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The Old Chapel

A Grade II Listed Building in St. Anthony-in-Meneage, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.0809 / 50°4'51"N

Longitude: -5.1046 / 5°6'16"W

OS Eastings: 177984

OS Northings: 24702

OS Grid: SW779247

Mapcode National: GBR ZC.N08Z

Mapcode Global: FRA 086S.TBL

Entry Name: The Old Chapel

Listing Date: 30 August 1973

Last Amended: 4 March 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1141703

English Heritage Legacy ID: 65346

Location: St. Anthony-in-Meneage, Cornwall, TR12

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Anthony-in-Meneage

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Anthony-in-Meneage

Church of England Diocese: Truro

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A former Bible Christian chapel, built in 1829, later used as a Methodist chapel, and converted into a dwelling in the late 1970s. The attached late-C20 flat-roof extension and adjoining C19 hipped-roof former outbuilding to the west are excluded from the listing.


A former Bible Christian chapel, built in 1829, later used as a Methodist chapel, and converted into a dwelling in the late 1970s. The attached late-C20 flat-roof extension and adjoining C19 hipped-roof former outbuilding to the west are excluded from the listing.

MATERIALS: granite stone rubble, partly white-washed and rendered, with a slate and red-clay tile roof.

PLAN: a rectangular footprint on an east-west axis, linked to a small square building to the west.

EXTERIOR: a single-storey building. The south elevation has one round-headed window opening. The north elevation has two rectangular window openings. A late-C20 lean-to is at the east end (formerly the entrance). The west end has two small, straight-headed windows under the eaves. All of the windows are uPVC replacements. The roof is a hipped slate construction.
A small architecturally modest late-C20 flat-roofed extension (containing the modern entrance), acts as a link to a much altered C19 former outbuilding, both attached to the west. These structures are excluded from the listing.

INTERIOR: the interior of the chapel has retained its plain plaster walls and shaped ceiling and the C20 lean-to to the east is accessed through the partially blocked former chapel entrance way. Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the internal partitions, fixtures and fittings that relate to the late-C20 domestic conversion are not of special architectural or historic interest.


The Bible Christian movement was a society with roots within Wesleyan Methodism. Its founder, William Bryant (1778-1868), also known as O’Bryan, had been a Cornish miner and an itinerant Wesleyan minister from 1811-14. He travelled around Cornwall, particularly those parts which had not previously engaged with Methodism. In 1815, having been excluded from the Methodist church due to his vocal opposition to some of their policies, he founded a new nonconformist movement. Known initially as the Bryants after their founder, by the 1820s they were known as the Bible Christians. The movement grew and in 1827 it had 8,054 recorded members. Between 1827 and 29 membership declined, due in large part to disagreement over the society’s management and the subsequent departure of William Bryant from the church. However, membership later rallied and by the early C20 there were 32,202 members. In 1907 the society elected to become part of the United Free Methodist church.

The chapel in St. Anthony-in-Meneage was built in 1829 for the Bible Christian community, in the early stages of the movement’s development. The Tithe Map (circa 1840), shows a chapel with a rectangular footprint. The Second Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1907) shows it still in use as a Bible Christian Chapel and a small associated square building is depicted to the west. The chapel was taken over by the Methodists in 1907. It was also used for secular activities, including as a village hall. In 1973 the chapel was recorded as retaining internal fixtures and fittings, including a pulpit, box pews, a communion table (of later date) kept in a gated enclosure with turned railings in the upper half of the building and open benches in the centre of the chapel (probably late-C19 replacements). The walls were noted as being plain plaster with a shaped ceiling above. In the late 1970s the building was converted into a dwelling, at which time most of the internal fittings were removed. The chapel was joined to the small western building by a single-storey flat-roofed link and an enclosed porch was added to the east end. During the late C20/ early C21 all of the windows, including a rounded sash with gothic detailing in the south elevation, were replaced with uPVC. The roof of the former chapel was also recovered with modern slates and ridge tiles.

Reasons for Listing

The Old Chapel in St. Anthony-in-Meneage, excluding late-C20 flat-roof extension and adjoining C19 hipped-roof former outbuilding to the west, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historic interest: as an early-C19 building, it is one of the earliest surviving chapels of the Bible Christian movement;
* Architectural interest: it is a characterful survival that exemplifies the modest vernacular style typical of the Bible Christian movement;
* Legibility: despite alterations, the form of the former chapel can still be readily discerned in the surviving fabric. We have made it clear that the late-C20 alterations are not of special interest.

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