Vicars’ Close Chapel

The medieval chapel was adopted as the chapel for Wells Theological College, established in 1840 through slavery-derived wealth. Inside is a memorial frieze to the College’s first principal, the Reverend John Hothersall Pinder (1794-1868), previously a slave-owner and a chaplain to enslaved people on the Codrington estate in Barbados. Early in his Church career Pinder had publicly defended slavery and the interest of slave-owners.

A screen frieze commemorates John Hothersall Pinder

Related Talks & Resources

Talks and Resources connected to Vicars’ Close Chapel

These talks reveal the findings of historical research that connects Vicars’ Close Chapel to transatlantic slavery and considers the enduring legacies that exist today.

Video, Talk
Revd. Dr Carlton Turner
Anglican Contextual Theologian, The Queens Foundation
Video, Talk
Professor James Clark
Exeter University

The People

People and families connected to Vicars’ Close Chapel

Vicars’ Close Chapel has a complex history involving individuals and families who were involved in the transatlantic slave trade. It’s important to acknowledge their role and remember the enslaved people impacted by their actions.
'John Hothersall Pinder', National Portrait Gallery
The Revd. John H. Pinder was a slave-owner, plantation chaplain and inaugural principal of Wells Theological College.

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Learn about other historic buildings connected to transatlantic slavery