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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Cornwall

by Jo Lewis, 11 September 2020

Restormel (South) Part 33: Churches of Polkerris to Fowey

Polkerris Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Polkerris, Cornwall

Polkerris Wesleyan Methodist Chapel is about twenty-five metres due north-east of the Rashleigh Inn (turn right off the footpath immediately behind the pub), in Polkerris which lies on the western side of the Fowey peninsula. The chapel existed by 1880, as shown on Victorian OS maps, and was built in the early-to-middle of the century. It survived in use during both world wars but probably closed in the 1960s or 1970s. Planning conversion was agreed in 1980.

Tregamnion Church, Tregamnion, Cornwall

Tregamnion Church sits back from the east side of the road to Menabilly, about seven hundred metres south of the turning for Polkerris. A chapel-of-ease to St Andrew's Church, Tywardreath (see links), its foundation stone was laid in April 1813 by Rachel, wife of William Rashleigh of Tregaminion Barton, Menabilly. It was another two years before the chapel was completed, and was consecrated in 1816. Some parts may have come from an earlier church, here or elsewhere.

Fowey Mortuary Chapel, Fowey, Cornwall

Fowey Mortuary Chapel on the northern edge of the town sits at the south-west corner of the junction between Passage Lane and Rawlings Lane, about three hundred metres west of Caffa Mill car park. This small brick building formerly served as the town mortuary, at least from 1905, but it was closed in the 1980s after a replacement was built at Fowey Hospital. The hospital itself was closed in 2016. The old chapel has a waymark on its frontage, near the right-hand corner.

St Monica's Roman Catholic Church, Fowey, Cornwall

St Monica's Roman Catholic Church is on the south side of Station Road, directly opposite the main road entrance to Caffa Mill car park. It was originally erected as a place of worship for the Roman Catholic community, although a firm date seems unavailable. It is not marked as a church on OS maps until the post-war period and was converted into residential accommodation around the year 2000. It may also have served as a Salvation Army hall but confirmation is lacking.

Fowey Wesleyan Methodist Chapel / Providence Chapel, Fowey, Cornwall

Fowey Wesleyan Methodist Chapel is on the western side of the very narrow North Street, just twenty metres or so north of the Custom House Hill junction. It was erected in 1894, built on the site of an earlier chapel building which had been constructed in 1801. This earlier building may have been the Providence Chapel referred to in Tywardreath documents as being granted a licence on 3 December 1800. It closed in 1977, was converted badly, and was restored.

Fowey Old Congregational Chapel / Mount Zion Independent Chapel, Fowey, Cornwall

Fowey Old Congregational Chapel sat on Bull Hill which is accessed via a flight of stone steps at the very southern end of North Street. Its exact location is likely to be where the present blue house is placed, as this is in line with the (now-former) bank on Fore Street. The chapel was built in 1797 and at some point it was also known as Mount Zion Independent Chapel (probably at the beginning). It was replaced by a new chapel on Lostwithiel Street in 1887.

Seaman's Mission (The Sailor's Home & Rest), Fowey, Cornwall

Seaman's Mission (The Sailor's Home & Rest) is at 28 Fore Street (eastern side - the white building in the centre here), flanked by the old bank (inset, just beyond it). The mission was erected in 1890 under the auspices of the Seamen's Christian Friend Society, containing 23 rooms (both social rooms and bedrooms), and a mission room to seat eighty. It is now the 'Old Quay House Hotel', having been rescued from a crumbling ruin in 2002 and opening in autumn 2003.

Fowey Bible Christian Chapel, Fowey, Cornwall

Fowey Bible Christian Chapel is on the west side of Fore Street, just ten metres or so south of the former bank. Kelly's Directory of 1902 records the chapel here, stating that it had been erected in 1883 at a cost of about 750, and that it would hold 160 persons. Early OS maps fail to label the chapel, but there is a highlighted building on Fore street on one 1907 map which may be this one and which seems to have remained in use until the Second World War period.

Church of St Fimbarrus, Fowey, Cornwall

The Church of St Fimbarrus, Fowey, lies on the west side of South Street, at its junction with Webb Street. An early Christian enclosure or 'lann', was probably established here in the sixth century by a small religious community, probably close to the site of the church. This marks the end of the Saints' Way, originally a drovers' route from Padstow. St Finn Bar, first bishop of Cork, took this route on his way to Rome in the early 600s, stopping to build the original church here.

Church of St Fimbarrus, Fowey, Cornwall

That early Cornish church was replaced by a Norman building, but that too was replaced - by the present structure before 1336. That has been rebuilt and restored in parts several times, the first time being after a French raid in 1457. The dedication may have been changed at some point - to that of the Church of St Nicholas - before being changed back, but no details seem to be available. In 1876, an important restoration took place to remove the west gallery.

All photos on this page by Jo Lewis. Additional information from Kelly's Directory of Cornwall (1902).



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