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Saint Andrew's Church (overview), Epworth.jpg
Saint Andrew's Parish Church
Grid reference: SE7803
Location: 53°31’0"N, 0°49’0"W
Population: 3,734  (civ. parish)
Post town: Doncaster
Postcode: DN9
Dialling code: 01427
Local Government
Council: North Lincolnshire

Epworth is a small town in the Isle of Axholme in northern Lincolnshire. It is most famous as the birthplace of John Wesley and Charles Wesley, and as such it has given its name to many institutions associated with Methodism. Their father, Samuel Wesley, was the Rector of Epworth from 1695 to 1735.

Epworth lies on the A161, about halfway between Goole and Gainsborough. The Axholme Joint Railway served Epworth; it is now closed.

Epworth is in the Isle of Axholme. The Isle was indeed once an island in the fenland surrounded by rivers until the fens were was drained by the Dutch engineer Sir Cornelius Vermuyden (1627–1629). A grant of the commons to the freeholders and other tenants, made by deed in 1360 by John de Mowbray, Lord of the Manor, gave privileges and freedoms. The deed caused repercussions in the reign of King Charles I when Vermuyden was given the task of draining the Isle. His work was an outstanding piece of irrigation engineering.

There has been extensive drainage since, which, together with periodic warping (intentional flooding to deposit silt and enrich the land), has made this an exceptionally fertile area.

The Isle of Axholme comprises the eight ancient parishes of Althorpe, Belton, Crowle, Epworth, Haxey, Luddington, Owston and Wroot.[1]

Parish church

Epworth's parish church is dedicated to Saint Andrew, located on a hill overlooking the town. Its architecture suggests that its oldest part may have been built in the late 12th century with later additions in the 14th and 15th centuries. It is probable that a church stood on the site earlier than that.

The Rector from 1695 to 1735 was Samuel Wesley, the father of John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism.

Historic buildings

Tower of St Andrew's Church

The Old Rectory, a Queen Anne style building, rebuilt after the fire of 1709, has been completely restored and is now the property of the World Methodist Council. It is maintained as a museum.

An example of the Dutch influence on local architecture can be seen in the building now used as the Post Office, situated in the High Street.

Epworth Show

The Epworth Show has been held for over 60 years. The show takes place on the August Bank Holiday Monday, but the show committee organise four horseback riding events between May and September as well as a Beer Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Festival of the Plough

Epworth has hosted the Epworth Festival of the Plough agricultural fair for a number of years.

Outside links


  • Crain, Mary Beth (2009), Haunted Christmas: Yuletide Ghosts and Other Spooky Holiday Happenings, Globe Pequot, ISBN 0762752750 
Isle of Axholme

Althorpe  • Amcotts  • Beltoft  • Crowle  • Ealand  • Eastoft  • Epworth  • Garthorpe  • Haxey  • Keadby  • Luddington  • Owston Ferry  • Sandtoft  • West Butterwick  • Westwoodside  • Wroot