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Sidmouth, Devon

On 19 September 1766 John Wesley visited Joseph Magor in what was then still a little fishing village, in response to the news that his friend was dangerously ill . The first WM chapel, opened in Mill Street (later Mill Lane) in 1837, survives in community use. It was replaced in 1885 by the present High Street chapel on the site of five thatched cottages. This was enlarged in 1903 and further altered in 1964, when a new hall was built.

The mild climate and unique character of Sidmouth as a watering place has always appealed to the well-to-do and the retired, and in 1826 the Earl of Buckingham built Richmond Lodge in Elysian Fields, to which he added a remarkable music room in 1848, complete with its impressive cut-glass chandelier. Later the property passed through the ownership of Professor Frederick Lindemann, Lord Cherwell. In 1931 it became a Wesley Guild Guest House, renamed 'Sidholme'. By its golden jubilee in 1981 250,000 guests had stayed there. Today it is reckoned to be the largest and most popular of the Guild Holiday Homes.

Sources

  • The Mighty Oak: The Story of the Devon and Dorset Mission (1974)
  • 'Sidholme' Methodist Guild Guest House Souvenir Booklet (n.d.)

Entry written by: RFST
Category: Place

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