Thomas Weld owned Lulworth during the early part of the long Regency. In addition to renovating the house and the chapel, he is known for the building a Roman Catholic Chapel in the grounds of Lulworth. It was the first free standing Roman Catholic Chapel for public worship built in England since the reformation. Owing to the anti-Catholic laws in force at this time he had to ask King George III for special dispensation to build it. The king replied that he could build a mausoleum on his grounds and if it was furnished as a chapel, then so be it.
The King visit Lulworth in 1789 and by doing so gave his tacit approval to the chapel. Thomas aided many refugees from the French Revolution, particularly those from religious orders. Five of his fifteen children took holy orders in the Catholic church including his son and heir who later renounced ownership of Lulworth in favour of his younger brother Joseph, a famed yachtsman.
The chapel still stands in the grounds and visitors are welcome to visit, but pictures are not permitted.
It is in lovely condition, and though small, it is well worth the time spent walking around.
Until next time....