Mapping Methodism – Ninnes Bridge (Lelant Downs) Primitive Methodist Chapel

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Ninnis or Ninnes Bridge (previously Ninnesbridge) is a hamlet in west Cornwall northwest of Canon’s Town and near Trencrom Hill. The profile of this Primitive Methodist Chapel (Uny, Lelant, Penzance. TR27 6NL) is compiled by Val Thomas of St Ives Old Cornwall Society)

The Chapel before conversion (Photo courtesy of David Allan collection at the St Ives Museum)

The chapel lies next to the St Michael’s Way below Trencrom Hill. Ninnes Bridge, as it is now called, is a hamlet which once went by the name of Gonew. It is located off the coach road which leads from Lelant to St Ives and is on a dead end track. This was once an area which had many mines.

1872: The land was bought for a chapel. Trustees were John Quick, William Quick, John Hollow, Thomas Eddy and James Inch, (farmers), John Curnow, Henry James, Thomas Martin and William Bennetts (miners), Charles Burt (tailor), Edward Richards (grocer of St Ives), Richard Paynter Stevens, Matthew Woolcock, Thomas Henry Bryant (fishermen of St Ives). The chapel cost about £150 to build.

1873: The chapel datestone shows this date.

1886: In February Missionary Services were held by Mr. J. Williams of Trenoweth on the Sunday and on the following evening the annual missionary meeting was held, when stirring addresses were given by the Rev. Matthews of Redruth and the Rev. H. Roe.

1886: In September on the Sunday a harvest festival was held at which Mr. W. Glasson preached. Corn, fruit and vegetables were prettily arranged. On Monday the services were continued.

1887: On Thursday May 19th The Cornish Telegraph reported that ‘An entertainment had taken place at Ninnis Bridge Chapel on Sunday afternoon, by the Halsetown Choir. Mr W. Burt presided at the harmonium.’

1894: St Ives Primitive-Methodist choir, teachers and scholars gave a cantata.

(The Cornishman Thursday 18th October 1894)

1932: The chapel became Ninnis Bridge Methodist Church according to Kresen Kernow.

1936: The annual camp meeting services were held on Trencrom Hill on Sunday August 16th in the afternoon and evening. Each service was conducted by Mr George Rowe of Penzance.

1937: April 22nd The Cornishman and Cornish Telegraph gave the news that the Cannonstown Band of Hope gave a programme at Ninnesbridge Methodist Chapel on Friday evening… The band of Hope are 20 strong and are led by Mrs Kent. Mrs Carne was the organist… The proceeds go to the Sunday-school fund.

1940: April 4th The Cornishman newspaper shows that the Ninnis Bridge Methodist Chapel is in great need of an organ – James Thomas, organist, Polpeor, Lelant.

1947: A Memorial service was held on January 26th for William John Uren who died for his country in 1841.

An inscribed granite tablet was unveiled to his honour by Mr. W. Bastia. Rev. Brooks Farlow took the service.

1987: 15th May. The chapel is registered by the Registrar General as no longer being used as a place of worship by the congregation on whose behalf it was, on 14th June 1892, registered for marriages  in accordance with the marriage act 1836.

Details of the sale can be obtained from Kresen Kernow MRD/275. It is linked to St Ives Fore Street Methodist Church 1831. It was sold by the Methodist Church property Division in Manchester.

Ninnesbridge Primitive Methodist Chapel (Philip Thornborow 2003)

2021: The Chapel is now called ‘Old Chapel House’ and Ninnes Bridge is spelt as two words.

Ninnis and Ninnes seems to be interchangeable.

Converted Chapel at Ninnes Bridge – Ninnes Bridge is a tiny hamlet and the Methodist Chapel is now converted to private accommodation (Image: Copyright Tony Atkin)


The following article is from St Michael’s Way 25th March 2015

This side-by-side 1913 map shows Ninnes Bridge to the bottom left side of Trencrom Hill, on Carntiscoe Road, Lelant Downs


Kresen Kernow has:

Accounts for the Sunday School – MR1/151

Treasurer’s accounts MRI/150

Trust minutes MRIHY/258




National maps of Scotland.

‘Find my Past’ newspaper articles.

1 thought on “Mapping Methodism – Ninnes Bridge (Lelant Downs) Primitive Methodist Chapel

  1. A beautifully told story. Thank you. I am researching a Lelant lady called Mary Ninnes Pearce, born in 1853. It was interesting to connect her name to this place.

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