The Ashbourne Methodist Society formed in April 1755 when John Wesley stopped at Ashbourne whilst en-route to Manchester and preached to a "deeply serious congregation". Wesley returned in 1772. After preaching at 5am in the Market Place at Derby to a huge congregation, he arrived in Ashbourne at 9am, but found the house where he was intending to preach "would not hold a quarter of the people" and so his service was delivered in the Market Place. Wesley commented in his diary that "none offered the least rudeness". This was not always the case with early Methodist preachers.