Mapping Methodism – Chacewater Salem Primitive Methodist / United Methodist Free Church

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Chacewater is a village approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Redruth. This profile of Chacewater Salem United Methodist Free Church Chapel has been compiled by Tony Mansell.

 

From Wheal Busy drop down to Salem, joining the main Chacewater road, turning left towards Chacewater. As you come down the hill, you can see a sign for Salem Lodge Bed and Breakfast. Turn up this track, follow it round to the right and Salem Chapel was on the left.

Comments below will show that the building’s original occupiers are difficult to determine but the weight of evidence suggests that it may well have been a Baptist chapel before being taken over by a Methodist denomination – or two!

(Photo: Jo Lewis 2021)

1758: Jonathan Hornblower founded a Baptist church at Chacewater. (Cornishman – Thursday 01 October 1891) Whether there was a chapel and, if so, where it was located is unknown.

Next door to Salem House are Hornblower Cottages: this family were prominent Baptists and probably lived there and were very involved with the Baptist Church. They began meeting with a group of like-minded believers in a “Christian conference” for conversation, hymns and prayer. When a Mr Heath, a Baptist minister from Plymouth visited and preached in 1767, the Hornblowers saw the need to have a meetinghouse for the use of the Baptist community.  A suitable meetinghouse was built “almost entirely by our worthy and zealous brother Mr. Jonathan Hornblower” in 1767. The following year, 12 April 1768, the house was licensed as a meetinghouse for Baptists.  In September it was opened for religious purposes.

1830: This chapel’s build date. (Cornwall Council Heritage Gateway) But could this have been a re-build?

1761-1839: Minutes, Chacewater Baptist Church. Chacewater Baptist church minute book, associated with Falmouth church 1761-1807, thereafter with Truro. 1761-1795 and 1837-

  1. (Kresen Kernow X581/3) This may well relate to this building but we have not investigated at this time.

1761-1839: Minutes, Chacewater Baptist Church. Chacewater Baptist church minute book, associated with Falmouth church 1761-1807, thereafter with Truro. 1761-1795 and 1837-1839. (Kresen Kernow X581/3) This may well relate to this building but we have not investigated at this time.

There are early references to one, maybe two Baptist chapels in Chacewater (1858 – 1895) but none found on maps.

1880: Marked as a Primitive Methodist Chapel. (old-maps.co.uk) This seems rather strange as there was already a Primitive Methodist chapel in Chacewater so is the title a mistake or did this small community consider itself separate to the village?

If it was a Primitive Methodist Chapel then sometime after 1880 it was taken over by the United Methodist Free Church.

1907: Shown on maps as a Free United Methodist Church.

Early 1900s: Chacewater United Methodist Free Church (Salem) closed according to the following newspaper report.

(Source West Briton 24th September 1972 / David Philp)

1907: The Methodist New Connexion, Bible Christians and United Methodist Free Churches amalgamated to become the United Methodist Church although this chapel may have closed before this happened.

1960s: No longer marked on maps as a chapel.

The current owner (2021) states it was a Wesleyan chapel of 1847ish with a King Beam, and for much of the late 20 C was a roofless agriculture store area but re-roofed with planning in 1980’s. It is now a family home and Bed and Breakfast. See Cornwall Council Heritage Gateway comment below.

Baptist chapel now farm building. Circa 1830. Killas rubble with elvan quoins, jambstones and voussoirs. Hipped corrugated iron roof originally scantle slate. Rectangular plan with wide entrance to east. Later entrance and porch to middle of north wall. Wide doorway to east side with flat arch fallen. 2-window openings to north, south and west sides each with flat arches. North side has gable ended brick porch and blocked. Later entrance to far right. Interior gutted but retains king post roof structure. This is the first Baptist chapel to be built in Cornwall. (Cornwall Council Heritage Gateway)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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