of Wesley’s staunchest supporters, often travelling with him. In 1788 Wesley recorded 'we went to Raithby: an earthly paradise'; quite a description for a modest country house.

The chapel appears to have been constructed over a stable of slightly earlier date and was originally approached by a double flight of external stone steps which led to a fine first floor doorway. At a later date this stairway was enclosed. The interior of the chapel retains the original dado panelling below a segmental vaulted plaster ceiling. There are three sets of contemporary box pews at the rear and an octagonal tester over the pulpit. The pulpit and communion rail appear to have been altered at a later date and most of the pews date from the mid 19th century.

Brackenbury’s will provided that the chapel should be used by Methodists until such time as they should build a chapel in the village or the owner of Raithby Hall should build them such a chapel. There was obviously no great incentive for a new chapel and ever since the congregation has continued to cross the stable yard to worship.

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Famous connections

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Café within 500m

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Methodist Church

Contact information

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