Mapping Methodism – (Higher) Carnkie Primitive Methodist Chapel

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Carnkie is a village in west Cornwall approximately one and a half miles southwest of Redruth. This profile (Higher) Carnkie Primitive Methodist Chapel has been compiled by Jo Lewis and Tony Mansell.


A primitive Methodist chapel, probably mid C19 now converted to house and altered. It is now difficult to recognise this as a former chapel. (Cornwall Heritage Gateway)

Taking the road opposite the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, ascending the hill, the old Primitive Methodist chapel is on the curve on the left, set slightly back with a sign across the door helpfully directing us to the ‘the old Methodist chapel’. Built in 1832, at a cost of £66 and seating 106 persons. The land it was built on was leased for 99 years. It also had a Sunday school behind it (built in 1903). The chapel became Higher Carnkie Methodist Church in 1932. It was part of Redruth Primitive Methodist Circuit until 1932, then part of Redruth Plain-an-Gwarry Methodist Circuit. In 1982 the vestry was extended before the chapel closed in 1990 and sold. It is now private housing that has also been used as a holiday home. (My Primitive Methodists)

The converted Carnkie Primitive Methodist Chapel (Photo: Jo Lewis)

1830: Build date. (1851 Census document)

Mid-19th century: Build date. (Cornwall Heritage Gateway)

1832: Build date. (SWChurches)

Part of Redruth Primitive Methodist Circuit. (SWChurches)

10 Jan 1832: Lease, site of Higher Carnkie Primitive Methodist Chapel, Illogan. Parties: 1) The Right Honourable Francis Lord de Dunstanville and Basset. 2) John Nicholls, gardener, of Redruth. Lease of a plot of waste ground, parcel of the tenement of Carnkye in Illogan containing about six perches of land and on which a chapel for religious worship has lately been built [Higher Carnkie Primitive Methodist Chapel]. Part of Tehidy manor.. Term: 99 years from 9 January 1832 on the lives of Christian James, daughter of William and Elizabeth James of Illogan, aged 13, Caroline Richards, daughter of James and Grace Richards of Illogan, aged 10 and Ann Jewell, daughter of Samuel and Mary Jewell of Illogan, aged 7. Consideration: yearly rent of 2 shillings and 6 pence. Witnessed by William Reynolds and Robert Crout. (Kresen Kernow MRR/1918)

26 Oct 1832: Assignment of lease, site of Higher Carnkie Primitive Methodist Chapel, Illogan. Parties: 1) John Nicholls, gardener, of Redruth. 2) Joel Scoble, blacksmith and Thomas Geach, carpenter, both of Kenwyn; John Hicks, shopkeeper, James Dunstone, miner, Charles Harris, carpenter, Thomas Trenwith, miner, Matthew Wickett, labourer and William Gladdon, maltster, all of Redruth; James Richards and William James, miners, both of Illogan; William Wasley, shopkeeper, and John Annear, miner, both of Gwennap; and John Retallack, blacksmith, of Camborne. Assignment of 99 year lease upon trust of plot of land at Higher Carnkie, on which a chapel for religious worship has lately been built. Consideration: 10 shillings by 2) to 1) Recites Basset lease of 10 January 1832. Witnessed by John Honey, conveyancer, Redruth and Thomas Ford. (Kresen Kernow MRR/1919)

Carnkie: return from the Primitive Methodist chapel to the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious worship. Return no: 310 3 1 5 transcribed by David Tonks 2021. There was no Sunday school. The Return uses the name Carnkie rather than Higher Carnkie.

1882: 46th Annual tea treat. (Cornubian and Redruth Times – Friday 28 July 1882)

1886: “Carnkie Primitive Methodist Sunday School held their tea-treat on Saturday. Penryn Brass Band and the Carnkie Fife and Drum Band were in attendance…” (23 July 1886 – Cornubian and Redruth Times)

1900: “Carnkie Primitive Methodists held their annual tea-treat on Saturday. Hayle Artillery Band was in attendance…” (20 July 1900 – Cornubian and Redruth Times)

1903: Sunday School built. (SWChurches)

1903: “Carnkie Primitive Methodists held their annual tea treat Saturday. They were headed from that place to Redruth by the Redruth Town Band, under the conductorship of Mr Wills. On the return journey the children, were regaled with a good tea…” (23 July 1903 – Cornishman)

1906: Plan of site, Higher Carnkie Primitive Methodist Chapel, Illogan. Marked up copy of six inch Ordnance Survey map, showing site of chapel. (Kresen Kernow MRR/1920)

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

1932: Became Higher Carnkie Methodist Church. (SWChurches)

Part of Redruth Plain-an-Gwarry Methodist Circuit. (SWChurches)

1940: Seating for 100. (David Easton, Methodist Minister and historian)

1988: Closed. (David Easton, Methodist Minister and historian)

1990: Chapel closed and the premises were sold. (SWChurches)

1990: Closed (Kresen Kernow MRR/1918)

Converted to dwelling. (Cornwall Heritage Gateway)












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