Now owned by the National Trust, Loughwood is one of the earliest surviving Baptist churches in the UK. Founded in secret during a time of great persecution towards non-conformists, it has remained virtually unchanged since the 18th century.
The history of Loughwood is a story of secrecy and persecution. The first known record of the chapel is in 1653 when a local Baptist parish sought an isolated place to worship. Deliberately nestled into the hillside and surrounded by woodland, it was hoped that, at Loughwood, parishioners would be able to meet in safety. Today, this location makes Loughwood, a wonderful place from which to enjoy the Blackdown Hills AONB.
The building is constructed from colourful stone rubble with large buttresses and a thatched roof. Inside there are simple pine pews and pulpit. A baptismal pool is positioned below the floor. Loughwood is unusual in holding the body of one of its pastors inside the chapel. You can see the wall tablet memorial (an indoor gravestone) to the much-loved Reverend Isaac Hann on the church wall.