History Files

Please help the History Files

Contributed: 175

Target: 400

Totals slider

The History Files still needs your help. As a non-profit site, it is only able to support such a vast and ever-growing collection of information with your help, and this year your help is needed more than ever. Please make a donation so that we can continue to provide highly detailed historical research on a fully secure site. Your help really is appreciated.



Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Cornwall

by Jo Lewis, 6 March 2020

Restormel (South) Part 19: Churches of St Austell

St Austell Bible Christian Chapel, St Austell, Cornwall

St Austell Bible Christian Chapel (Second Site) is at the north-west corner of the Trevarthian Road and Tregarne Terrace junction. Facing the earlier chapel of the same name (to the left of the photo - see links), and also known as Zion Chapel, it was built in 1890-1891. Another name given to it is Tregarne Chapel. It was built in granite, with seats for 600. It became Zion United Methodist Church in 1907 and then Zion Methodist Church in 1932 but is now closed.

Friends Meeting House (Quakers), St Austell, Cornwall

The earliest-known Friends Meeting House (Quakers) in St Austell was acquired around 1690 in Workhouse Lane (now Moorland Road), although it was too early to appear on OS maps and the site cannot now be precisely located. The Quakers left that for this site at the south-east corner of High Cross Street and Beech Road, built in 1726. They moved again in 1828 (see below), selling this site which became a police station and more recently a scruffy-looking car park.

Friends Meeting House (Quakers), St Austell, Cornwall

The third Friends Meeting House (Quakers) site in St Austell is this, located on the western side of High Cross Street just thirty-or-so metres north of their previous chapel (see above). A burial ground lies to the front and side of it (the green seen here). Built in 1829, it and the burial ground were registered in 1834. In 1965 the Quaker burial ground outside of St Austell was removed for road expansion. The headstones were saved to line the wall of this meeting house.

St Austell High Cross Cemetery Chapel, St Austell, Cornwall

St Austell High Cross Cemetery Chapel sat on the south-eastern side of High Cross Street, opposite the entrance to the railway station. Old maps show the chapel as a mortuary building at the bottom of the cemetery. It would have been to the right of the archway in this photo. The cemetery was opened in 1793 on the High Cross field. In the 1960s all the tombstones were moved back to the surrounding walls and the cemetery is now an open space called cemetery park.

St Austell Plymouth Brethren Meeting House, St Austell, Cornwall

St Austell Plymouth Brethren Meeting House sits at the very top of High Cross Street, tucked inside the junction with Kings Avenue. Probably one of the earlier chapels of its kind, today it provides a home for the Church of the Holy Spirit Research & Enlightenment Centre, more commonly known as The Little Church or Spiritualist Church. Formed in a public meeting at the Arts Theatre, St Austell, on 10 October 1970, the group met for some years at Cuddra Hall (see links).

East Hill Band Room, St Austell, Cornwall

The East Hill Band Room building stands on the northern side of East Hill, about eighty metres east of the junction with Eastbourne Road. The date stone on the front of the building says 1911 and the site is listed as the Free United Chapel. Old maps suggest that the chapel was on the other side of the road and on the other side of the Eastbourne Road junction, so this may instead have been the Sunday School. Today it is a band room which hosts live gigs.

East Hill United Free Methodist Church, St Austell, Cornwall

East Hill United Free Methodist Church was on the southern side of the old alignment of East Hill's southern section - between Eastbourne Road (left of this photo) and Church Street - it now turns towards South Street - and almost precisely where the old East Hill meets the current version at the bottom of the hill. Kelly's (1902) mentions it having 350 sittings. It seems it closed to become the Old Services club before being demolished for redevelopment work in 1986.

St Augustine Roman Catholic Church, St Austell, Cornwall

St Augustine's Roman Catholic Church sits at the north-east corner of the Woodland Road and Cromwell Road junction. A Sunday mass centre was started in East Hill in 1911, above a decorator's workshop (site lost). The Dowager Lady Bute donated heavily towards the first chapel, on Ranelagh Road (see links), built in 1913. The present site was purchased in 1937 and a small church built. The present building was erected in 1990 when all outlying chapels were closed.

Watering Hill Mortuary Chapel, St Austell, Cornwall

St Austell's Watering Hill Mortuary Chapel was located at the heart of the cemetery of that name, at the southern end of Watering Hill Close at the junction with Alexandra Road. By the 1870s a new cemetery was needed in the town. This four acre site was purchased to be managed by a joint burial committee of the two local councils. The chapel was later divided in two, for Anglicans and nonconformists. In 2011, now disused, the building was destroyed by fire.

Light & Life Church, The Sidings, St Austell, Cornwall

Light & Life Church is on the north-western flank of The Sidings, Brunel Business Park, virtually opposite Watering Hill Cemetery (see above) but divided from it by the railway. The church is part of the global Free Methodist Movement. This was launched in the late 1960s in England with the aim of being a fully evangelical Methodist church. The first meeting to open in Cornwall was at Helston in 1985. St Austell's meeting started in 2009 and Truro's also meets here.

All photos on this page by Jo Lewis.



Images and text copyright © all contributors mentioned on this page. An original feature for the History Files.