Keys to the past

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Morwellham Chapel_2

Keys to an historic chapel at the heart of West Devon’s mining heritage have been presented to its new custodian by the Borough Council’s Mayor, Cllr William Cann OBE.

The former Methodist chapel at Morwellham was bought by the Devon Historic Building Trust and leased by to West Devon Borough Council in 2011.

Since then, the building has undergone a transformation as part of the Tamar Valley Mining Heritage Project.

On Thursday May 30, Cllr Cann presented the keys to Simon and Valerie Lister, the owners of the adjoining Morwellham visitor attraction.

The chapel will be open to visitors, free of charge, during the hours when the Morwellham site is also open.

Cllr Cann said, “This chapel is a real gem. It has been beautifully preserved and is full of history for all ages to enjoy. I am pleased people will get the chance to look around and find out more about the important connections between Methodism and mining.”

As part of the restoration, the chapel and railings were re-painted and the roof and windows repaired. Inside a great deal of work was done to preserve the historical features.

George Lister, the manager of Morwellham, said, “We are very excited about looking after the chapel as it will help to bring another part of Morwellham’s rich history to life. It will help make the past even more accessible and add to the experience of visiting Morwellham.”

Visitors to the chapel can find out more about the story of Methodism in the Tamar Valley through display boards and a video.

The Tamar Community Trust will maintain the interpretation material as well as help maintain the building.

Chairman John Page said, “We are looking forward to our new role in the future of this historic chapel.  As chairman, I have seen the project develop from the start and I am very pleased with the result as it will add great value for both the local community and visitors.”

The chapel is yet another historic feature open to visitors in the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Corinna Woodall from TVAONB said, ”The Tamar Valley has an extraordinary history and we are delighted this chapel is now open to the public. It is a fascinating building in a stunning setting and well worth a visit.”

The works were paid for through the Tamar Valley Mining Heritage Project with funds from Tamar Valley AONB, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Devon County Council and West Devon Borough Council among others.

For further details and information about using the chapel out of hours contact Robert Plumb on 01822 813620 or rplumb@westdevon.gov.uk

The Tamar Valley AONB

Working with people to celebrate and support the special landscape of the Tamar Valley and its rural way of life.

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