Thomas Hanby

First brought Methodism to Ashbourne in 1754

Methodism first came to Ashbourne in 1754 when a visiting preacher, Thomas Hanby, was “making an excursion into the wilds of Derbyshire”.  Having preached at nearby Wotton and Snelston, he was keen to preach in Ashbourne, but “was at a loss how to introduce himself”.  Hanby then heard of a sympathetic toll-gate keeper in Ashbourne and, having introduced himself, preached at the toll-house.  When Hanby returned some 2 weeks later, however, he found that the Commissioners of the Toll Road had forbidden his preaching there, but a sympathetic local farmer offered his home instead, although an aggressive mob formed outside the farm house.  A year later, though, John Wesley received a more friendly welcome.

Protrait reproduced by courtesy of the University Librarian and Director, The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester

One of the grandest churches in Derbyshire, with a slender spire of 212 feet. Referred to in the Doomsday book, the present church building dates from the mid 1200's and contains fine stained glass and monuments.

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This Chapel was built in 1879-81 to replace an earlier chapel in Compton. It has an Italianate Neoclassical facade, reflecting a period when non-conformists wanted to make their chapels look different from the Gothic revival churches.

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The Ashbourne Methodist Society was officially formed in April 1755.

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