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Doncaster Features: Famous Doncastrian: John Wesley

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was born in the North Lincolnshire town of Epworth in 1703. The Old Rectory, the family home until 1735, is now a museum and place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world. It suffered a major fire in 1709 when John Wesley was 5 and he had to be rescued from a upstairs window. He was affected by this ordeal later in life.

It was in this small town that John Wesley delivered emotional sermons to his flock from his father’s tomb and the Market Cross. A Heritage Trail follows in his footsteps, visiting the Old Rectory, the Market Cross, St Andrew’s Church, (where his father was rector) and the Wesley Methodist Memorial Church with its unique stained glass window.

He stayed towards the end of his life at The Red Lion in Epworth. Check out the Tartan Room featuring a portrait of John Wesley saved from the fire at the Rectory.

Celebrations are taking place during the summer months of 2003, to mark the 300 year anniversary of John Wesley’s birth.

Today, Epworth is a thriving market town. A wealth of traditional inns, eating establishments and delightful specialist shops add just the right ingredients for a great day out or a short break.

North Lincolnshire is an area of rural tranquillity and remarkable natural beauty where the Lincolnshire Wolds meet the lush Ancholme Valley and the unique Isle of Axholme. The past and present are never far apart with many attractions and places of interest within easy reach.

Thanks to Terry Wilcox.

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