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Preaching pit called the Queen's Pit

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Preaching pit called the Queen's Pit

List entry Number: 1007290


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Enoder

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 17-Jul-1980

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: CO 1070

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

The tradition of playing places, known in Cornwall as Plain an Gwary, has its roots in the medieval period when circular areas, defined by banks, were used to perform plays and for various religious, social and political events. Based on the Roman amphitheatre in form and re-using an open cast mine, the builders of the Queen's Pit combined all of these to produce a venue for religious use by the Christian nonconformists. The preaching pits are rare nationally with only a small number known in Cornwall.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a preaching pit, situated on the south eastern side of the settlement of Indian Queens. The preaching pit survives as a circular depression with tiers of turf seating surrounding a lower central area and resembling a Roman amphitheatre in form. It contains a series of stone flights of steps between the tiers to facilitate access. The preaching pit is surrounded by an outer bank and has a stone-faced semi-circular podium. The preaching pit was constructed in 1840 in an old open cast mining excavation which once formed part of the Indian Queens Consols Mine. It follows in the tradition of the playing places, areas used for the performance of plays and pageants, which developed in Cornwall during the medieval period. It was later used as an outdoor nonconformist place of worship during the 18th and 19th centuries, although there is no specific evidence of John Wesley or other noted preachers of the day ever preaching here. The preaching pit was restored in 1922 and renovated in 1976 by the Queen's Pit Association.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-430070

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: SW 91798 58657


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End of official listing