St Austell Downs Primitive Methodist chapel

camp meetings on the wrestling downs

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, but 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.

Where was the chapel and what happened to it?


Reference

Primitive Methodist magazine June 1859 page 369

 

Comments about this page

  • I have been spending a little time trying to work out where the ‘wrestling downs’ PMC was that is described on the website and actually i think it might be this one the PMC on Clifden road. I can’t find any other PMC in the right area and the timings all work too

    My explanation is as follows.

    Clifden Road used to be called Union Road and this Chapel is clearly marked as a Primitive methodist chapel on old maps from 1881 – 1947.
    There is a small building at the back -it is not clear what this is.
    It may not be unreasonable to suggest this or the smaller building is the Primitive Methodist Chapel built on Wrestling Downs (possibly also known as St Austell Downs Chapel).
    St Austell Downs was “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, but in 1859 they opened a new, larger chapel. The foundation stone was laid in August 1858.
    http://www.myprimitivemethodists.org.uk/content/chapels/cornwall...

    ukwells.org/wells/wrestling-down-primitive-methodists

    It has been hard to locate the St Austell Downs chapel. Wrestling Downs absolutely existed as a registered location in Cornwall (also known as Wrestling)
    The St Austell genealogy site lists this as Wrestling (Wrestling Downs) 52/01 before 1828; 53/03 after (between Polkyth & Mt. Charles) bounded by Union Road (ref OS map 107)
    sites.rootsweb.com/~staustell/Word_Doc/Dir/Pl-s_z.htm

    Cornwall archived show account books and seat rent ledgers from 1842-1946 which also fits with the known closure of this chapel

    discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/N13742024

    Union Road Chapel closed in the 1940s (and presumably the congregation moved to the other two nearby methodist churches. In the 1970s the congregations of Bridge Street (see other) and Victoria Street (see other) churches amalgamated to become Mount Charles Methodist Church (See other)

    http://www.old-maps.co.uk/#/Map/202503/52500/12/100115

    By Jo Lewis (17/08/2019)

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