St Austell Downs is “a large and populous neighbourhood about three quarters of a mile east of St Austell”. They were known as the “Wrestling Downs” where the annual wrestling matches took place at the parish wakes – and evangelistic camp meetings held by the Primitive Methodists. St Austell Downs Primitive Methodist society and chapel dates back to the 1820s.
The return from the Primitive Methodist chapel at St Austell Downs to the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious worship, completed by Thomas Green, the minister, of High Cross Street, St Austell, reports that the chapel was erected around 1825 and held 218 people. On Census Sunday 90 attended in the morning with a Sunday school of 88 scholars, and in the evening 140 attended the service with a further 40 scholars.
In 1859 they opened a new, larger chapel. The foundation stone was laid in August 1858 by S Kernick and the opening services took place from March 27th 1859. Speakers at the ceremonies included Rev Collier (Wesleyan), CG Honor, Isaac White, Mr Prescot, Rev W Gilbert, Mr Bate and Mr Hodge. There were tea meetings at both the stone laying and the actual opening. Indeed, the day of the opening started with a very well attended 6:00am. prayer meeting.
The occasions are described by Isaac White in the Primitive Methodist magazine.
When I set up this page I asked where was the chapel and what happened to it? Thanks to Jo Lewis in the Comments below for adding some clarity.
Primitive Methodist magazine June 1859 page 369