Home to one of the oldest Baptist churches in England, dating from the mid 17th century. The present building is around 175 years old.
Founded in 1649, Abingdon is one of the oldest Baptist churches in England. Its first minister was John Pendarves (until his death in 1656). Before the first ‘Meeting House’ was built in 1700 on land purchased as a burial ground, the congregation gathered in a house in West St Helen Street.
The present building dates from 1841. The building underwent major alteration in the late 19th century (architect John Davies, 1796-1865) when the neo-classical pediment and Tuscan order columns were added to the exterior and a grand pulpit installed (removed in 1971).
In 2011 a Blue Plaque commemorating the life of Daniel Turner (1710-1798) the well-known preacher, pamphleteer, hymn writer and poet was installed on the exterior of the Manse at 35 Ock Street. Turner’s most lasting legacy today was that he preached tolerance and understanding in an era which was marked by sectarianism and division. The first “Meeting House” was built by Abingdon Baptists on the present site, in the orchard that had been bought 44 years previously. Part of one of the old walls is said to be still standing near the east boundary. The current building dates from 1841 with Tuscan columns and pediments.
2014/2015 | £15000