History Files


Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Cornwall

by Jo Lewis, 6 February 2022

Restormel (North) Part 12: Churches of St Colan, Mountjoy, Retyn & Fraddon

Church of St Colanus, St Colan, Cornwall

The Church of St Colanus in the village of St Colan sits to the south-west of Tregoose (see links). The first church on the site is said to have been built by St Collen, a seventh century Welsh saint. He was said to be the abbot here, but left to preach more widely. Walter Bronscombe, bishop of Exeter, is credited with building the present church in 1250. This was dedicated to the saint, otherwise referred to as St Colanus, by John Grandisson, bishop of Exeter, in 1336.

Church of St Colanus, St Colan, Cornwall

In 1876, the church was in a dilapidated state. The ribs of the roof sloped towards the tower, which was held together by iron bands. The interior was filled by high pews. The walls were damp-stained. Following some rescue work by the diocese of Exeter in 1876, the church was transferred to the diocese of Truro. By 1887, the church had been completely restored thanks to the efforts of the vicar and Paget Hoblyn of Fir Hill Manor. The main tower was rebuilt in 1879.

Mountjoy (First) Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Mountjoy, Cornwall

In Mountjoy, to the south of St Colanus (above) is a westbound cul-de-sac about 250m north of the A392 jucntion. At the far end was the site of the lost Mountjoy (First) Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. When it was replaced by a new building (see below) it became the Sunday school. It was later lost to today's new-build housing, but is remembered in the location name. Behind this site stood the holy well of St Lady of Nance, which was used by worshippers from St Colanus.

Mountjoy (Second) Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Mountjoy, Cornwall

Back on the main lane through Mountjoy, just fifty metres north of the A392, on the western side, is Mountjoy (Second) Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. This building was erected in 1892, at which time the first chapel became the Sunday school (see above). At the 1932 Methodist union the new chapel became Mount Joy Methodist Church. Archived records show it in use until the 1970s. Planning permission was granted in 2010 to turn it into a private dwelling.

Retyn Bible Christian Chapel, Luke's Shop, Retyn, Cornwall

Retyn can be reached via the southbound lane from Mountjoy which crosses the Newquay GWR branch line. Retyn Bible Christian Chapel (at Luke's Shop) is noted by Kelly's Directory of 1893 in this general location. It seems to have become Retyn Wesleyan Chapel by 1907. It was located at the corner of the field shown here, next to a quiet lane. Traces of possible foundations could still survive in front of the fence (in the bottom-left of the photo).

Fraddon Bible Christian Chapel, Melrose Terrace, Fraddon, Cornwall

Fraddon Bible Christian Chapel, Melrose Terrace, is located to the east of Retyn, and south of the Parka Road and Chapel Road fork in Fraddon itself. The chapel was built in 1877 by a congregation which initially met at a house in Barton, before it could afford its own chapel. It later became Fraddon Methodist Church and Sunday school. In 2005 the church closed, merging with the Indian Queens congregation (see links). In 2011 the building was put up for sale.

Four photos on this page by Jo Lewis, and two kindly contributed by Roy Reed via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group.



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