Nominated by: David Noy
William Gyles was Winslow’s leading Baptist and stood firm during the religious persecution of Charles II’s reign. He was also a wealthy draper who defeated the Duke of Buckingham in a lawsuit.
Winslow Baptists worshipped in his home until he built a small meeting-house on his land in 1695. It has remained in use ever since (one service a year now), so it is the oldest such building in North Bucks. The structure is largely in its original form, and there is a small burial ground next to it. It contains open-backed benches, box pews, a gallery, pulpit, communion table and memorial tablets for members of the Gyles family. It is now known as Keach’s Meeting House in honour of the preacher Benjamin Keach who lived in Winslow in the 1660s and had one of his books burned while he stood in the pillory in Winslow and Aylesbury. He later moved to London where he became an important figure in the Baptist movement.
You can read more about Keach, Gyles and the early Winslow Baptists on the Winslow History website.
Keach’s Meeting House was nominated by David Noy.