Preaching pit called the Queen's Pit


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
St. Enoder
National Grid Reference:
SW 91798 58657

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.


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


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

Legacy System number:
CO 1070
Legacy System:


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.

End of official listing

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