Gwennap Pit is an open air amphitheatre, near Redruth in Cornwall, made famous by John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Possibly a hollow created by mining activities, it has remarkable acoustic properties. It became the favourite open air preaching place of John Wesley, who was taken to it in 1762, describing it as "a round green hollow" and as "an amphitheatre". He was to preach there on 18 occasions between 1762 and 1789.
Now owned by the Methodist Church, since 2001, it has been managed by a Committee appointed by the Cornwall Methodist District Synod. Since 1807 it has been used for the annual Whit Monday/Spring Bank Holiday Methodist Rally. As well as worship, as on summer Sunday afternoons, the Pit is used for musical events, drama, weddings - and sponsored walks. Alongside is a Visitor Centre (1991) and the little Busveal Chapel (1836).
In 2006, Gwennap Pit became part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site, popularly known as Cornish Mining. As a World Heritage Site, Cornwall and West Devon's historic mining landscapes are on a par with such international treasures as the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, and the Taj Mahal.
The Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, comprising ten landscape areas from the west of Cornwall to West Devon, represents the international significance of the historic deep-lode metal mining of this part of Britain. At just over 19,700 hectares (48,700 acres), Cornish Mining is the largest World Heritage Site on the United Kingdom mainland.
There are many mining heritage attractions across Cornwall and West Devon (of which Gwennap Pit is one) within the World Heritage Site that together enable the visitor to experience the full breadth of the Cornwall Mining story.
The Cornish Mining Attractions Marketing Association (CMAMA) works with the World Heritage Site officers to ensure that visitors enjoy a high quality experience consistent with World Heritage status. To ensure standards, all CMAMA member attractions have passed a rigorous assessment process. CMAMA attractions provide information about the historical and cultural significance of the World Heritage Site and other places to visit which tell the story of Cornish mining.