Mapping Methodism – Probus Wesleyan Chapel

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Probus is a village about five miles west of Truro. This profile of Probus Wesleyan Chapel has been compiled by Jo Lewis and Tony Mansell.


The 1700s Meeting House

There have been Methodists in Probus since the 1700s with various buildings housing chapels.

1700s: The daughter of Mr Dabb persuaded him to open up his house (opposite the Hawkins Arms pub) for meetings. This was probably the first Methodist meeting place in Probus.


The 1788 Chapel

1785-1884: Leases, Wesleyan Chapel and tenements in Probus. Leases of part of Trevorryan; tenements in Lanlissick, Probus Green; Wesleyan Chapel; Probus Mill tenement, 1785-1826; 1881 and 1884. (Kresen Kernow J/1/320)

1788: Build date.

1802: Chapel extended.

1812: Chapel extended.

1815 to 1837: Probus Wesleyan Chapel baptisms listed.

1837: Replaced by a new Wesleyan chapel build next door.

1873: Award of enfranchisement, Wesleyan chapel and vestry room, Probus. Award of enfranchisement to Michael Benney, grocer, George George, relieving officer, and Robert Mitchell, farmer, all of Probus. Consideration £4. (Kresen Kernow SHM/1170)

1866: Cornwall Heritage Gateway state that this Wesleyan Day school was built in 1866. If correct then its initial use as the 1788 Wesleyan Chapel cannot be correct although it is possible that it was built on the same site or re-developed.

1877: Hymns for re-opening celebrations, Probus Wesleyan chapel. Booklet of hymns issued to commemorate the re-opening of the chapel. (Kresen Kernow MRT/123a)

1885: This building became a day school. It was the custom for the old chapels to become Sunday schools and schools as bigger chapel were built and therefore it is assumed that this is the older chapel.

1885: Ran a Day School until circa 1930 when the Wesleyan and Church of England Schools merged. (SWChurches)

1900s: An old image from 1900s when it would have been the school can be found here:

1907: Became the Sunday school. (Cornwall Heritage Gateway)

1972: Probus Methodist Chapel advertised for sale. (West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser – Thursday 08 June 1972)


The 1825 / 1837 Chapel

Probus Wesleyan Chapel (Photo: Jo Lewis)

Wesleyan chapel and attached Sunday school. Constructed in 1825 from a Malthouse and replacing an earlier c 1788 chapel elsewhere in the village. Rubble walls with brick arches, the front stuccoed with stucco detail. 3-bay front in the classical style but with Picturesque Gothic windows with hoodmoulds. Horse-shoe gallery and good plasterwork. Gable added in 1889. In use as a furniture store. Listed in Stell (b1). (Cornwall Heritage Gateway)

1825: Build date. (Cornwall Heritage Gateway) Some records state 1837.

Built as a Wesleyan chapel. (SWChurches)

1837: Possible registration date. (SWChurches)

1851: Agreement to purchase leasehold tenement, Probus Wesleyan chapel. Tenement in Lamprobus manor. (Kresen Kernow MRT/760)

Circa 1871: Ground plan of old Wesleyan chapel and schoolroom, Probus. Watermark 1871. (Kresen Kernow SHM/970)

1877: Record of re-opening Wesleyan chapel presumably following renovations.

1889: Wesleyans at Probus. In the autumn of last year it was found necessary to strip off and relay the roof of Probus Wesleyan Chapel; at the same time much needed improvements were effected by building a gable front and placing additional entrances at the east end of the chapel- Special efforts have just been made to defray the consequent outlay…” Royal Cornwall Gazette – Thursday 30 May 1889

1893: Chapel re-opened following renovation. (Royal Cornwall Gazette – Thursday 27 July 1893)

1837 to 1903: Wesleyan-Methodist Chapel baptisms listed.

1911: Tenders invited to build a caretaker’s residence. (Royal Cornwall Gazette – Thursday 27 July 1911)

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

1932: Became Probus Methodist Church. (SWChurches)

Part of Truro Methodist Circuit. (SWChurches)

1940: Seating for 400. (David Easton, Methodist Minister and historian)

1992: Closure date. (SWChurches / David Easton, Methodist Minister and historian)

Records and minutes exist for Probus Methodist society until the 1990s.

Congregation met in village hall. (David Easton, Methodist Minister and historian)

1994: Letter of sale.

Building converted to commercial use. (David Easton, Methodist Minister and historian)

Became a flourishing antiques shop (Junk and Disorderly).

Probus Wesleyan Chapel, March 2007. (Photo: Terry Knight of St Agnes)


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