Hawkshead Chapel

One of the oldest Methodist Churches in the world and possibly one of the most unique buildings.

About this church

Converted from a 15th century cottage in 1862, a small group of local Christians worshipped at 'Union Chapel'. The benefactor was Mrs Satterthwaite. In 1926 the chapel was passed to the Wesleyan Methodist Conference. It still looks much as it did then and the American harmonium, over 100 years old, is still played.

Tucked away in a corner of the main square it has been a place of worship since 1862. It is a 15th century cottage which was given to the non-conformists in the area by a Mrs Satterthwaite and left to the Methodist Church after her husband’s death, making it the oldest building used for Methodist worship in the world. It remains very much as it was in the early 1900s.

Small and compact inside, with a small gallery to the west. The Smith American Organ Co ‘Connoisseur’ reed organ, built in Boston probably in the 1880s

It is open every day for prayer and quiet meditation.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches


St Michael & All Angels

A church has stood on this site, a small hill above Hawkshead, for over 800 years with the present church being built around 1490 (parts of the tower are older) and little changed since the late 16th century.


St Andrew

In the centre of the village with fabulous views of the Coniston Old Man which overlooks Coniston Water, the church hails two local heroes in John Ruskin and Dinald Campbell.


Holy Trinity

Unusual Romanesque style church in scenery of which Wordsworth said 'There is not a more beautiful situation outside of the Alps or among them than this'.

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