Buckfastleigh Methodist Church building was built in 1835, funded by mill owners for the benefit of the local community. It is constructed of local grey limestone (mostly rendered) and a hipped natural slate roof. The site slopes down to the rear and incorporates a school room below. To the right is a single storey meeting room, likely contemporaneous with the chapel. The main entrance is through a central wide, open porch with Tuscan columns, with separate access to the school room via steps to the right.
Internally the main chapel is galleried on three sides. The entrance hallway is currently separated from this area by a glass screen, with access to a small kitchen and a meeting room as well as toilets. Steps go up to the large gallery, and down to the schoolroom. This basement area is a big open space with natural light from windows on two walls and two exterior doors. There is also a large kitchen, separate large storage area, two smaller meeting rooms and various ancillary stores.
The varied spaces this building provides have been of huge value to the community over the years, not only as a place of worship but for many other uses: playgroups, children’s clubs, home education meets, coffee mornings, jumble sales, keep fit clubs, teas for the elderly and isolated and music events to name just a few. A 2012 Conservation Area Character Appraisal describes it as “a key community building… always more than just a church, more of a community centre”.
The architectural heritage of Buckfastleigh Methodist Church is of vital importance as a visually striking building in the heart of our town. Its community heritage is hugely important too, and something which we are determined to preserve and enhance for current residents and future generations.
We successfully registered Buckfastleigh Methodist Church as a community asset with Teignbridge Council earlier this year, and the Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes have since announced their intention to sell. This triggered a moratorium period which lasts until mid-October, giving us time to get a plan in place to purchase this valuable local asset for the community.
Check back for more information about this soon!