Chapel (Listed Grade II*)
The history of Cote goes back to Wycliffe's Poore Preachers who taught at Longworth across the River Thames in the late 15th Century. The first 'meeting house' is recorded in 1604 and the first minister of the Longworth / Cote meeting was appointed in 1652.
Joseph Collett, who died in 1741, reputedly made a
baptistry in the garden of his father's house, at Cote and as a
teenager in ca. 1700 attracted large congregations there. he
became the first minister of Cote and Longworth in 1703, and a
chapel was built on land thought to have been given by John
Williams, apparently on the site of the later building, was
registered for meetings in 1704. The chapel-yard was used for
burials probably from the chapel's foundation, and the chapel was
registered for marriages from 1839.
Under Joseph Stennett (minister 1742-69) and
Thomas Dunscombe (1772-97), numbers increased and were drawn from
a wide area of west Oxfordshire and north berkshire
The present Cote Chapel is a large single-cell
building of limestone rubble with a gabled stone-slated roof an a
projecting north-facing vestry. It seems to have been built by
Stennett in 1756,soon after the chapel yard was enlarged; a
gallery was reportedly added the following year. (Stanley, Hop
Garden, p. 123). In the late 1850s all but the outer shell was
rebuilt: the earlier double gable was replaced by a single
flat-topped gable concealing the roof valley, the chapel was
re-floored and the vestries enlarged, new pews, (including a table
pew over the central baptistry) were installed and new galleries
added, and a new pulpit at he west end replaced an 18th century
one on the south.
An organ, by Henry Jones of London, was
installed in 1867. Electric light was introduced in 1948, and a
major renovation was carried out in 1955, when stables adjoining
the road, apparently those built in 1757, were converted to other
uses: they survived in 1992.