One of North Lincolnshire’s most important historical buildings, Epworth’s Old Rectory, has reopened to the public after redecoration and a winter break.
The Grade 1 listed building – a registered charity – is famous as the childhood home of John and Charles Wesley, the brothers who formed a movement that went on to become the worldwide Methodist Church.
“We have an ongoing programme of refurbishment to restore the Old Rectory to the way it would have looked when occupied by the Wesleys more than 300 years ago,” said its development manager Gillian Crawley.
She added: “This has included removing the 1950s fireplaces to reveal pre-1709 hearths and chimneys. This was a revelation into the building’s construction and also opened doors to a better interpretation of how the family and their servants lived and coexisted.”
Gillian said grants had been put in for further improvements to the building with planned new toilets, visitor area, new shop, reception area and installation of a lift to give access the all three floors of the rectory for the disabled and people with wheelchairs and pushchairs.
She further added: “There have not been any increases in charges, which remain at £6.50 for adults, £5.50 for concessions and £3.50 for under 16-year-olds. There is also a family ticket costing £18. It gives entry to two adults and up to three children.
“In depth information will also be displayed about the existing rectory, which was built after the previous building was burned down in 1709. It will provide information on the landscape of the area, agriculture and economy – putting Samuel Wesley into the context of the Isle of Axholme.”
The Old Rectory is open to the public from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am until 3.30pm. The last visitors are allowed in 30 minutes before closing time.
Large parties are advised to book in advance and are charged £5.50 a head. Further information is available on the Old Rectory’s website on: www.epwortholdrectory.org.uk or by calling 01427 872268.