New Room

The New Room is a historic building in Broadmead, Bristol. Built in 1739, it is the oldest Methodist Chapel in the world, and was the cradle of the early Methodist movement.

The New Room was built and used by John Wesley and the early Methodists as a meeting and preaching place, and was also used as a dispensary and school room for the needy members of the community.

The chapel itself is on the ground floor and is accessible from both the Broadmead and Horsefair courtyards. It includes a double decker pulpit, which was common at the time, and an octagonal lantern window to reduce the amount paid in Window tax. The pews and benches were made from old ship timber.

Above the chapel are the Preachers' Rooms, where Wesley and other preachers stayed. This floor is now home to the MLA accredited museum, which displays a unique collection of papers and artefacts and tells the story of John and his brother Charles Wesley and their life and work in Bristol.

The courtyards around the building contain statues of the two brothers.

In 1748 the New Room was extended. After Wesley's death in 1791 the property passed into the hands of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, but in 1909 was given back to the Methodist Church. In 1929 a building restoration included the addition of a 1761 John Snetzler Chamber Organ in the chapel. There is now a shop on the ground floor, and plans for a visitor centre to be created.

The New Room is an English Heritage grade I listed building, and is the only piece of land in Broadmead for which the freehold has not been bought by Bristol City Council.