John WESLEY [1703 – 1791]: Memorial Stone
John Wesley is credited with founding the evangelical movement known at Methodism. It was probably at the invitation of a section of the former Cradley Forge Methodists that John Wesley came to Cradley in 1770 and preached in the High Street.
On this visit he made the following entry in his Journal:
Monday, 19, March 1770.
I rode to Cradley (from Wednesbury). Here also the multitude obliged me to stand abroad, although the north wind whistled about my head. About one I took the field to Stourbridge. Many of the hearers were as wild as colts untamed; but the bridle was in their mouths. At six I began in Dudley. The air was as cold as I had almost ever felt, but I trust God warmed many hearts.
The historic site from which Wesley preached is the terrace to the far left going down from the churchyard steps towards Colley Lane. The location was the site of a former jail and was called Dungeon Head. On the land was a large flat upping stone used by riders to mount their horses. As the site and stone were slightly raised, it was used regularly for public proclamations and announcements. According to tradition it was from this stone that Wesley preached.
When the former High Street was improved some years later the upping stone was first removed to Windmill Hill before being inscribed with a memorial to John Wesley and presented to High Town Ragged School.
POST CODE: B63 2BT
ADDRESS: High Town Ragged School, Maple Tree Lane, Cradley
GPS Location: N. 52.46207479 W. -2.08486156
British Grid: SO 94326 84916
MEMORIAL LOCATION: Inside main chapel building