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17th-century thatched Baptist meeting house
Discover Loughwood, one of the earliest surviving Baptist churches in the country. Founded in secret during a time of great persecution towards non-conformists, this beautiful chapel is set into the hillside and looks out over the rolling east Devon countryside with views of the Axe Valley.
Step through the front door to travel back in time and explore this place of worship which has remained virtually unchanged since the 18th century.
The chapel is used twice a year by the local Kilmington Baptist Church and is available for prayer and burials.
The main door to the meeting house turns the other way. No toilets are available at this site.
A tour of the meeting house
Pews and pulpit
Take a look at the simple but cheerful pine pews and pulpit. The rest rooms and the stables are a reminder of how far Baptists were willing to travel to worship in safety. The baptismal pool is positioned beneath the floor, central to the pulpit.
Above the rest rooms is the gallery where musicians would have played during services. You can still see the music rests used by musicians playing stringed instruments and a hole cut in the book-rest to accommodate a bass violin.
Loughwood is almost completely unique in holding the body of one of its pastors inside the chapel. You can see the wall tablet memorial (an indoors gravestone) to the much loved Reverend Isaac Hann on the church wall.
The history of Loughwood is a story of secrecy and persecution. The first known record of the chapel is in 1653 when a Baptist parish from nearby Kilmington sought an isolated place to worship.