Local people have just one chance this year to visit a historic house in Bristol city centre that is normally only available for group bookings.
Charles Wesley’s House, at number 4 Charles Street near Stokes Croft, is opening for two exclusive free tours on Saturday 14 September.
The house, which was built in 1742, was home to Britain’s greatest hymn-writer Charles Wesley and his family from 1749-1771 and has been restored to its 18th century appearance with period fittings.
Kate Rogers, community engagement officer for the New Room, says: “This is an exclusive opportunity which will cheer up anyone who has been unlucky in applying for the very over-subscribed Bristol Open Doors venues on the same day.
“Charles Wesley’s house isn’t actually included in the Bristol Open Doors scheme this year, but we’re expecting a high level of demand, partly because the tours are being offered on the same weekend.
“Although we’re not charging for these tours, numbers will be limited so pre-booking is essential.”
Reservations can be made by calling the New Room on 0117 926 4740.
Tours depart from the New Room in Broadmead, also known as John Wesley’s Chapel, at 11.30am and 1.30pm.
Visitors will be able to see six rooms beautifully restored to how they might have been in Charles’ time: the parlour, the music room, the study, the kitchen, and two bedrooms, with exhibition boards telling the story of Charles, his wife Sally and their gifted children, one of whom was known as ‘the English Mozart’.
There are also two rooms that act as an extension to the museum at the New Room, otherwise known at John Wesley’s Chapel, in Broadmead: the hymnody room which explores the history of hymn-writing and in the basement cellar where there are two short films to watch on Charles and his hymn-writing, as well as an eighteenth-century herb garden.
Because this listed building is entered by steps and has five floors linked by a steep and winding staircase, it is not possible to offer disabled access.
Normally the house is open only for pre-booked groups (of 10 or more people). For more information, visit charleswesleyhouse.org.uk.
Full details of the exclusive tours are available on the event page of the New Room’s website www.newroombristol.org.uk/events