Gwannap Pit History

John Wesley first visited Gwennap Pit on 5th September 1762. He wrote: “The wind was so high at five that I could not stand in the usual place at Gwennap. But at a small distance was a hollow capable of containing many thousand people. I stood on one side of the amphitheatre toward the top, with people beneath and on all sides, and enlarged on those words from the Gospel for the day (Luke 10: 23, 24) ‘Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see’...... and hear the things which ye hear’.

A relic of mining activities in the area, the rock face had weathered and had become covered with vegetation by the 1760s. In 1766 Wesley described it as “ a round, green hollow, gently shelving down” and as “a natural amphitheatre”.

In 1806, a local mining engineer and four mine captains remodelled the Pit, creating the circular terraces that remain today, as a memorial to John Wesley.The first Whit Monday service was held in 1807 and, with the exception of two years in the 1820s, has been held ever since, though in recent years on Spring Bank Holiday Monday.