Indian Queens Pit

Indian Queens Pit is a non-conformist preaching pit, that is protected as a Scheduled Monument. It was constructed within a disused open mine working that had formed part of a larger tin mining concern known by the names of Fatwork and Virtue, Wheal Cornwall and Indian Queens Consols.

Local Wesleyans approached the owner Henry Jenkyn Rowse, with a plan to convert the openwork to a replica of Gwennap Pit. It was opened by local preacher Capt. Elvins of Retew in 1850 and called the “Indian Queens United Wesleyan Sunday School Amphitheatre.” Within about two years however, Methodism in the area was in crisis, with a splinter group called the Wesley Reform Society breaking away under the auspices of Capt. Elvins. This group later became the United Methodist Free Church (1857), building its own ‘Immanuel Chapel’ in 1876.

Indian Queens Pit

Indian Queens Pit

By the 1860s, the Pit itself was being used for anniversaries and often featured Indian Queens Band, itself founded in 1856. By this time, it was being used by both chapels in Indian Queens as well as the Bible Christians at Fraddon. Also using the Pit during the later 19th century were the Rechabites who local historian Stan May describes as a “teetotal organisation offering a kind of insurance against sickness.”

Henry Rowse’s son decided to dispose of a number of his properties around 1920, when a number of local chapel folk formed a consortium to secure the Pit. Under the leadership of Charles Old, the Pit was purchased for £60, and then remained in use for regular Sunday School anniversaries and other events until the summer of 1970.

For the next six years, the pit became overgrown and unused. Work began to bring the Pit back into use began in June 1976, under the leadership of local man Mr Lloyd Truscott. After two years hard work, which included the construction of seating along the northern edge of the monument, it was officially reopened in 1978.

The Pit is owned by a group of Trustees, who organise musical and community events in the Pit every year.

For more information on Events visit:
Arthur Trenerry
9 Harvenna Close, Fraddon, St Columb, TR9 6PA
Tel: 01726 860115