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Heptonstall Octagonal Methodist Heritage Chapel

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Information on Heptonstall Octagonal Methodist Heritage Chapel

Attraction type:
  • Culture & Heritage
  • Family
  • Historic Sites & Trails
  • The Calderdale Way

Images © The Flat Cap Photographer

Please note that the Chapel is currently closed to public until the end of June 2024 for essential building work. 

Built in 1764, the design and construction of this Grade II listed Octagonal Chapel were overseen by John Wesley, who frequently preached here. One of the first octagonal chapels, it is one of the oldest Methodist churches in continuous use today.

This unusual octagonal chapel is tucked away at the bottom of a flight of steps off Northgate. Entry is free, with donations to the upkeep of the Chapel welcome. It is currently closed during the week. The chapel is open at weekends and on bank holidays between 10:30 and 16:00 and special events throughout the year.

Please email Rev’d Kathie Heathcoat regarding visits and other activities, at

Methodism in Heptonstall began with the firebrand Scot William Darney. He founded many societies on both sides of the Pennines as he travelled, preaching as he went.

The Heptonstall “Darney Society” was visited by Charles and John Wesley in 1747. In these early days, Heptonstall had a preacher every sixth Sunday, with the travelling preachers receiving no stipend or allowance, eating where they could. John Wesley continued to visit Heptonstall and there were always immense crowds to hear him.

The society was so successful it was decided to build a chapel. The octagon shape was then fashionable for Methodist preaching houses, as it avoided conflict with the established church.

The building was finished in 1764. It was intended to hold 200 people, but by 1802 there were 337 members and over 1000 scholars. The solution was to knock down the far end of the chapel, lengthen the walls and rebuild it, preserving its octagonal shape.

Heptonstall is located on The Calderdale Way, a 50 mile walking route that circles the borough of Calderdale. Please call in to visit the Chapel if you’re passing by.”


Visitors are asked not to bring your car or motor vehicle to the village if at all possible. Because of its unique hilltop location and ancient heritage, the roads in Heptonstall are narrow and parking is extremely limited

To avoid problems and enjoy your visit to this fascinating village, VisitCalderdale asks that wherever possible, you take public transport or walk to Heptonstall.

There are frequent Metro buses from Hebden Bridge. Please visit for full timetable details and to plan your journey.

You can walk up to Heptonstall via the Buttress, the steep cobbled pathway that begins towards the rear of Hebden Bridge Town Hall, off Royd Terrace / Old Gate.

Please note this is a demanding walk, as the Buttress is cobbled and steep. The Buttress brings you out onto Heptonstall Road, where you may complete your walk to Heptonstall on pavements and will arrive in the village by Town Gate Tearooms and Heptonstall Post Office.

If you must drive to Heptonstall, the only place that all motor vehicles are asked to park is at Heptonstall Bowling Club, which is clearly signposted.

Look out for the parking signs on your approach to the village and follow these, turning into Valley View Road and then continuing along Acres Lane to Heptonstall Bowling Club.

Please don’t park on any residential roads as this may severely affect residents. It is then a short walk (approx. 480metres, 0.3 mile) to the village from the Bowling Club.

Please follow the advice above to help ensure that Heptonstall remains a beautiful and happy place for both residents and visitors alike and enjoy your visit to one of the most historic villages in Yorkshire.