INDIAN QUEENS? There must be a story here. Well yes, there are several! There was a coaching Inn on the turnpike road (later the A30) from 1775 -1881 originally called The Queen’s Head. By 1787 the name had become The Indian Queen and by 1800 it was The Indian Queens.
There is a story that a Portuguese Princess landed at Falmouth in the Packet Ship days and slept one night at this inn on her way to London. Her swarthy appearance gave the impression that she was an Indian.
As The Indian Queens the signboard displayed a Red Indian on one side and Victoria as the Queen of India on the other.
However, around 1881 the inn lost its licence and became Dean’s Temperance Hotel when the sign, which is in Truro Museum, was painted over with its new name.
Eventually the inn became a private residence but was later demolished for the present housing estate, with one road named as Pocahontas Crescent.
Pocahontas was the American Princess who lived from 1595-1617 and while she died in England it seems uncertain whether she really had anything to do with the story of our Indian Queens. Whatever the truth of The Indian Queens you can be sure that the truth of the love of God shown through our Lord Jesus Christ continues to be proclaimed at Indian Queens Methodist Church.
So what is the story of the Chapel?
The original society was founded in 1814 and it is believed that the first meeting house was somewhere between what is now Young’s Leisure shop and the cemetery. Years later a small galleried chapel was built adjoining St Francis Road on our present site. Towards the end of the 19th century additional land was acquired adjoining the two corner cottages facing the old Turnpike, later the old A30 Trunk Road through the village. The foundation stones were laid in 1896 and the new chapel was soon built, but without space for organ or choir, the choir sat at the front of the chapel to the left of the pulpit. Not many years later an extension was built, “the Orchestra” to house the two manual organ and the choir. The former chapel then served as the Sunday School.
Before the First World War additional land was bought in St Francis Road alongside the old chapel on which to build a larger Sunday School. However war broke out and delayed the project for a number of years. After the war the Hall was built and opened in 1924. The redundant Sunday School was taken down and the space used as a yard, and latterly a car park. There are some remnants of the old walls still standing. For a while there was an open sided shed occupying the site, used for parking cars under cover and by the local band on Tea Treat Monday if the weather prevented the event being held in the Pit.
The old stable building was converted to flush toilets in the early 1950′s and modernised in 2004 to provide facilities for the disabled.
Directly connected with Methodism in the village is the old Preaching Pit, basically a replica of the more famous Gwennap Pit, near Redruth. Shaped from an old open-cast tin mine, this preaching amphitheatre was founded in 1850 and events are still held there occasionally and it is open for public viewing at all times. Access is via Pocahontas Crescent bungalow estate opposite the Village Band Room.