Explore the collection

Discover our fascinating collection of over 5,000 artefacts, including paintings, ceramics, banners and other objects connected with Primitive Methodist chapel and Sunday School life.

Items of particular significance include:

  • objects used by the founders of the movement – Hugh Bourne and William Clowes
  • ‘chest of drawers’ pulpit used at one of the preaching places, c1805–1810
  • printing press on which Primitive Methodist literature was produced, 1821-43
  • first pipe organ used in Primitive Methodist worship, 1828 (restored by Alan Goulding in 2007 as a gift to Englesea Brook)
  • over 100 banners, the largest collection of religious banners in the UK

It is not possible to have all the objects on public display in the Museum at any one time, but we rotate them to increase access as far as possible. There is always something different to see!

In addition to the Museum itself our new Museum Store, opened in 2021, allows visitors access to more of collections.  Guided tours are available during opening hours by appointment.  Come and enjoy this unique resource!

Our collections policy

The Museum collects artefacts that have a direct bearing on the history of Primitive Methodism – its personalities, worship, buildings, evangelistic and social outreach, scholarship, and missionary work. The Museum is primarily concerned with the period from 1807 to 1932.

However, there may be occasions when it is appropriate to collect material from outside our focus period, e.g., items relating to the early life of Hugh Bourne and William Clowes, and/or items relating to the later life of former Primitive Methodists. 

It may occasionally be appropriate to collect certain items of a wider Methodist (e.g., Wesleyan or United) heritage to illustrate the story of Primitive Methodism and its context. 

Items collected will be primarily from the British Isles, but items from other countries, for example artefacts relating to missionary activities, will be included where appropriate.   

Priorities for future collecting relate to the involvement of Primitive Methodists in politics, e.g., trade unions, Chartists, working class MPs. This is a key part of the Primitive Methodist story, which is not sufficiently represented in the collection. 

Donating to the collection

If you have any items that you might consider donating or lending to our collection please email Amy, our Heritage Officer, at heritage@englseabrook.org.uk.