Methodist Chapel takes leading role in Poldark series 2
23 August 2016
The New Room (John Wesley's Chapel) in Broadmead, Bristol, is
the location for some of the most dramatic scenes in Poldark series
2. The long awaited second season of the hit show returns to BBC1
on September 4th.
Top secret filming took place at the chapel, which is the oldest
Methodist building in the world, in October 2015. The
18th-century building was transformed into a courtroom,
where Ross Poldark goes on trial accused of murder, wrecking
and inciting a riot. Series 1, screened last year, ended on a
dramatic cliffhanger when he was arrested (actually on the Cornish
cliffs) by soldiers. The chapel is expected to feature
in the first episodes of the series as Ross is brought to
The team from production company Mammoth Screen had to
completely hide all modern trappings in the chapel before filming
could go ahead. This meant removing electric light fittings and
bulbs, covering radiators and removing all modern signage.
The chapel was then transformed into a courtroom complete with
dock, tables for the prosecution and the defence, with the pulpit
taking the role of the judge's seat.
Stars including Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark), Eleanor Tomlinson
(Demelza) and Kyle Soller (Francis) all featured in the dramatic
courtroom scenes, as well as Heida Reed (Elizabeth), Phil Davis
(Jud) and Beatie Edney (Prudie).
New characters in Series 2, Unwin Trevaunance, played by W1A's
Hugh Skinner and Caroline Penvenen, played by Gabriella Wilde, also
feature in the scenes.
Manager of the New Room, David Worthington, said: "Poldark is
set in the 18th century so even though we are in Bristol
rather than in Cornwall, the building fitted perfectly as the
location for Ross's trial.
"All the staff enjoyed meeting the cast and crew and we hope
that everyone will enjoy seeing the New Room on screen, especially
in such dramatic scenes."
'The Methodies' of Cornwall are often referenced in the Poldark
books by Winston Graham. Founder of the New Room, John Wesley,
visited to Cornwall thirty-two times between 1743 to 1787 and
preached the Christian gospel many times, often to miners,
fishermen and their families.
Initially Wesleyan Methodism flourished in Cornwall - but in
1815 a distinctively south-west kind of Methodism emerged, the
Bible Christians. When the mining trade in Cornwall
collapsed, many miners emigrated taking their skills, Methodism and
Cornish pasties to mines worldwide, but especially Australia and
You can read family histories at www.mybiblechristians.org.uk
To find out more about Methodist heritage in general, please visit
or the Church's website www.methodist.org.uk