Mapping Methodism – Hayle Copperhouse Teetotal Chapel

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Hayle is a port town at the mouth of the Hayle River and is approximately seven miles (11 km) northeast of Penzance. This profile of Copperhouse Teetotal / Primitive Methodist Chapel has been compiled by Jo Lewis and Tony Mansell.


It seems likely that both the Teetotal Society and the Primitive Methodists occupied this building.

Originally the site of a Teetotal Methodist Chapel (see also [474]), founded 1845, it was sold after 1850 and bought by Canon Hockin as a chapel of ease to his church of Phillack, and acted as a temporary church during the building of St Elwyn’s Church [133]. (C. Noall, The Book of Hayle, 1984, 34) Rubble, rendered half-hipped gable to street front with bellcote and artificial slate roof. The gable end has no architectural details, although the rear gable retains an ecclesiastical window. Gabled porch to right; rubble wall to street with granite piers. Rebuilt 1895 for Rev. F. Hockin. A cross from Bodriggy is sited over the porch (see PRN 31882). (Cornwall Heritage Gateway)

1832: Hugh Bourne, the Primitive Methodist founder, arrived at Hayle by steamer from Bristol in 1832 and walked to Redruth. (A Dictionary of Methodism)

1833: The Primitive Methodists opened a chapel at Copperhouse but little is known of its progress. (A Dictionary of Methodism) A question mark exists as to whether this was the same building indicated in this profile.

21 Jun 1844: Assignment, Copperhouse Teetotal Wesleyan Chapel, Phillack. Assignment by way of mortgage by Trustees of Copperhouse Teetotal Wesleyan Chapel. Note on document: ‘This building is now St John’s Mission Church, Hayle’. (Kresen Kernow MRIHY/50)

1845: Build date. (Cornwall Heritage Gateway) Possibly an occupation date rather than build date.

Built as a Teetotal Methodist Chapel. (Cornwall Heritage Gateway / SWChurches)

1842: Hayle Teetotal Society in existence with its origins in the Teetotal Methodists of St Ives. Its leader was John Swann Withington who moved to the Tavistock & Devonport Circuit of the Wesleyan Methodist Association in 1852.

It is possible this was also the Primitive Methodist Chapel; in fact, the Primitives were teetotal from about 1833 so there may be some confusion between names.

1850: Chapel sold to the Church of England and became the St John’s Mission Church to Phillack to serve the expanding town.

The chapel was sold to the Church of England and became St John’s Mission Church. (SWChurches)

Seemingly bought from the Primitive Methodists.

1852: Hayle Teetotal Society (possibly the Primitives) broke up and the congregation joined the Wesleyan Methodist Association.

UK Wells documents the stay of William Haslam, the preacher, in Hayle and alludes to the purchase of a Primitive Methodist Church for Divine services (William Haslam’s Church, Hayle 1857 -1860) which later became a Band Hall. This ties in with the timing of the Anglican purchase of the Teetotal Chapel, the building of schools and the church which also later became a band room.

1862: The National School linked to it and built on the north side of the street was demolished late 20th century.

After 1888: Became redundant after the building of St Elwyn’s church.

Circa 1895: Rebuilt to some extent.

Became a band room and Hall.





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