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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Cornwall

by Jo Lewis, 6 March 2020

Restormel (South) Part 20: Churches of St Austell

Mount Charles Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, St Austell, Cornwall

Mount Charles Wesleyan Methodist Chapel occupies a deep-but-narrow plot on the northern side of Victoria Road opposite the entry to Wesley Place. Originally known as Victoria Road Church, the first chapel here seems to have been built around 1888 - by Sylvanius Trevail - to replace an earlier chapel on Wesley Place (see below). In the 1970s it amalgamated with the nearby Bridge United Free Methodists (below), and the present building was erected here in the 1990s.

Old Mount Charles Wesleyan Chapel, St Austell, Cornwall

The Old Mount Charles Wesleyan Chapel, Wesley Court, is located on the west side of Wesley Place, virtually opposite its replacement (above). The OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914 shows this building to be operating as a Sunday School, doubtless for the chapel. However, it only became such in 1888, prior to which it seems likely to have been the earliest of the three Victoria Road-area chapels. It was recently converted into a private dwelling and sold on the open market.

Salvation Army Chapel, St Austell, Cornwall

The Salvation Army Chapel, Ranelagh Road, sits on the southern side, with its back to the railway and about ninety metres west of the Clifden Road junction. This was the site of St Augustine's Roman Catholic Chapel, the town's first purpose-built Catholic chapel, constructed in 1913 to replace a temporary meeting. In turn it was replaced by St Augustine's Church in 1937 (see links). By 1969 the Salvation Army had their own building on the site and this still stands.

Bridge United Methodist Free Church, St Austell, Cornwall

Bridge United Methodist Free Church stood on the eastern side of Clifden Road, virtually opposite Ranelagh Road. The railway bridge was just fifty metres to the south, hence the name. It existed by 1881, and there are Trust accounts up to the 1950s and Sunday School records to 1964. In later years 'united' and 'free' were dropped from the name and it eventually merged with Victoria Road chapel to form Mount Charles Methodist Church (above). It was demolished in 1985.

Union Road Primitive Methodist Chapel, St Austell, Cornwall

Union Road Primitive Methodist Chapel was set back from the western side of  Clifden Road (formerly Union Road) just twenty metres north of Rashleigh Place. A chapel existed in the 1820s, replaced by this one in 1859. It remained active (according to records) until 1947. It is probable that this the Wrestling Downs Chapel mentioned in other records (also known as St Austell Downs Chapel), where annual wrestling matches took place. Closure took place around 1946.

Polkyth Road Chapel, St Austell, Cornwall

Polkyth Road Chapel (unconfirmed) sits on the southern side of the street just thirty metres west of the Clifden Road corner. It is not marked on OS maps of the late Victorian period or those of the twentieth century, but it is listed elsewhere online as a possible chapel. An 1881 map shows a Sunday School almost directly opposite this site (now gone) which may have been associated with the Primitive Methodist chapel on Clifden Road (above), or possibly with this building.

Seymour Gospel Church (Christian Fellowship), St Austell, Cornwall

Seymour Gospel Church (Christian Fellowship) is on the western side of Slades Road, around thirty metres north of Eddystone Road. A small group of believers met around 1900 at Pound House in the High Street. They later met in a private home - Seymour Villa at Slades. They opened a gospel hall nearby in 1925. By 2009 that hall was dilapidated and in need of a lot of work. The decision was taken to demolish it and replace it entirely with the present building.

Carclaze Methodist Church, St Austell, Cornwall

Carclaze Methodist Church is on the eastern side of Treverbyn Road, opposite the Gribben Road junction. It was built in 1820 as Carclaze Bible Christian Chapel, and was originally known as Bethseda Chapel. It was possibly enlarged or rebuilt in 1870. Between 1907 and 1932 it was a United Methodist church. It was only at the Methodist union of 1932 that it acquired its present name, and a Sunday School was already attached to the rear of the chapel building.

St Luke's Church, Boscoppa, St Austell, Cornwall

St Luke's Church, Boscoppa meets at Bishop Bronescombe School. The parish of Boscoppa is relatively young, having only been created in April 1993 by dividing the parish of Charlestown, as the population of nearby Boscoppa and Phernyssick had grown in size over preceding years. The church is dedicated to St Luke, but Bishop Bronescombe is another very important figure: born around 1220, he was a bishop of Exeter who helped spread Christianity in Cornwall.

Bethel Bible Christian Chapel (First Site), St Austell, Cornwall

Bethel Bible Christian Chapel (First Site) stood near the north-east corner of the Trenowah Road and Brockstone Road junction, in the Bethel part of St Austell. It was built in 1822, forty-five metres west of its successor (which is visible in the near distance - see links). The congregation outgrew the chapel rather quickly as the new chapel replaced this one in 1836. The old chapel was later converted into the two brown-walled cottages standing near the camera.

Nine photos on this page by Jo Lewis, and one kindly contributed by Cornwall Memory.



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