Heritage Fund award brings Epworth Old Rectory’s collections to new audiences

Epworth Old Rectory has received a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund of £191,160 for an exciting heritage project, ‘Out of the Box: unlocking collections at Epworth Old Rectory’, in Epworth, North Lincolnshire.

09 July 2024


Made possible by National Lottery players, the project will see the renovation of old store rooms into a secure and accessible collections store and research space. Work to convert the new store will start in the winter of 2024 and open summer of 2025. The new store will better care for and preserve the thousands of unique objects housed at the Old Rectory and enable collections to be shared with everyone.

Supported through the Heritage Fund, the project will also deliver an exciting and varied two-year activity programme starting in the summer of 2024. The programme will take collections ‘out of the box’, to unlock their stories and potential. The activities will share fascinating stories about collections and provide the community of all ages with new opportunities to learn about collections and heritage. There will be something for everyone with archaeology digs, traditional craft workshops and school and reminiscence sessions. Volunteers will also get the chance to learn new collections care skills and how to take part in living history events.


Epworth Old Rectory is a Grade I Listed Queen Anne former vicarage in North Lincolnshire, built in 1709 by Samuel Wesley, whose children, John and Charles, founded the Methodist movement within the Church of England. The Rectory, collections and displays tell fascinating stories of the Wesley Family, the building and the local area, offering a glimpse into eighteenth-century life for a large family of 19 children!

The collection includes 18th-century furniture, pewter, silver, paintings and prints, personal/family items, letters, a library and an archive. The house is set in three acres of land and has a small front garden, an orchard, a domestic kitchen garden and a Physic Garden, commemorating John Wesley’s interest in practical medicine.

We are delighted to have received this generous support from the Heritage Fund, made possible by National Lottery players. The creation of a new store and resources room together with an exciting programme of events will enable us to showcase our fascinating Collection to a much wider audience.

Sarah Friswell, Chair of Trustees at Epworth Old Rectory.