Mapping Methodism – Polperro Bible Christian Chapel

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This profile or Polperro Bible Christian Chapel in The Coombe, has been compiled by Jo Lewis and Tony Mansell.


1837 Chapel on Talland Hill

Nonconformist Chapel (19th Century to Unknown – 1837 AD) Bible Christian Chapel, now commercial premises. Opened by William O’Bryan, the founder of the Bible Christian movement. Local rubble and Plymouth limestone rubble; rag slate roof, some brick dressings. Late C19 horned sashes with Y-traceried heads to 1st floor of front end. Horseshoe-plan forecourt walls. A good vernacular example in a good group with other listed buildings. (Heritage Gareway)

The chapel is said to have been opened by William O’Bryan, the founder of the Bible Christian movement, but although he was the founder of the Bible Christian Movement evidence suggest that it was the WMA chapel that he opened in 1738.

There are records at Kresen Kernow of a Zion Methodist Chapel in Polperro. The ‘Zion’ name is most often attached to the Bible Christians and this may be the same chapel. But records are mixed and duplicated with the other methodist chapels.

There are Bible Christian Pew rents from 1869, which may refer to this chapel.

Became a shop and now appears to be a Self catering holiday cottage.

It is a Grade 2 listed building.



1877 Ebeneezer Chapel in The Coombe

1877 Chapel (Photo: Tony Mansell)

1877 Chapel (Photos: Tony Mansell)


Coming into Polperro from the north, from the A387, on The Coombe, the chapel is on the right opposite the Penryn House Hotel.

Chapel, now commercial premises. Stucco with rusticated stucco detail to front end, killas rubble with polychrome brickwork to sides; rag slate roof with crested ridge tiles. Italianate style. Gable as pediment; Venetian window over doorway with modillioned hood; round-arched openings with original margin-glazed windows. (Heritage Gateway)

1877: Build date.

Seating: 182. (David Easton, Methodist Researcher)

Accounts run from 1877.

There are records of pew rents from 1869 which implies a previous building or pre-build funding.

1907: The Methodist New Connexion, Bible Christians and United Methodist Free Churches amalgamated to become the United Methodist Church.

1907: Became a United Methodist Church

Chapel refurbished.

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

1932: Became Ebenezer Methodist Church.

1933: Closure. (David Easton, Methodist Researcher)

1934: Sold.

Became a builder’s store and workshop.

1972: Bought by the East Cornwall Society of Artists and converted into a Gallery.

It is now known as The Ebenezer Gallery.



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