Mapping Methodism – Adjewhella Wesleyan Chapel

Categories Articles0 Comments

Barripper is a village in west approximately one mile south-west of Camborne. Adjewhella Wesleyan Chapel is between Barripper and Camborne and this profile has been compiled by Jo Lewis and Tony Mansell.


“One of the local Camborne parish chapels that has almost vanished from the corporate memory as a place of Methodist worship is Adjewhella which lies on the northern side of the main road from Camborne to Barripper, just past the turning down into Higher Penponds. This is probably because it closed just over 60 years ago and very few now alive would recall it in use. Memory can soon vanish if proper records are not kept. Today the building with its little adjacent Sunday School is in use as two industrial units.

Adjewhella as a settlement gets a mention as far back as 1651 as Ajewella in the Camborne parish churchwardens’ rate and account book of 1535 to 1657 in the archives at Redruth, where the local tenements are recorded for rating purposes. It consists of a few cottages adjacent to the chapel itself and is a very small place indeed. It is interesting to reflect why the Wesleyans chose this of all sites to build their chapel in the nineteenth century, as it is neither in the village of Barripper or in the settlement of Penponds, though it is marginally closer to the latter, albeit Higher Penponds. It did however lie on a well-used thoroughfare and truly was a wayside chapel. As we saw in our previous post the Bible Christians had built a chapel in Penponds in 1844, while the United Methodist Free Church as a denomination was working in Barripper, as we shall later see in this survey. There was certainly some competition for souls, as the Anglicans were also working in Penponds from 1854.

The Adjewhella Wesleyan chapel was certainly in being by 1866, as this is the date of its earliest surviving Trust accounts at the Redruth archives, from the former Camborne Methodist Circuit. The archives also contain its closure and sale papers for the period 1958 to 1960 while the Trust minutes cease in 1959. The chapel was therefore wound up as a Methodist Society in the period 1958 to 1959. One gets the impression that if it had been sited more within a centre of population it may have survived many more years. As mentioned in a previous post the Wesleyans did consider building a brand new chapel in the centre of Penponds village in 1923 but these ambitious plans from the economically impoverished 1920s were never brought to fruition.

Our first picture is a lovely photograph by W J Bennetts of Camborne showing the chapel with its little Sunday School leading off the chapel courtyard from around 1910 to 1920. The main chapel appears to have some particularly attractively designed stained glass windows in its gabelled front elevation while a brick porch, probably a later addition, frames the front doorway. There are also some ornate wrought iron entrance gates. Three locals pose for the camera while a thatched cottage borders the premises on its western side.

The other picture is a postcard sized photograph of the interior by A E Sowden of 43 Carnarthen Street, Camborne dating from around the time closure occurred in 1958. It was taken as a momento of the chapel and a copy given to Local Preacher Mr Tom Harris of Camborne. The little pipe organ is the focal point of the interior while another small reed organ or harmonium is at the right hand side. Lighting, even in the 1950s, is still provided by oil lamps, while the traditional bible and Methodist hymn book are placed on the pulpit desk. There also seems to be a damp problem emanating from the window on the left hand side. This is the only picture that I have ever seen of the interior of this place of worship. So much can be learned from the study of a photograph. Thank goodness this picture was taken. If anyone has any further memories, pictures or documentation on this chapel I would appreciate knowing about it, as very few records exist.” (David Thomas, Kresen Kernow)


Wayside Methodist chapel and attached Sunday school, disused at time of survey. Dressed granite and granite rubble with granite dressings, Simple Classical style with round-arched openings. 2-window front chapel is set back from the road and has coped front gable end as pediment; openings boarded over. Sunday school stepped forward on the right has 2 sash windows with fanlight heads to its front gable; entrance to left-hand return (b1). (Cornwall Heritage Gateway)

Adjewhella Wesleyan Chapel 1910 to 1920 (Photo: W J Bennetts of Camborne, courtesy David Thomas)

Pre 1866: Build date.

1866: Existed at this time. (Trust accounts at the Redruth archives, from the former Camborne Methodist Circuit.)

Adjewhella Wesleyan Chapel Circa 1958 (Photo: A E Sowden of 43 Carnarthen Street, Camborne, courtesy David Thomas)

1913: Adjewhella Wesleyan Sunday School: “The annual tea treat was held on Thursday. Redruth Season Band headed the procession, which visited Barripper, Ramsgate and Penponds, and then returned to a field …” (17 July 1913 – The Cornish Telegraph)

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

1940: Seating for 146. (David Easton, Methodist Minister and historian)

1957: Closed. (David Easton, Methodist Minister and historian)

1959: “… The pulpit and seats had dry rot and have replaced from the closed Adjewhella and Higher Kehelland Chapels.” (West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser – Thursday 03 September 1959)

1958-1960: Papers, closure and sale, Adjewhella Methodist Church, Penponds, Camborne. (Kresen Kernow MRCB/232)

Converted into industrial units. (David Easton, Methodist Minister and historian)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.