GWENNAP

Although once famed for yielding more mineral wealth in tin and copper from its acreage than any other place in the old world (and, at the same time, being the most populous parish in Cornwall), the parish of Gwennap is today better known for Gwennap Pit, a great green amphitheatre formed originally by subsidence but given formal terracing in 1806. Drawn by its natural acoustics and the shelter it gave from high winds, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, came to preach here eighteen times between 1762 and 1789. It has been estimated that between twenty and thirty thousand people used to crowd into the hollow to hear him speak; it must have been an extraordinary experience. Gwennap Pit is still a powerful place of Methodist pilgrimage and worship today.

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