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Gallery: Churches of Cornwall
by Jo Lewis, 11 September 2020
Restormel (South) Part 28: Churches of Bridges to Tretoil
Bridges (First) Bible Christian Chapel
could once be found on the north flank of Luxulyan station, where
the present industrial units stand behind the old corn mill. It
appears on the 1888 OS map but is gone entirely from the map by 1907
by which time it had been replaced by the second chapel (see links).
Archives show a lease dated 1819, although they suggest that the
chapel itself was built in 1846. Documentation related to William
O'Bryan backs up the 1819 date.
Travelling south-west from Bridges finds
Rosemelling Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, standing on the
western side of the main lane through this hamlet, opposite the
junction with the 'u'-shaped turning along which most of the
residential houses lie. The chapel was built in 1872 with an
interior deigned by Sylvanius Trevail. Archives exist for the
chapel for 1892-1949, and planning documents show approval for
conversion into a private dwelling in 1975.
Bodiggo Old Chapel once stood in the
settlement of the same name, to the north-west of Luxulyan via
Cross. The Reformation destroyed a good many private chapels, mainly
chantry chapels. Those in Cornwall had been licensed by the bishops
of Exeter from the thirteenth century onwards. The second-earliest
to be licensed in Cornwall - in 1283 - was at Boswythgy (Bodiggo) in
Luxulyan parish. As is often the case, nothing remains of the chapel
Gunwen Wesleyan Methodist Chapel and
adjoining burial ground lie on the southern side of the lane at
Lowertown, immediately north of Lower Gurtla and further from Gunwen.
In 1789 William Bryant (O'Bryan) was born at Gunwen Farm. He became
a Methodist preacher and built the first Gunwen chapel about 1796 on
land he donated. The chapel gained its name from the farm. He was
expelled by his society in 1810, and formed the Bible Christian
Church in 1815.
The original Gunwen chapel was replaced by the
present building in 1869. It also underwent complete restoration in
2017, resulting in the 'before' (above) and 'after' photos here. It
is a simple two-storey building of typical Cornish Methodist chapel
appearance with no direct connection between the two floors: the
ground floor is a meeting room and the first floor chapel is
approached by an exterior staircase at the rear corner. Today it
is a Grade 2 listed building.
St Inunger's Old Chapel (or St Inonger)
once stood on the site of today's St Inunger Farm on the southern
edge of the A30, and a short way north of Fenton Pitts. It was noted
in 1284 as Stungongar and in 1588 as St Gonger. Ingongar is thought
to be expanded from the name St Congar, a pan-Celtic saint. Old maps
mark St Congar's well but not the chapel, medieval, and probably
demolished at the Reformation. The St Ingunger cross is located 300m
south-east of the well.
Five photos on this page by Jo Lewis, and one
kindly contributed by Douglas Law via the 'History Files: Churches
of the British Isles' Flickr group.