The Chapel was built at the beginning of the 18th century, several decades after the Act of Toleration, which gave freedom of worship to Nonconformists. In 1756 it was rebuilt as it stands today, with further major renovations in 1859 when the table pew, under which lies a full-immersion baptismal font, was added. The burial ground has some important headstones including a memorial to John Williams, which predates the 1756 rebuilding of the chapel.
Cote Chapel is Grade II*, one of only 29 Grade II* Baptist chapels in England.
The site of Cote Chapel was acquired in 1703–1704 by a group of worshippers who previously met at Longworth on the other side of the Thames.
In the 1750s the chapel was enlarged, or more probably rebuilt, to its present size, the capacity being increased in 1756 by the addition of a gallery. In 1859 the interior furnishings were moved around, the pulpit was removed from the south to the west wall, and ample seating was provided in box pews.
The chapel has stone walls with pitched roofs covered in the local stone slate. The truncated front gable incorporates a screen wall which crosses the central valley and is surmounted by a stone panel. In the burial ground are many 18th-century intricately carved headstones. The monument to the Williamson family is listed grade II.
A local volunteer committee helps HCT care for the buildings, welcome visitors and organise events. They are also local advocates for the chapel.
You can download a short guide to Cote Chapel here.
A fully illustrated guide and history of Cote Baptist Chapel written by Dr. Kate Tiller is available from HCT for £6 post free (cheques payable to ‘HCT’) or at the chapel.
Cote was transferred to the Historic Chapels Trust in 1994. HCT raised funds for major structural repairs, which included the provision of a new kitchen, two WCs and a committee room in a former outbuilding.
There is always much work to do. Currently we are carrying out repairs to more sections of the drystone boundary wall. Our next priority, for which we are now fundraising, is further repair to the roof and the repair and redecoration the chapel’s woodwork.
If you would like to support our work to restore and maintain Cote Chapel please do contact us via this website.
Cote Chapel is still available for occasional worship, as well as for marriages, baptisms, funerals and other events such as Harvest Festivals. It is also used for quiet contemplation by many regular visitors and has hosted concerts and lectures. The committee room and the detached building are also available for meetings.
By Car: When entering Cote from Aston, turn right at the cross roads. Cote Baptist Chapel is 200 metres from the junction. Park on the verges but please take care not to block access for our neighbours and heavy lorries that pass regularly.
Public transport: Oxford railway station is 20 miles from Cote and has a taxi rank. Unfortunately the Oxford – Cote bus service was discontinued in 2016.
For all enquiries about Cote Baptist Chapel please use the Contact Us form.