Mapping Methodism – Cosawes Barton Methodist Meeting House

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Cosawes Barton sits to the southeast of Ponsanooth, a village between Falmouth and Redruth. This profile of the Methodist Meeting House at Cosawes Barton has been compiled by Jo Lewis and Tony Mansell.


An article written in 1955 called “More Memories of Cosawes” and believed to be from “The West Briton” states: “Methodism in Ponsanooth can claim its origin at the Barton. William Carvosso, born near Mousehole in 1750, was a revivalist who fully converted in 1771. He took a farm, Cosawes Barton, in St Gluvias in 1788. Soon he discovered there was no Methodist chapel in the neighbourhood but at a farmhouse preaching was conducted once a fortnight.”

Cornish fisherman and farmer and saintly revivalist, born near Mousehole on 11 March 1750. He began to associate with the Methodists through his sister’s influence and in revulsion against the cockfighting and Sabbath-breaking prevalent in his day. He was soundly converted in 1771. He farmed at Cosawes Barton, Ponsanooth, but gave this up to move around the Cornish countryside visiting classes, sometimes as many as eleven in a week. He compensated for his lack of formal education by his evangelical fervour. He died at Dowstal, Mylor on 13 October 1834. His memoirs (edited by his son, 1860), a classic WM biography, give one of the most vivid accounts of an early Methodist class leader. His son Benjamin Carvosso (1789-1854; e.m. 1814), born at St. Gluvias near Ponsanooth, on 27 September 1789, was a pioneer WM missionary in Australia. He arrived in Tasmania in 1820 and served in New South Wales and Tasmania until 1830, opening the new chapel in Hobart in 1825. He was the main instigator of the Australian Magazine, the earliest Methodist periodical and literary journal on that continent. Its suppression by the Missionary Committee in London was resented by the Australians. Ill-health compelled his return to England in 1830. He became a teetotaller and during the time of his appointments to the *Redruth and Liskeard Circuits in the 1830s was the only WM itinerant stationed in Cornwall to be an active supporter of the total abstinence movement. He died at Tuckingmill, Camborne on 2 October 1854. (A Dictionary of Methodism)

2004: History of Cosawes Barton, Ponsanooth. Printed book, Cosawes Barton, Ponsanooth, Cornwall. A short history of the farm and something of its occupiers, c1066-2004, by John C Carbis, 2004. (Kresen Kernow FS/3/1622)

Kresen Kernow holds many other papers relating to Cosawes Barton and these may throw further light on its use as a meeting house. It does seem that the Barton and its owner played a significant part in the development of Methodism in the area.


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