Trewen.

Trewen Church c.1900.
Trewen Church c.1900.

Trewen (Cornish: Trewynn) is a hamlet and a civil parish in east Cornwall, England, United Kingdom The parish is just east of Bodmin Moor in the River Inny valley and lies in the Registration District of Launceston. The name of this parish, which is Cornish, is said to imply the fair town, or place of innocence. Trewen parish is bounded to the north by Egloskerry parish, to the east by St Thomas-by-Launceston, to the south by South Petherwin and to the west by Altarnun and Laneast parishes. The population of Trewen parish in the 2001 census was 134. This had increased to 142 at the 2011 census. The population of Trewen was 193 in 1801, 221 in 1841, 99 in 1921 (it declined at every census between 1851 and 1921), 80 in 1961 and 141 in 2011 (it increased at every census between 1971 and 2011). The  barton called Menwenick in this parish, which, in the days of Henry IV, belonged to a family of this name, which has long since become extinct.

Trewen Church restoration article from 1863.
Trewen Church restoration article from 1863.

The hamlet of Trewen is situated 5 miles (8 km) west of Launceston. The parish church of St Michael is in the village a. The little church has a bellcote rather than a tower. The church is an ancient granite building in the Early Perpendicular style, which was restored in 1863/1864; it comprises a chancel, nave, and north aisle. The font is Norman, square and plain. Against the north wall of the church there is a common stone with an inscription on it for Arthur Roe of Menwenick, who died in 1639 ; and another on the floor in the north aisle for Margaret Roe, wife of the above Arthur, who was buried in 1633.

Other hamlets in the parish of Trewen is Trenault, Piper’s Pool which straddles the A395 road and part of Hicks Mill (Hix Mill). At one time it had two annual fairs chiefly for colts, sheep and lambs. These were held on May 1st and October 10th.

The Methodist Movement.
Methodism first came to Pipers Pool in the early nineteenth century when William and Mary Bettes who lived there and were members of the Tregeare Society were responsible for its beginnings. William, a shoemaker, was a class leader and the probability is that his class actually met at his home at Pipers Pool. Certainly between 1810 and 1815 this class was made into a separate society, known in 1815 as Trewen and in 1819 as Pipers Pool society. William as a local preacher was disciplined in 1817 by the circuit preachers meeting together with James Jago of Tregeare, ‘for drinking to excess and abiding at Trewen Fair till a late hour of the night. The continuance of Methodism at Pipers Pool (for reasons not necessarily connected with Bettes’s behaviour) remained uncertain for a number of years. A society was formed at Laneast in 1817 and by 1823 the few numbers at Pipers Pool had been taken, at least provisionally into it. But in the end the local voices prevailed and Pipers Pool was reconstituted in 1825 as a society in its own right. It was still small, however, with six members. The Wesleyans began the development of the present chapel site when they bought a small plot of land in 1839. Situated in the north east corner of the present chapel ground, it cost £5, and on it the first chapel was built, a plain stone-walled building. The 1839 chapel soon proved to be too small for the mid-Victorian congregations and it was decided to build a new one.

Pipers Pool Chapel c.1900. The building on the right is the original Eberneezer Chapel and was replaced with the new one when it fell into disrepair. Photo courtesy of Peter Gilbert
Pipers Pool Chapel c.1900. The building on the right is the original Eberneezer Chapel and was replaced with the new one when it fell into disrepair. Photo courtesy of Peter Gilbert.

This was opened on Thursday July 27th, 1876, costing around £703 to build. The forth trust (1929 – 1957), with Lewis Dinnis as steward, gave its attention to the building which was now 50 years old. Dampness had begun to affect the front wall and this was combatted in 1931 –1932 by hanging rows of  asbestos slates. Miss Bawden collected £25 to meet the cost of the work. There were further renovations in 1938.
The fifth trust (1965 – 1967) introduced electric lighting in 1957 and within a couple of years electric heating was also added. In 1960 the trustees decided to extend the building westwards to provide kitchen and toilet accomadation, but when the cost was realised the latter was scaled down to the provision for the time being of an Elsan in the old boiler house. The church was re-opened when the work was completed in September 1964, by Mrs. D. Parsons, of Tresmeer. John Rowe re-decorated the church free of charge in 1957, and Thomas Dodd did similar work in 1970. In 1972 a car park was laid out in the upper part of the church yard, the hardcore being given by Austin Harris of Blackhill Quarry, Two Bridges. In 1974 a new extension was added, consisting of a kitchen, cloakroom and two toilets. The work was carried out by by Fred Sandercock, who provided the materials at cost price, with help from others, and was officially opened on May 30th, 1975.

Pipers Pool Chapel re-opening in 1964 after a refurbishment.
Pipers Pool Chapel re-opening in 1964 after a refurbishment.
Wedding of Bill Hutchings and Marjorie Penhale at Trewen in 1952.
Wedding of Bill Hutchings and Marjorie Penhale at Trewen in 1952.
St. Michaels Church, Trewen in 2014.
St. Michaels Church, Trewen in 2014.
Trewen Church line drawing by Roger Pyke.
St. Michaels Church, Trewen line drawing by Roger Pyke.