Mapping Methodism – Tresillian Wesleyan Chapel

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Tresillian is a small village in mid Cornwall, three miles (5 km) east of Truro on the A390 road. This profile of Tresillian Wesleyan Chapel has been compiled by Jo Lewis and Tony Mansell.


Wesleyan chapel with later attached schoolroom (late C19). Killas rubble with brick dressings; original scantle slate roof to Sunday school, new roof to chapel but with reused crested clay ridge tiles. Simple Gothic style alteration to chapel to match the late C19 Sunday School addition. Original chapel has elliptical-arched doorway to front end; side openings altered to pointed-arched heads. Sunday School has pointed arches; Y-traceried windows and planked door to side wall of gabled porch. Rubble forecourt walls with granite coping and gate-piers; wrought-iron railings and gates. Listed in Stell (b1). (Cornwall Council Heritage Gateway)

Tresillian Wesleyan Chapel (Photo: Jo Lewis)

(Photo: Barry West)

(Photo: Barry West)

(Photo: Barry West)

(Photo: Garry Tregidga

Build date not found – marked on the 1880 map.

Built as a Wesleyan chapel. (SWChurches)

1870: Tresillian Sunday School: “… The teachers and scholars assembled at the Wesleyan Chapel, where a procession was formed, headed by the Sticker Brass Band. After perambulating the village, they proceeded to a field kindly lent by Mr R White, …” (4 August 1870 – West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser)

1874: New harmonium. (Royal Cornwall Gazette – Saturday 25 April 1874)

1879: “Tresillian Wesleyan Chapel. Re-Opening Services, as follow: on Friday next, August 22nd, 1879, the Rev. J. E. WALSH (New Connexion minister, Truro), will preach in the Afternoon, at Three o’clock. A Public TEA will be provided at Five o’clock. Tickets —Adults, 9d.; children, A Public Meeting will be held at Seven o’clock, when addresses will be delivered the Rev. J. S. Paige (Baptist minister, Truro), Rev. J. K. Walsh, Mr. J. Hearn, and other friends. Sunday, August 24th, two Sermons will be preached, in the Morning at Eleven, and in the Evening Six o’clock, by the Rev. J. S. PAWLVN, of Truro. Collections at the close of each service in aid the Trust Fund.” (West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser – Thursday 21 August 1879)

1879: “TRESILLIAN. The Wesleyans of this place have lately made series of great efforts to improve their chapel, make it more convenient and comfortable, and its services more interesting and attractive. The last of these efforts was the reseating and restoration of the chapel. The congregation deserve great praise for the spirit, taste, and liberality they have displayed in effecting the great and necessary improvements. Re-opening services, which were held a few months since, were very successful and the collections liberal, but still a heavy debt on the restoration remained at their close…” (Cornishman – Thursday 06 November 1879)

Village history notes that by the 1880s a school, a blacksmiths workshop, a mission chapel (erected 1878- Kelly’s Directory 1930) a non-conformist chapel, a corn mill and a number of houses had been constructed alongside the road and on reclaimed land on the north side of St Clements creek (Tresillian River).

1882: Hymns, Sunday School anniversary, Tresillian Wesleyan Chapel. (Kresen Kernow MRT/123b)

1882: The Sunday school anniversary document suggests an older church and school.  [There is a Sunday school marked next to Tresillian Church (was the mission chapel) by 1907 but this was likely the Sunday school to the rebuilt Mission Church].

1898: “Tresillian Wesleyan Chapel. The Renovation Committee of this chapel opened tenders for the work of renovation on Friday the 18th. The following sent in tenders: … The tenders of Messrs. Fugler and Michell and Cowlin were accepted, and the work will be proceeded with forthwith.” (Royal Cornwall Gazette – Thursday 24 February 1898)

1898: “Tresillian Chapel has been renovated, and will be re-opened on July 29th, and an effort is being made to pay off the debt on the chapel property.” (Royal Cornwall Gazette – Thursday 30 June 1898)

1900: “Tresillian Wesleyan Chapel is one of the prettiest country edifices of the kind in the Truro circuit. Its Gothic entrance porch, modern benches, commodious rostrum with moulded panels, all in varnished oak, and its stained glass windows make it quite an unique little Nonconformist place of worship. Having practically cleared off the large expense upon this work, designed by Mr. McCoskrie, of Grampound-road, the congregation set about purchasing a new harmonium en suite to lead the devotional music of the sanctuary. This, a very admirable instrument, was opened on Friday evening by the Rev. A. E. Sharpley at a dedicatory musical service attended by a large congregation…” (Royal Cornwall Gazette – Thursday 11 January 1900)

1900: “Tresillian Wesleyan Chapel – At the annual Trustees’ meeting, on the 8th inst., it was reported that the entire cost of the complete renovation of the chapel had been met, and the debt paid off. A good harmonium has been purchased, and efforts will be duly made to provide for this expenditure. Mr John Colett, chapel steward, and Mr. Thomas Rich (Polsue) trustees’ treasurer, were thanked for their services and re-elected. The annual tea meeting on Good Friday was approved.” (Royal Cornwall Gazette – Thursday 15 March 1900)

1905: Tresillian. “… After tea, sports were indulged in. The Foxhole Brass Band was in attendance and played various selections during the evening. The weather was fine …” (29 June 1905 – Royal Cornwall Gazette)

1908: “Tresillian Chapel Damaged. Between two and three o’clock Monday afternoon the inhabitants Tresillian were startled at hearing terrific crash in the vicinity of the Wesleyan Chapel. On investigations being made, it was found that a huge elm tree, about 70 feet high, had been snapped off near its base, and had fallen on the chapel, and as may imagined, wrought considerable damage. The roof the building was smashed in on one side, the ceiling cracked, a ventilator entirely destroyed, and, as a result of the impact, the whole roof was displaced to the extent of about six inches. The walls, however, appear to stand good. Some time ago the chapel underwent renovation, and now the damage is estimated at between £70 and £8O. The tree which stood on Lord Falmouth’s property, was in advanced state of decay, and broke off at about three feet from the ground.” (West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser. Thursday, September 3. 1908)

1932: The Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist and the United Methodist Church amalgamated to become the Methodist Church of Great Britain.

1932: Became Tresillian Methodist Church. (SWChurches)

Part of Truro Methodist Circuit. (SWChurches)

2021: Active.

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