Altarnun, Cornwall

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The parish in which lies Trewint, the home of Digory and Elizabeth Isbell, who were hosts to John Wesley on several occasions when he visited the parish and to John Nelson and other itinerant preachers. They were staunch Anglicans as well as Methodist supporters and are buried in Altarnun churchyard.

Altarnun chapel was built in 1795 and enlarged in 1836. Over the entrance is a stone portrait of John Wesley, carved at the age of 18 by Nevil Northey Burnard, born at Altarnun, who became a well-known sculptor. He also carved the memorial to his grandparents, George and Elizabeth Burnard, who were members of the local Methodist society, Dr. George Smith and Richard Trevithick..


John Wesley's Journal:

2 April 1744: 'The hills were covered with snow, as in the depth of winter. About two we came to Trewint, wet and weary enough, having been battered by the rain and hail for some hours. I preached in the evening to many more than the house would contain, on the happiness of him whose sins are forgiven. In the morning Digory Isbel undertook to pilot us over the great moor, all the paths being covered with snow; which, in many places, was driven together too deep for horse or man to pass. '

16 April 1744: 'In the afternoon we came again to Trewint. I learned that notice had been given of my preaching that evening in Laneast church, which was crowded exceedingly. Mr. Bennet, the minister of Laneast, carried me afterwards to his house; and (though above seventy years old) came with me in the morning to Trewint, where I had promised to preach at five.'

July 1745: 'Mr. Bennet met us at Trewint… I preached between four and five, and then went on to Laneast church…'

September 1762: 'About noon I preached at Trewint. It was fifteen years since I preached there before.'

  • Methodist Magazine, 1809, p.115
  • The Early Methodist Preachers, vol.1, p.73

See also

Category: Place
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