Charles Wesley's House

Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley in August 1739 took charge of the Methodist society at Bristol and shared with his brother John the ministry at the New Room in the Horsefair, the oldest Methodist building in the world.

North of the New Room and to the west of Stokes Croft is Charles Street, to which Charles brought his new wife Sarah (Sally) Gwynne on 1st September 1749.

He wrote of that day: “I saw my house, and consecrated it by prayer and thanksgiving…….at six our first guests pass a useful hour with us……..half-hour past nine I slept comfortably in my own home, yet not my own.”

Now, surrounded by towering office blocks, Charles Street was then a highly desirable residential district. Here the Wesleys lived from 1766 until they moved to London in 1771, and here all their eight children were born.

Five died in infancy and were buried in the churchyard of the nearby Parish Church of St James.

The Wesleys moved to London to benefit Charles’ two sons’ musical careers and for Charles to preach and minister more often.

Of the three who survived, two sons were amongst the most eminent musicians of their day; Charles (1757 – 1834) and Samuel (1766 – 1837).

Many of Charles Wesley’s 7,000 hymns were written in Bristol.

No 4 Charles Street has now been totally refurbished so as to restore the house to its original Georgian splendour, with papers and memorabilia of Charles and Sally Wesley and their two musical sons.

Their home, along with No 5 Charles Street is to serve as a kind of Charles Wesley Heritage Centre and to focus the gratitude of Christians throughout the world who acknowledge their indebtedness to Charles Wesley for the contribution of his hymns to their public worship and private devotions.

Visitors can see rooms and the garden arranged as they are believed to have been in the 1700s, including the study were Charles wrote many of his hymns.

John and Charles Wesley