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Things to do at Loughwood Meeting House

A picnic bench in long grass outside Loughwood Meeting House
Loughwood Meeting House in the summer | © National Trust Images/David Sellman

Step back in time and explore Loughwood Meeting House, one of the earliest surviving Baptist meeting houses in Britain, dating from the mid-17th century. Find out what to look out for inside the property as well as what to see and do in the surrounding area.

Loughwood’s pews, pulpit and past pastor

Have a look at the simple but cheerful pine pews and pulpit. The restrooms 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.

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 indoor gravestone) to the much-loved Reverend Isaac Hann on the church wall.

Wood panelling, pews and a large clock inside Loughwood Meeting House
The interior of Loughwood Meeting House | © National Trust / David Cousins

Musicians' gallery

Above the restrooms is the gallery where musicians would have played during services. You can still see the music rests used by players of stringed instruments and a hole cut in the book-rest to accommodate a bass violin.

The Baptist Church at Kilmington

When attitudes towards Baptists softened Loughwood became a mother church creating new parishes in the region. In 1832 a new church was established in nearby Kilmington, which retains close links with Loughwood. They still hold services at Loughwood twice a year.

More to see nearby

Dumpdon Hillfort

This impressive Iron Age hillfort sits on one of the largest and most striking hills in the Otter Valley. The steep walk up to the fortification is well worth the effort and offers impressive views of the surrounding area. There is also a small beech forest behind the fort to explore.

The hexagonal tower and house at Shute Barton surrounded by autumn leaves
Autumn at Shute Barton, Devon | © Rob Skinner

Combe Wood

Ten acres of mixed ash and oak woodland criss-crossed with pathways make this an ideal place for a sheltered stroll on a warm day. It’s open from dawn to dusk and dogs are welcome on leads.

Muddy pathways

The woodland pathways are uneven in places and can be muddy.

Dalwood Parish walk

This substantial walk takes in Shute Barton and Loughwood Meeting House. It takes a little under three hours, with some moderate inclines along country lanes, public footpaths and byways. Visit the Dalwood Parish website for more information.

Outside the Loughwood Meeting House, Devon, in spring.

Discover more at Loughwood Meeting House

Find out when Loughwood Meeting House is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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The inside of Loughwood Meeting House with white walls and wooden pews

History of Loughwood Meeting House 

The history of Loughwood Meeting House is one of secrecy and religious persecution dating back 300 years. Discover more of its story up until it was handed to the Trust in 1969.