History Files

Please help the History Files

Contributed: £84

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, 11 September 2020

Restormel (South) Part 34: Churches of Fowey

The Working Men's Institute Reading Room, Fowey, Cornwall

The Working Men's Institute Reading Room sits on the northern side of the Town Quay, less the five metres from the water (to the right here). The building, which is inscribed with its name along the stone strip between the two storeys, was erected in 1878 at a cost of £1,200. It contained a reading room as well as a bagatelle room, a library of 700 volumes, and a hall seating about 300 people, which was let for public entertainments and meetings. Today it is a pub.

Lostwithiel Street Congregational Chapel, Fowey, Cornwall

Lostwithiel Street Congregational Chapel stands on the southern side of the street, about fifteen metres east of the Esplanade turning. This replaced the old chapel, originally Mount Zion (see links), in 1887. Built at a cost of £1,500, it is an edifice of stone, with a turret, which could seat 250 persons. Records exist for it until 1975, when it became Lostwithiel United Reformed Church. It merged in 1977 with Fowey's Methodists and the building became residential in the 1990s.

St Catherine's Chapel, Fowey Castle, Fowey, Cornwall

St Catherine's Chapel sits on an outcrop of rock on the southern side of Readymoney Cove, immediately to the south of Fowey itself. This fourteenth century chapel existed above the castle, higher on the cliff (the Victorian mausoleum which occupies the site is just visible above the greenery here). A light here was kept burning as a lighthouse in the medieval period. It was the twin of St Saviour's Chapel on the Polruan headland opposite (see links).

Johnny May's Chapel, Fowey, Cornwall

As mentioned above, the fourteenth century chapel of St Catherine stood on the cliff top overlooking Readymoney Cove (between castle and camera). About a hundred metres west of here, on the west side of the harbour entrance, about nine metres below the top of the cliff edge and broadly concealed, is a small grass area known as Johnny May's Chapel. The name is believed to be that of a Methodist preacher of the 1600s, when Nonconformism was persecuted.

Fowey Retreat, Fowey, Cornwall

Fowey Retreat lies on Lankelly Lane, which connects to Fowey's suburban Polvillion Road. The house was built in 1937, but it was only with new owners in 2007 that things changed. The loft was redeveloped to provide a large amount of extra floor space, into which was built bedrooms, a bathroom, and a chapel. The retreat is dedicated to quietness spent in prayer and study, with a connection with the local Catholic diocese. Small groups are accommodated at a time.

Mission to Seafarers / Anchor Anglican Church, Fowey, Cornwall

Located in Fowey Docks, the Mission to Seafarers is accessed via the steps at the Bodinnick Car Ferry slipway. The Flying Angel Centre inside Falmouth Docks is the mission's home. It is a place that seafarers of all nationalities can visit to chat with volunteers, contact home, use free wifi, enjoy a free hot drink, watch TV, or just sit in the summerhouse or tranquil gardens surrounding the centre, or even use the mission chapel. The chapel is also used by Anchor Anglican Church.

Four photos on this page by Jo Lewis, and one each kindly contributed by 'Bangkok Bloke' / Worthing Wanderer, and Colin Mayes, both via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group. Additional Information from Kelly's Directory (1902). The tour now temporarily skips Caradon and North Cornwall and progresses into Restormel (North).



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