Redruth Primitive Methodist Chapel 1825 (i)

Revival breaks out

I am an elder at Redruth Baptist church but live in the very first Primitive Methodist manse ever built in Cornwall. Next door to me is the Primitive Methodist Chapel Plain-an-Gwarry Redruth erected in 1825 following Hugh Bourne’s visit and taking over of  a previously unaffiliated class group under a Mr Turner.

The chapel is now the rehearsal rooms for the local town Operatic society, however you can still see the balcony and class rooms. Later another much bigger church was built opposite and just up the street well known as the Cathedral of Primitive Methodism in 1895-ish which closed in 1968 when the town Methodist churches all combined to make the Redruth Methodist church near the  railway station. At that point 50 were still in membership.

The first minister was called William Driffield and  a revival immediately broke out. Here is one story. One day they were praising God so much the floor gave way but no one was injured. They were known locally as the ranters. Driffield left to become minister of the Fore Street St Ives Primitive chapel – a church  I had the joy of pastoring for 3 years from 1989-1992. God bless you all. Andrew Chapple

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  • The Primitive Methodist magazine for August 1852 contains an account by G Price of the re-opening of the 1826 chapel. Part of the problem was that unintentionally it became private property rather than owned by trustees.  In 1852 it was transferred to the Primitive Methodist Connexion.   

    At the same time it was thoroughly renovated with many improvements including a good batten floor, a singing gallery and bringing the pulpit forward.

    The cost of the legal and renovation work was around £300 of which they had raised £85.

    The re-opening took place on Sunday June 20th when Mr Sharp of Penryn, Mr Allington of Tavistock and Mrs Giles of St Day were the preachers.At the tea meeting on the following Thursday over 400 people were fed.

    By Christopher Hill (08/02/2017)
  • Yes,following on from my 2 friends,I have always felt that the Redruth Primitive Chapel didn’t quite fit the Primitive bill… was far too grand…too impressive. The organ was a fine instrument built by Sweatlands of Bath. Builders of some of the worlds finest organs. Andrew mentioned Redruth Baptist Church….When the Plain an Gwarrey chapel closed…..the Baptists were keen to have the organ placed into their build -ing……Lance Foye the organ builder was prepared to carry out the work…but Brian Thomas (Property deacon) at the Baptist Chapel……dismissed the idea. Lance then rebuilt it into Redruth School. It is now departed. Ken Trestrail

    By Ken Trestrail (19/11/2013)
  • Andrew mentions the much bigger church was built opposite and just up the street well known as the Cathedral of Primitive Methodism. This building is shown on My Primitive Methodist Ancestors as Plain-an-Gwarry Chapel.Photos of the original building are here

    By David CRACKNELL (07/05/2013)

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