Oliver's Cornwall
Churches, Holy Wells & Saints

 Text and images should align.  To view this page at its best, adjust your zoom so that the page uses full screen width

ON THIS PAGE
Advent
Altarnun
Antony
Biscovey
Blisland
Bodmin
Breage
Bude
Budock
Buryan
Calstock
Camborne
Camelford
Carbis Bay
Cardinham
Charlestown
Church Cove
Colan
Constantine (1)
Constantine (2)
Cornelly
Coverack
Crantock
Creed
Crowan
Cubert
Cury
Devoran
Downderry
Duloe, St. Cuby
Egloskerry
Falmouth
Feock
Flushing
Forrabury
Fowey
Germoe
Gerrans


Golant
Gorran Churchtown 

Grampound
Gulval
Gwennap
 Gwinear
Gwithian

Hannet St. Juliot Hayle Helland
Helston
 Herodsfoot
Hessenford
 Illogan
Jacobstow
 
 Kea
Kenwyn
Kilkhampton
Ladock
Landewdnack
Landrake 


Laneast
Lanhydrock
 Lanivet 
Lanlivery
 Lanner
Lansallos

Lanteglos Camelford
Lanteglos Fowey
Launceston
Lelant Lesnewth
Lewannick

 

Lezant
Linkinhorne
Liskeard
Little Petherick Looe
Ludgvan

Luxulyan
Mabe
Madron Maker Manaccan Marhamchurch

Mawgan
Mawnan
Mawnan Smith Menheniot
Merther
Mevagissey

Michaelstow Minster
Morvah
Morwenstow
Mullion
Mylor


Newlyn Newquay (1) Newquay (2) North Hill North Petherwin North Tamerton



 Old Kea Otterham Padstow Paul  Pendeen Penponds


Pentewan Perranarworthal Perranuthnoe Perranzabuloe Phillack Philleigh


Pillaton Polruan
Porthilly
Porthleven Porthpean Poughill


 Poundstock Probus
Quethiock
Rame Redruth, St. Euny
Ruan Lanihorne




Saltash Sancreed Sennen  Sheviock St. Agnes St. Allen



St. Antony  St. Austell St. Benet's St. Blazey  St. Breock St. Breward


St. Buryan
St. Cleer St. Clement St. Clether St. Columb Maj 
St. Columb Min


 St. Dennis St. Dominic St. Endellion St. Enoder St. Erme
St. Erney 




St. Erth  St. Ervan St. Eval St. Ewe St. Gennys
St. Germans



St. Hilary St. Issey St. Ives, St. Ia St. Just-Penwith St. Just-Roseland St. Keverne




St. Kew St. Keyne  St. Levan St. Mabyn St. Martin St. Mawes






St. Mawgan  St. Mellion St. Merryn St.Mewan
St. Michael Caerhays St. Michael Penkevil




St. Minver Church St. Minver Parish St. Nectans St. Neot St. Teath St. Tudy






St. Newlyn East St. Stephen St. Swithin, Launcells St. Veep
St. Wenn St. Winnow






South Hill South Petherwin Stithians Stoke Climsland Stratton Talland






Temple Church Tintagel Towednack Trebetherick Tregaminion Tregony






Tremaine Tresillian
Treslothan Trethevy
Trevalga Truro






Tuckingmill Tywardreath Veryan Wadebridge Warleggan Wendron






Whitstone Withiel
Zennor









 OTHER SITES AND SAINTS
Come-to-Good Meeting House
Gwennap Pit
Holywell
Menacuddle Well
Sancreed
Wesley's Cottage
 St. Constantine
St. Petroc
 St. Piran
St. Piran's Oratory
St. Piran's Church
 St. Clederus Chapel
St. Euny's Well
St. Levan's Well
Dupath Well

CORNWALL REVIEWS INDEX and SITE CONTENTS

Introductory Guide
What's New?
Oliver's Cornwall Walking Pages
Homes
Gardens
Museums & Galleries
Countryside
Holy Sites & Churches
Antiquities
Castles
Towns & Villages
Miscellanea
Home Page
Contact Me
© Copyright Oliver Howes 2018
Page updated 11 June 2018


Anglican Churches

Advent Church near Tresinney
I was first at Advent church in 2014, in the course of researching a round walk from St. Breward to Camelford.  Then I passed through Advent churchyard on my way from Camelford back to St. Breward.  On this occasion, in July 2016, I had been to Lanteglos-by-Camelford in the morning and decided to continue to Advent, not far away, in the afternoon.  Despite the name Advent church, and therefore the existence of a parish of Advent, there is no village of that name.  The church is quite isolated and reached either by a footpath across a couple of fields from Trethin, entering the churchyard by a gate and stile, or by a narrow track from a lane at Tresinney.  As churches go, this may well be Cornwall's least interesting - makes me wonder why I have bothered to report on it.  There is very little or no atmosphere, there are no carved bench ends, which you get in so many Cornish churches, no interesting memorials, no good stained glass.  About the only worthwhile features are an attractive window in the south aisle (see photo), a Norman font, bosses on the wagon roofs, and an apparently damaged pulpit with panels missing.  There is a little interesting woodwork in the porch roof.  Of some interest is the site, the bank surrounding the churchyard suggesting a very early Christian or even pagan site.
From Valley Truckle on A39 follow signs for Advent       More Advent church
South window in Advent church
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More Advent Church
I revisited Advent Church on the same July day that I looked at St. Anne's church in Whitstone.  There is little doubt that Whitstone is far and away the more interesting but, on this occasion, I did find a little more interest in Advent than before.  In the porch I noted a tablet commemorating Bishop Bill Ind's presence at the completion of restoration in 2005.  The aisle ceiling is boarded with carved bosses.  The nave ceiling is a wagon roof, again with carved bosses.  The pulpit is simple, dark oak on a stone base;  by it two panels look as if they may once formed a door of sorts.  There is some acceptable Victorian stained glass.  A small carved granite slab comemorates William MIchael;  another remembers Edmund and Anne Dinham.  There are some attractive kneelers, including one of a bird of paradise.  The plain circular font is Norman. 



Advent Church
Ceiling Boss in Porch
Advent Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Altarnun, St. Nonna's
Although I had been in or through Altarnun on many occasions, including an Inny Valleys Walk that starts here, and had attended a village coffee morning some years ago, I realised, to my surprise, that I had never been inside St. Nonna's Church.  So when my friend Bob suggested an outing to include Altarnun and a walk on East Moor, I was happy to join him in February 2017.  This is a holy place of some significance as Nonna, also know as Non, Nonnita and Nun, was the mother of the patron saint of Wales, St. David.  Sadly, Non's Holy Well, on the edge of Altarnun, is appallingly overgrown;  it is a disgrace that the village does not maintain it.  Generally speaking, I was quit impressed by the interior of the church.  There are good wagon roofs with carved bosses.  At each end of the extended Victorian screen, there is only a remnant of the medieval screen.  There is a rood stair entrance but no stairs.  There is a fine font, one of the best of the so-called Altarnun Fonts, Norman with a bearded face at each corner.  There are, unusually, no memorials.  The church's finest feature is the superb collection of medieval carved bench ends, 79 in all.  Some are entertaining - a Cornis bagpiper, jesters, violinists, sheep.  Moving is a so-called vernicle, a portrait of Christ on a handkerchief held by an angel.  Outside is a good Cornish Cross with identical obverse and reverse.
St. Nonna's Church
Altarnun Revisited         Altarnun's Bench Ends

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Altarnun Revisited

I was back in Altarnun in early August 2019,  I was last there in May 2015 when I looked in the church briefly at the beginning of a long and most enjoyable walk that took me, by way of Tregirls, up onto Fox Tor on Bodmin Moor.  I have also used Altarnun as a starting point for walks, including an enoyable Inny Valleys Walk.  This time, before enering the church, I lingered in the porch for the attractive carved roof bosses.  Inside, I was again captivated by what must be one of Cornwall's very best collections of medieval carved bench ends, 79 in all,  carved over a twenty year in the mid-16th century period by Robert Daye.  Some of the best examples are below; here are some more examples of my Altarnun favourites. 



Altarnun's Cornish Cross
Ceiling Boss in Altarnun Porch
Altarnun's Bodmin type Font

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Altarnun, St. Nonna's Bench Ends
Hands and Feet
Christ on Handkerchief
Viol Player
Bagpiper



St. Nonna
St. Nonna (or Non, Nonnita or Nun) 
Little is known of St. Non, mother of David, the Patron Saint of Wales.  She was born around 500AD and was either married to, or seduced by, Sant a local chieftain.  Their issue was David, born in 520.  In 527 she left Wales, settled in Cornwall and died in Brittany.  Her relics were held in Cornwall until the Reformation.  Legend tells other stories.  One tells that she married King Caratacus of Cornwall (actually of the Catuvelauni tribe from eastern Britain and led resistance to the Romans) producing David.  Another makes Sant a Cornish chieftain who seduced her and as penance founded a monastery at Lezant, 10 miles from Altarnun;  interestingly Lezant (Lann Sans) means the saint’s enclosure.  Another connects Davidstow, 10 miles from Altarnun with the story.  Finally, 15th century chronicler William of Worcester claimed David was born at Altarnun.  Non’s best known well is at St. David’s, near the sea.  It is beautifully kept and clearly marked, which is more than may be said for that at Altarnun, unmarked, degraded, overgrown, presiding over a stagnant pool.  The waters of St. Nonna's well were believed to be a cure for madness.  Lunatics were immersed in it and bought to church for mass. To find the well, leave the church northwards uphill to a left bend.  Go through a gate and a kissing gate on the right and down to the bottom of the field.  It is at 22434/81542.  I would have liked to include a photo but the site was disgracefully badly overgrown.
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Antony, St. James Church, Maryfield
On a sunny Saturday in mid-August, I decided to look at a few places on the Torpoint peninsula - Antony, Sheviock, St. John for their churches, and Torpoint itself for its location n the water and for its harbour.  In the event I was distinctly unimpressed with Torpoint, though I enjoyed the view across to Devonport Dockyard, and I was unable to gain entry to the little church at St. John.  However the churches at Antony and Sheviock certainly made up for that.  Despite Pevsner, there is really no such village as Antony, only the park, garden and great house.  The church, along with a few other buildings, is actually in Maryfield and lies just to the east of Antony Park.  Parts of the church date from its dedication in 1259, other old parts are the 14th century tower and the 15th century aisles.  Like so many Cornish churches, St. James was heavily restored in the mid 19th centrury and the overall impression you get reflects that.   There is some good stained glass but the feature that strikes you most strongly is the colourful decoration of the arches and arcade, with figures of saints and angels in a very striking frescoe.  The reredos in he chancel is full of coloured marble and the altar when I saw it was decorated with flowers is small brass pots.  The pulpit is striking, carrying four carved panels of the Evangelists.  There are some fine monuments to the Carew family of nearby Antony House. 



Maryfield Frescoe
Maryfield Marble Reredos
Maryfield Arch
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Biscovey

This, rather oddly, is the parish church of the ecclesiastical parish of Par, which includes St. Blazey and Tywardreath;  it's a big parish and a small church.  On a sunny Saturday in early October I had a busy time visiting churches in the St. Austell/Par area.  Major visit was Holy Trinity in St. Austell itself but I also enjoyed All Saints in Pentewan, St. Levan's in Higher Porthpean and, described here, St. Mary the Virgin in Biscovey.  The location of St. Mary the Virgin is a surprise, high above a large circular car park on the north side of the A390 St. Austell to Lostwithiel Road.  There are 32 steps to climb from car park to churchyard but the effort is well worth it.  The first thing to note, in the angle between the external walls of the chancel and south aisle, is the tall remains of a Cornish Cross, sadly minus its head.  This is a noteworthy church in at least one respect:  It was built in 1848, the very first work of highly respected architect G E Street.  The tower and spire are unusual for Cornwall, effectively a double broach spire with tiny dormers.  Once inside, the high ceiling gives a feeling of spaciousness.  The nave roof, of tie beam and crown post, is echoed in the aisle roof.  The chancel has three stained glass windows to south, three to east, and a colourful altar cloth.  The aisle chapel has a ceiling in blue and gold.   The simple pulpit is of stone with blue carpeted stairs.  There is an ornate brass lectern and a plain litany desk.  A banner is of Virgin and Child. 




Biscovey Church
Chancel of Biscovey Church

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Blisland, the Church of St. Protus and St. Hyacinth

Blisland is an attractive small village set just below the western edge of Bodmin Moor.  Most unusually the village centres around a large green, something you would have associated more with English shire counties than with Cornwall.  Although there are some weekend homes here, there is quite a feeling of community in Blisland.  Fund raising has seen a new primary school built and now the lost village stores and post office have been replaced by a new shop combining the two plus doctor's surgery, internet café and more.  The pub on the green has a good reputation for its real ales.  Architecture is typical of Bodmin Moor villages and even some new homes are granite faced.  Highlight of Blisland is its church with the odd dedication to Saints Protus and Hyacinth;  despite the latter's name, the two were apparently brothers.  Outside, the church is typically Cornish with its squat tower and same height nave and aisle.  Walk in and you might well be in a pre-Reformation church, faced as you are by a colourful rood screen, complete with rood, and chancel and chapel each with an elaborate reredos.  All this was part of an 1894 restoration.  There is a handsome Jacobean pulpit and the uneven roof timbers have carved bosses.  The Blisland Inn is a pleasant and welcoming village local, open all day.  We were very glad of its refreshments on a circular variation on a Camel Trail walk. 
For a little more sophistication, eat at the Old Inn at St. Breward.
St. Protus & St. Hyacinth, Blisland
Parking by the village green near the church.           More Blisland
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




More Blisland, the Church of St. Protus and St. Hyacinth
Although I had already been through Blisland on several previous occasions, the first occasion on which I spent any time there was in February 2007.  Then I took several photographs of the village and of the church exterior.  In April 2016 i looked inside the church and took just a couple of photos.  It was not until January 2018 that I took a proper look inside the church, having read Pevsner so that I had a fair idea of what I was looking at.  From the outside the Church of Saints Protus and Hyacinth (a strange dedication) is a standard Cornish church, differs a little from the Cornish norm.  From the road you see a standard three stage tower with a stair turret serving as a buttress. But behind that tower is a south transept, next to it the entrance porch.  Pay attention to the roof of the porch before entering the church:  it is barrel shaped with carved cross struts and carved bosses.  Unusually, several of the bosses are human faces;  I wonder whether they were of parishioners of the time.  The original Norman church was cruciform but has lost one of its arms.  The interior is remarkable and unlike any other Cornish church that I know, except, to a lesser extent, Little Petherick. the extent of its colourful decoration suggesting rather a Catholic church.  Ceilings are Cornish enough, barrel vaulted with carved bosses.  But the rood screen, which extends across all three bays, is probably the finest example in Cornwall;  pity it is a pastiche, rather than an original.  For all that, its design, completed by F C Eden in 1896, is strikingly colourful and beautiful.  The High Altar is in the Italian Renaissance style with an attractive altar cloth and a striking gilded reredos.  Unusually there are two fonts, a circular Norman one of Polyphant stone and an octagonal one of the 15th century;  the latter has an elaborate wooden cover.  The pulpit is in the style of Grinling Gibbons.  Stained glass in the chancel is by Sir Ninian Comper.  There is a Cornish Wheel Cross in the graveyard;  another stands at the western end of the attractive green and yet another on the road south to the A30. 




Porch Ceiling Boss
The Elaborate and Colourful Rood Screen
Nicely Carved Pulpit
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents

Bodmin, St. Petroc's Church

The first Christian foundation in Bodmin was that of St. Guron around 500 AD;  his well is under the little granite building by the west end.  St. Petroc came from Wales in around 530 AD, founded churches in Cornwall and Brittany, took over St. Guron's cell in Bodmin and is considered father of the Cornish church.  Padstow, where he founded his first settlement, is named for him - St. Petroc's holy place.  The greatest treasure in Bodmin’s church is Saint Petroc's reliquary casket, made around 1170.  His remains have had a chequered history;  moved from Padstow in the 10th century, they were stolen by French monks but returned in the elaborate ivory and gold casket, now on display behind glass in the church.  The casket was lost, rediscovered, put on display in 1957, then lost again only to turn up on a Yorkshire moor.  Enter by a handsome porch, above it two priest’s rooms.  Within the church are some unusual features;  an impressive carved Norman font, a lantern cross, 16th century painted panels, the fine Vivian tomb and an unusual lectern, apparently made from old benchends.  To the north east of the church are the ruins of the chantry chapel of St. Thomas a’Becket.  Once the county town of Cornwall, now superseded by Truro, Bodmin is the terminus of the Bodmin & Wenford steam railway.  -    See also St.Petroc's church in Padstow   -   More St. Petroc's
St. Petroc's Church, East End
No parking outside but ample nearby. 
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More St. Petroc's Bodmin
St. Thomas a'Becket Chantry Chapel
Stained Glass Window
Very Cornish detail of War Memorial
Return to St.Petroc's Bodmin
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Breage and Sithney

I visited Breage, on the Marazion and Penzance road in mid-May 2017 to add to my collection of Cornish Crosses by finding one in Breage.  As it turned out, the first one I found wasn't in Breage but on the Helston to Marazion road, on the corner of a lane, opposite the car park of Trevena garden centre.  Having photographed the cross, I continued on to Breage where there was indeed a Cornish Cross in the churchyard, near the porch.  The church, as so often in Cornwall, stands on Lann, a high mound, suggesting an older pre-Christian site.  On Shute Hill, leading up to the church, there are attractive cottages;  beyond the church is the Queens Arms Inn.  The church itself consists of nave, two aisles and a three-stage tower.  The lych gate opposite the pub lacks roof and coffin rest but does have a coffen stile.  Inside, the nave is impressive and the chancel is approached beneath an elaborate rood screen, complete with rood, beyond it an elaborate reredos.  On north and south walls are several  wall-paintings.  An inscribed "Roman" stone stands in a corner of the south aisle.  A carved stone, possibly part of a headstone, inscribed in Latin, stands beneath a window.  Sithney's church was closed (and in 2018) so no report yet.
More images of Breage Church

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More Images of St. Breaca's Church, Breage

On the same day in mid-December 2018 when I visited nearby St. Germoc's Church, I revisited St. Breaca's church.  First thing to notice, before entering the church, is the Cornish Wheel-Head Cross on the right near the porch.  Although there was a Norman church here in the 12th century, what exists now is essentially a rebuilding of the 15th century but restored by Victorians.  The interior consists of nave and two aisles with a south transept.  The aisles both have typical Cornish wagon roofs.  Some of the finest work in the church is a consequence of 19th century restoration by Rev. Ernest Geldart and E H Sedding:  a full width rood screen, complete with rood, and a vast full width reredos.  In one corner there is what is known as the Roman Stone, bearing an inscription to the usurper emperor Marcus Cassianus Posthumus.  In the south aisle chapel a small 14th century stone sculpture represents the crucifixion.  There is some good Victorian stained glass and some medieval fragments in the east window of the south chapel.  In the Godolphin Chapel three helmets bear wooden replicas of dolphins, the family symbol.  The altar is most unusual, of a pale stone with red rosettes and a table of (I think) serpentine.  Finally, the big reason why you should visit St. Breaca's church:  the amazing frescoes.  As you enter, you are facing the largest and most impressive;  through an archway you can see, around the north door, two large and surprisingly well preserved figures, on the left St. Christopher carrying the infant Jesus, on the right Christ of the Trades. 



Breage Cornish Cross by Porch
Breage Frescoes on the North Wall
Breage Inscribed Stone

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Bude's Churches

At the end of November 2017 I revisited both Bude and nearby Marhamchurch.  I was in Bude primarily to look around St. Michael's Church, which stands above the Falcon Inn on the south side of the Bude Canal.  While there I also took a look at the large former Methodist Chapel in Flexbury on the north side of Bude Golf Course.  The dark, forbidding chapel is all boarded up and looks thoroughly abandoned.  It stands forlorn on the corner of Flexbury Park and Flexbury Park Road, at the very southern end of Flexbury.  St. Michael's Church, just up the hill past the Falcon Hotel is another matter entirely.  It stands in a large sloping graveyard.  Pevsner, in 1970, dismissed it as "unimportant" but I feel that he under-rated it badly and, indeed Peter Beacham, in the 2014 Pevsner, is quite complimentary.  Designed by George Wightwick and started in 1834, it is of warm, yellow Trerice stone.  Inside, the elaborately carved font in a two-bay Baptistery is on a base of Polyphant stone.  Unusually there are prayer desks, decorated with biblical scenes and exhortations to prayer.   A colourful rood stands high, balanced on two gilt angels.  in a wall niche, St. George slays the Dragon.  Outside, the path to the porch is decorated with patterns of coloured pebbles.   What a contrast to the dour and forbidding former Methodist Church, now locked and shuttered.


St. Michael's, Bude
Flexbury Methodist Church

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Buryan, St. Buriana

I visited Buryan in mid-February 2018 on an outing which also included St. Levan, the church high above the cliffs of Porth Chapel.  Buryan is a substantial village with a store and a pub, the St. Buryan Inn, where I enjoyed a coffee on my visit.  The church stands within a raised circular enclosure, usually signifying a pre-Christian site.  Legends surrounding the founder of the original church on this site tell us that the 6th century saint was buried here after perishing while kidnapped by a local king, despite the attempts by St. Piran, patron saint of Cornwall's tin miners, to save her.  I was there not only to look inside the church but also to photograph the two Cornish crosses, both up on substantial plinths, one inside the churchyard, one outside.  A third stands at the roadside to the south of the village.  On the way into the church, note the wooden porch ceiling, very typically Cornish.  Unusually for Cornwall, St. Buriana's is mostly of one period, the Perpendicular Gothic.  Its impressive scale is due to its origins as a collegiate church, founded by English King Athelstan in the 10th century, refounded in 1238 by Bishop Brewer of Exeter.  The church is similar in plan to St. Petroc's in Bodmin, with nave, two aisles and a tower with stair turret.  The interior is high, spacious and light.  Roofs are Cornish wagon roofs.  The superb restored elaborately carved rood screen stretches the full width of the church.  Furnishing includes a fine 16th century font, a 20th century altar and reredos by E H Sedding.  A litany desk is fashioned from medieval bench ends.  Unusually there are misericords in the choir.  A 13th century monument to Clarice de Bolleit bears an inscription in Norman French.  Stained glass is by Alexander Gibbs and Ward & Hughes.  A superb church, not to be missed. 



St. Buryan Church & Daffs
Cornish Cross
The Central Screen
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Calstock, St. Andrews

I revisited Calstock in early February 2018, after seeing St. Dominica's Church.  I had hoped to look inside St. Andrew's Church, half a mile up the hill from Calstock itself;  sadly, like too many Cornish churches, it was locked though I now understand that was exceptional and that the church is normally open daily from 10 to 4.  I was back at St. Andrew's church on a bright, sunny Saturday towards the end of April 2018.  I saw the wall paintings, high on the nave arcade but, sadly, did not get to see inside the locked Edgcumbe Chapel;  so comments on it here are from Pevsner.  Though the church was consecrated in 1290, nothing visible is of that date.  However, much is of the 15th century but was subject to a major restoration by St. Aubyn in 1886-8;  he was responsible for the wagon roofs, tiled floors, pews, pulpit and font.  There is the usual plaque of the Royal Arms on one wall but, unusually, those of George IV.  Remains of a wall painting over the arches of the nave arcade were uncovered in 1867, sadly so deteriorated that only the most romantic would detect St. George on his horse in it.  Rood stairs and loft opening are still in place but the rood screen is long gone.  On an interior wall of the tower is a Bell-ringers board, reminiscent of that in St. Endellion church.  Below the pulpit are two brass plaques, commemorating the children of Sir Salusbury Trelawney and Sir William Lewis Salusbury Trelawney.  The Edgcumbe Chapel is accessed through a door in the north wall of the Sanctuary.  It is normally kept locked, the caretaker has the key;  it contains monuments commemorating Piers Edgcumbe, died 1666, and Jemima Countess of Sandwich, wife of the first Earl who was responsible for bringing Charle II from Holland at the Restoration in 1660.  In the extensive graveyard are a number of attractive monuments;  When i was here in February there was a good display of daffs.  In late April there were swathes of primroses and some early bluebells.  See my Towns and Villages page for more on Calstock village. 



Church House, lych gate & church tower
St. Andrews Calstock from the south-east

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Camborne, St. Meriadoc

In early November 2018 I did a round of some of the churches in Camborne, Pool and Redruth (CPR).  All that I tried to visit were closed:  The main church, St. Meriadoc on Church Street, St. Stephen in Treleigh, St. Andrew in Clinton Road, Redruth and St. John's, Trevenson in Pool.  I had already visited St. Euny in Redruth Churchtown and posted a description of it.  I had, in fact, previously been in St. Meriadoc back in 2016 when there was a Christmas Tree Festival.  So I feel able to post a description now.  The church, very much in the centre of town, dates mostly from the 15th and 16th centuries but was restored and enlarged during the latter part of the 19th century by J P St. Aubyn (who else!).  It consists of nave and two similar aisles.  The chancel, surprisingly, was only added in the mid-16th century, unusually late for Cornwall;  its side walls are made up of early 17th century carved bench ends.  The mid-16th century pulpit carries the Tudor coat of arms.  The arch-braced collar-truss roofs have been restored.  The altar slab is most unusual being 10th century and originally in Chapel Ia in Troon.  The tripartite reredos is of fine Sienna marble.  Stained glass is mostly of the 20th century.  There is a fine collection of monuments to local families including the Pendarves.  In the churchyard are a regular Cornish Cross and a wheel-head cross.  Built into the exterior east wall of the south aisle is a cross head and inside the south door is a cross slab.  By the western wall of the churchyard are three small iron commemorative crosses and a memorial plaque to the towns greatest son, Richard Trevithick. 
More Images of St. Meriadoc's Church, Camborne



Cornish Cross
St. Meriadoc's Church, Camborne
Wheel-head Cross

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More Images of St. Meriadoc's Church, Camborne


St. Meriadoc's Altar and Reredos
St.Meriadoc's Pulpit
Return to St. Meriadoc's Church Camborne
Return to Holy Sites

Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Camelford, St. Thomas Church
This is not the most obvious church to spot but, once you know where it is, it is one of the easiest to visit.  Entering Camelford from the south on the A39, turn left into the car park just as you begin to climb to the exit from the town.  As you turn into the car park St. Thomas Church is just above you on your right.  Easy access, free parking.  The church is small, low and quite ordinary looking.  Surprises await you inside.  The north wall is nicely arcaded in grey granite.  The slate floored chancel is light and airy.  The nave has a fine Cornish wagon roof, the bosses all carved to a individual different designs and coloured and gilded most attractively. 



Ceiling Boss
St. Thomas Camelford
Ceiling Boss

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Carbis Bay, St. Anta and All Saints

Modern, of little interest, closed when I was there.

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Cardinham, St. Meubred 

At the far south-western corner of Bodmin Moor, Cardinham's church is dedicated to St. Meubred, an Irish priest killed in Rome but said to be buried at Cardinham.  In the churchyard are two fine Cornish  crosses, the older of the 8th century.  Inside, elaborately bench ends look as if they may have been part of a rood screen demolished at the Reformation.  There is also a handsome Tudor dark oak Chest.  Cardinham Castle was built by William the Conqueror's half-brother Robert de Mortain (he also built Launceston Castle).  Of this only skeletal earthworks survive;  they are on private property and it is probably not worth trying to gain access to such a minor site.  A mile to the north, on  St. Bellarmin's Tor, are what are claimed to be the remains of a small chapel;  a Bodmin Moor walk includes it as well as Glynn Valley China Clay Works.
St. Meubred's Church
 St. Meubred Cardinham revisited
Ancient Cornish Cross
Carved Bench End
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Cardinham,
St. Meubred  Revisited
I had been back in Cardinham in December 2014 and January 2015, researching walks for my Walks Inland page, but on each occasion I had only been passing through in the course of the walk.  In July 2016 I decided to return to Cardinham to take a really good look around the church.  I was glad that I did a this is really quite an impressive church, consisting of nave, two aisles and a three stage tower topped by crocketed pinnacles.  As you approach, note the sundial on the porch, on it the names of the churchwardens of the time.  Porch and aisles have wagon roofs, the north aisle having elaborately carved roof bosses.  As you enter, you are faced by the expected Royal coat of arms but, unexectedly, carved in wood.  There are good bench ends, mostly of the 15th and 16th centuries;  one bears the Wills family coat of arms.  There is also a carved lectern.  Two windows carry stained glass, though none of it ancient.  Unusually there are two fonts, the larger Norman, the smaller slimmer one Georgian.  In the churchyard there are two Cornish crosses.  One, above the entrance steps, is a small cross head on a tall unrelated shaft.  The other, near the porch, is unusual in having inscription and carvings on the shaft faces.  Apparently there are inscribed stones, one in the churchyard, one built into a cart shed, south of the church.  I missed these and may have to retun to find them.
Elaborate roof bosses in the north aisle
Best approached from A38, immediately S of A 30 at Carminow Cross
Back to original Cardinham report
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Charlestown, St. Pauls

I used to love Charlestown but feel that since Square Sail have owned the village and harbour things have changed for the worse:  parking is expensive (£2.50 for the first hour), toilets are charged though, to be fair, they now are in most places.  However, in February 2018 I was not in Charlestown to see the village, rather to take a look at St. Pauls Church, on the northern limits of the village.  Unlike almost all Cornish churches, St. Pauls is not medieval but Victorian.  Dating from 1851, it is the work of Christopher Eales, who was also responsible for the market hall and town halls in Truro and St. Austell.  The style is Early English.  It consists of nave, two aisles, north porch and a tower heightened in reconstitutes stone.  Inside is convincingly early Gothic.  The tall nave has clerestories and the aisles are tall and narrow.  A granite altar stands on a Delabole slate base.  A wrought iron chancel screen is topped by a rood beam with impressive rood figures.  There is some good stained glass from the latter part of the 19th century.  The nave ceiling, with its curved woodn arches is quite striking.  The octagonal font carries small shields, apparently un-inscribed.  On a stone base, with stone steps, the wooden pulpit is nicely carved with biblical figures.  On a wall, a metal plate may be of Newlyn copper.  The altar carries elaborate brass candlesticks.  Altogether, a very much more interesting church than I had expected.

St. Pauls Church
Copper Plaque
Reredos and Rood

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Church Cove on the Lizard, St. Winwaloe's
Follow a lane off the main Helston to Lizard road, through Gunwalloe, past the excellent Halzephron Inn and down to the coast, and you will come to Church Cove, set below Mullion Golf Course.  There the little church of St. Winwaloe is tucked into the foot of the dunes.   Winwaloe was born in Brittany of Cornish parents in the sixth century.  The present church  is mostly in the perpendicular gothic style.  Inside are two earlier fonts and tiny rood stairs are still in place.  Two inner doors are painted with the figures of eight of the apostles.  Beyond the south porch a tower looks defensive but is really a detached bell-tower.  By the porch is a figure of St. Winwaloe.  In one corner of the churchyard is a Cornish cross.  There is car parking nearby.  Other Winwaloe locations include St. Winnow, Towednack and Poundstock.
St. Winwaloe's tucked into lovely Church Cove
The detached Bell Tower
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Colan, St. Colanus

I had been in Colan before, back in August 2016, but the church was locked up on that occasion.  I took a chance in January 2018 and, perhaps because there had been a christening that morning, the church was open.  This is a small church in a fairly remote location and you have wonder where the congregation comes from.  It is also a delightful church;  its construction began in 1276 and much of what you see is essentially of around that time.  The first things you notice are beside the porch:  a crude Cornish Four-hole Cross, brought from a nearby hedge, and two boot-scrapers, not quit a pair.  Near the tower is the base of another cross.  On the way in note the roof of the porch, a wagon roof with carved bosses.  Inside, there is some good stained glass, remains of a rood screen incorporated in the altar, a low-relief slate monument to William Glannel, and several brasses.  In the chancel are a couple of good wooden chairs and the font is octagonal and covered with carved panels.  The attractive wooden pulpit is nicely carved. 


Stained glass in the nave
The porch roof

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Constantine, St. Constantine

This substantial church, consisting of nave, two aisles, tower and porch, stands on an eminence a couple of miles north of the Helford River, with long views to Goonhilly Downs.  Little remains of the original 12th century church as it was largely rebuilt in the 15th and early 16th centuries with an additional north chapel known as the Bosahan Aisle for the local family of that name.  Among the furnishings are a small section of rood screen with floral carving, a chest with some fine finely carved 16th century panels and an elaborately carved pulpit.  There are some brasses, of the Gerveys and Pendarves families.  A wall monument is to Jane Penticost, with another to William Nichols.  In the graveyard on the south-east side is a low Cornish Cross.  On the north-west side are remains of two cross shafts.  A much better Cornish Cross is to be found at Trevease Farm, 2 1/2 miles to the north-west. Also on the north side of the churchyard is a Church Room of around 1700. 





Rood stairs
Constantine Church
Elaborate carved pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Cornelly, St. Cornelius Church

On the same day in late March 2018 that I looked at churches in Tregony and Kenwyn, I paid a visit to the tiny church at Cornelly, tucked away off a quiet lane near Tregony.  Normally this is locked tight but information from the flower ladies in Tregony told me that St. Cornelius church would be open for Easter flower arranging.  So it was and lovely the flowers were, too.  Like so many churches in Cornwall, this one, high on a raised mound, is probably on a pre-Christian site.  First thing you notice is the oddly small tower, partly 13th century, pinnacled and leaning away from its church.  Inside, the church was beautifully decorated with Easter flower arrangements.  Other than the lovely flowers, the most noticeable features were the wagon roofs and the hexagonal wooden pulpit, its panels bearing crudely painted coats-of-arms, presumably of local families including early patrons, the Gregors.  The octagonal font is late medieval but surprisingly rustic for that period.  The altar is unusual and seems to be constructed of Delabole slate.  Notable monuments include one to Jane Reeves and another to Elizabeth Gregor.  A panel on the wall portrays the church's patron saint, Cornelius.  Do note the unusual altar pictured below and the pulpit panel featuring, I think, martlets.




Unusual Altar
Cornelly Church
Pulpit Panel

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Coverack, St. Peter's

An unusual church for Cornwall, where most churches are of the late Norman or medieval periods.  St. Peter's, which stands on high ground not far from the sea, is Victorian in date, being built in 1885, but really not Victorian in character, having much nore of a 20th century air to it.  A small lych gate leads into the sloping graveyard, from which there are lovely sea view, in one direction to Lowland Point, in the other to Coverack's little harbour.  Notable in the interior are the font, lectern and pulpit, all of polished red and green serpentine from the Poltesco quarry on the Lizard.  Good 20th century stained glass by Clayton & Bell.  By the path up to the church I noticed a small metal teddy bear holding a vase. 


St. Peter's Coverack
Serpentine Pulpit
View to Lowland Point

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Crantock, St. Carantoc Church

Crantock is a pleasant little village to the south of Newquay;  I have described and pictured it on my Towns and Villages page  Its 14th and 15th century church, dedicated to St. Carantoc stands on an ancient holy site:  this was a monastic site in Saxon times and a church stood here as early as 1086.  As I approached the church, past the Old Albion Inn and Lychgate Cottage and through the lych gate into the churchyard, the first thing I noticed was a plethora of memorial crosses;  to my disappointment, there was not a single old Cornish Cross among them.  The next thing I noticed was a crucifixion scene set into the gable of the south transept, more usual, I would have thought, in a Catholic church than an Anglican.  Inside, you would swear you were in an original medieval church;  you would be paying a compliment to the skill and artistry of architect J H Sedding who restored the church at the turn of the 19th century.  Most striking feature of the interior is the rood screen and rood, behind and above them the striking chancel and colourful ceiling.  The seating in the quire is finely carved as is the pulpit and carved bench ends are also notable.  The font is in the Norman style but probably of the 15th century.  On the wall of the south transept is a painted wooden panel, probably 17th century Dutch and depicting Abraham.  Most stained glass is early 20th century but in the sacristy there are fragments of medieval glass.  



St. Carantoc's Church
The Rood Screen

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Creed, St. Crida and St. Andrew

I visited Creed church a couple of times in June 2016, the first on my own just to see the church, the second with Jane for a garden opening day at Creed House.  I have a particular personal interest in Creed because my father's cousin Bertie - the Rev. A.E. Coulbeck - was rector there from 1947 to 1950, before he moved on to St. Just in Roseland.  His home was the Rectory, now known just as Creed House.  Oddly, while you might expect that tiny Creed, a mile south of Grampound, would be no more than an adjunct to it, it is Creed which is the original settlement, with the major church, while Grampound's church is no more then a Chapel of Ease.  There is very little to Creed, just the handsome airy church, the big house, Creed House and its lodge east of the church, Creed Farm, one of it's barns now converted to a dwelling, and a small but handsome old square barn with tallet steps abutting the churchyard.  Creed House has a pleasant garden with fine specimen trees.  I had always known that my father's cousin Bertie had, as Rev. A. E. Coulbeck, been rector of St. Just in Roseland.  In 2006 it came as a surprise to me that he had previously been rector here and that Creed House had been his rectory.  Notable figures linked with Creed were William Gregory, discoverer of titanium, and Parliamentarian John Hampden representing Creed and Grampound in the time of Charles I and Cromwell.                                               
Creed Revisited
From A390 in Grampound, follow small sign R for 1 mile
St. Andrew's, Creed
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Creed, St. Crida and St. Andrew - revisited
I had been to Creed on several previous occasions, first in 2006 for an NGS Open Gardens day for the garden at Creed House, once the rectory when my father's cousin Bertie Coulbeck was rector there before he moved on to St. Just in Roseland. and then in 2016 for a first view of the interior of the church.  This occasion was in late September 2018 on a Saturday when I also visited the churches in Grampound, Ladock and Probus.  Pevsner clearly likes this church, devoting almost a whole page to it.  I like it greatly, too.  You approach through wrought iron gates and face the east end.    Much enlarged and altered since its Norman origins St. Crida's now consists of Nave, South Aisle. porch and three-stage tower.  The first thing that strikes you is the unexpected richness of the 16th century porch with its variety of stonework.  Inside, the church is light, spacious and airy.  There are wagon roofs, that of the south aisle 15th century, that of the nave late 19th century, part of the late Victorian restoration by J P St. Aubyn.  Glazing is largely plain but there are traces of medieval glass in the windows of the south aisle.  A piscina in the north transept has a fragment of a medieval fresco above it.  The 13th century font is of blue Catacleuse stone.  A little of the rood screen remains and has elaborate tracery.  A chest tomb of 1589 has a slate top commemorating Thomas and Margaret Denys;  it incorporates a coat of arms.  A marble wall monument with a Latin inscription remembers Roberto Quarme.  The elaborately carved pulpit is probably Victorian.  At the west end is a catafalque (coffin cart), something I have not seen in another church.  The unusual simple modern altar is dedicated to farmers and fishermen.  




Creed Catafalque
Creed Pulpit
Creed Screen made of Bench Ends
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Crowan, St. Crewenna's
Crowan is an attractive little village with buildings speaking of its former importance as the St. Aubyn family's 'churchtown'.  Victorian gothic Church House, presumably the former rectory, is now divided in two.  Coverack House (that might be a new name) is handsomely Georgian with a plain porch.  Down the hill towards Praze is an attractive converted mill building, still complete with its waterwheel.  St. Crewenna is thought to have come from Ireland, possibly with St. Breaca (of Breage) but nothing is known of him/her.  Crowan village (as a 'chuchtown') was once the focus of the great Clowance estate of the St. Aubyn family.  The family have departed for St. Michael's Mount (as Lords St. Levan) and Pencarrow (as the Molesworth-St. Aubyns).  Clowance itself is a now a timeshare, country club and golf club.  From the outside the (probably) 14th century church looked rather dull when I visited it on a Land's End Trail walk from Beacon to Clowance.  The interest is in the memorials to the St. Aubyns inside.  Earliest is the remnant of brasses of around 1420.  Most elaborate is that of 1772 to Sir John St. Aubyn by sculptor Joseph Wilton.  I liked the delightful collage tapestry telling the story of the village and neighbouring estate villages such as the mining settlement of Praze-an-Beeble.
Crowan, St. Crewenna's church
Crowan is signed off B3303 Camborne-Helston               More St. Crewenna
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Crowan, More St. Crewenna's Church
In early April 2019 I again headed down west, this time first to visit Holy Trinity at Penponds, then to take another look at Sy. Crewenna's Chuch in Crowan.  I was last there in May 2017 but, before that, the first time I saw Crowan was when walking the Land's End Trail, helping Robert Preston to update the route details, way back in August 2008.  Then, my route took me through the Clowance estate;  this time I drove from Penponds by way of Praze-an-Beeble.  There is more to the church than suggested by my original report above.  The first thing I discovered that I had omitted is the Cornish Cross in the churchyard;  also a nice little westher-worn cross on the porch roof.  Inside, this time, I noted the pier capitals, angels holding shields.  And I noted the figures on the base of the otherwise rather plain font:  lions passant.  I  also noticed the surprising amount of stained glass, some of it by Heaton, Butler and Bayne.  This time I also noticed a surprising number of attractive embroidered kneelers, one with robin and snowdrops, another reminding me of canal boats with a castle and roses.  I took a good number of photographs on this visit:  here are three of them. 



Cornish Cross Head
St. Aubyn Memorial
Lion Passant on Font Base
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Cubert, St. Cubert's Church
Cubert lies a mile or so south of Crantock, to the south of the Gannel Estuary that defines the southern boundary of Newquay.  St. Cubert's church is to the south of the main street, Holywell Road, at the eastern end of the village.  It stands in a large, but largely empty, graveyard, raised above the surrounding land, an example of the typical Cornish lann;  a roofless lych gate leads up to the churchyard, in which there are some good table tombs.   Look back from inside the lych gate and you will see a cottage with a round cloam oven projecting from it.  The first thing about the church itself to take your eye is the, unusual for Cornwall, broach spire, rising directly from the body of the tower.  Next thing to notice, before you enter the church, is the Cornish Crosshead by the porch;  it stands on the top of an originally unconnected granite upright.  Inside, the church consists of nave, south aisle and north transept.  The north transept is particularly striking, the columns of its arched entrance of blue Catacleuse stone (an Elvan stone).  Inside the north transept is the font, also made of Catacleuse stone, with a central pillar and four slim supporting pillars in the Bodmin style, and a wooden font cover in the shape of four transepts and a tower.  The pulpit is made up from medieval bench ends.  The chancel ceiling has carved wooden bosses.  Other features to note are carved capitals to some pillars, a St. Cubert banner and the glass figure of a soldier with rifle and bayonet. 




Cubert Cornish Cross
St. Cubert's Church
Catacleuse columns
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Cury, St. Gunwalloe's Church

Leaving the Helston to Lizard Town road, Cury is halfway to delightful Poldhu Cove.  There is not much to the village:  thirty or forty houses, a primary school, St. Gunwalloe's church, a Methodist chapel, a football ground and allotments.  I was there primarily to see and to photograph a tall Cornish Cross in the churchyard.  You cannot miss it, standing tall beside the steps up to the mound that the church, as so often in Cornwall, stands on.  While outside, look also at the two-stage tower with its stair turret.  Entering the church, I was struck immediately by the porch where, under a wagon roof, is an elaborate decorated Norman doorway.  Inside the church, what strikes you most are the ceilings:  the nave has a sort of Cornish hammer-beam, the aisle a panelled wagon roof with carved bosses.  There is a small south transept, connected to the chancel by a squint.  Above is the exit to a missing rood loft.  An elaborate font stands on pillars of the local serpentine.  Pevsner describes it as "a variety of the Bodmin type".  A Christ figure stands in a window opening. 



Cury Cornish Cross
Cury Church
Cury Church Nave & Chancel Ceiling

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Devoran, St. John 
A charming village, tucked quietly away from the busy Truro to Falmouth road, Devoran's present belies its past.  Now a quiet and beautiful creek-side village, boasting a fair number of small-boat sailors, Devoran was once a very busy commercial port, shipping copper ore from mines on the Great Flat Lode around Redruth, linked by the horse drawn Redruth and Chacewater Railway, now part of a Coast to Coast trail.   When you see how the creek has silted up - ironically with mine spoil - it is hard to imagine how any cargo boats ever got as far as Devoran - let alone Bissoe further upstream.   St. John's Church was built in 1855-7; it is by J L Pearson, architect of Truro Cathedral.  The style is restrained Early English, the first of the Gothic styles.  Unusually the chancel is in the form of a semi-circular apse with lancet windows.  Inside the chancel is notable for its blue windows and ceiling.  The white Caen stone pulpit has gothic niches containing holy figures.  The white font is of three octagonal stages.  There are simple pine pews.  Stained glass is mostly grisaille.  In the village, the Old Quay Inn has an enjoyable  local atmosphere;  food is fairly ambitious gastro-pub.  We have eaten there on several occasions and have always liked it.  If there is no space in the pub's small car park, you should be able to park by the village hall at the start of Quay Street.    



The Chancel Apse
St. John's Church
Caen Stone Pulpit
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Downderry, St. Nicholas Church

On a soaking wet late November Saturday in 2018 I had an outing down south-east.  I went to Millbrook first where I had hoped to look inside All Saints Church.  Unfortunately it was firmly locked so I had to content myself with exterior photos, the church looking very gloomy and foreboding on such a dark and rainy day.  Millbrook is quite an interesting village, centred as it is around a large lake.  It has quite a history, having once had a fishing fleet, a tide mill, a gunpowder factory, a ropewalk, lime kilns, boat building and a large brewery.  I took some dull photos but shall revisit in better weather.  From Millbrook I continued west to Downderry, on the south coast just east of Seaton.  There I not only found the church open but, outside, it had a banner proclaiming its opening and inviting me in.  From the outside, St. Nicholas church, built in 1883-4 by J P St. Aubyn, is unusual, having at its east end a semi-circular apse.  Inside there is only a nave, no aisles.  Pevsner has few words about it, indeed only one "dull".  That view may be encouraged by the fact that there are no pews, only simple chairs.  The pulpit is simple and made up of quite nicely carved bench ends.  There is a good litany desk and chair and a quite attractive small organ, its pipes exposed.  There is quite a good collection of varied stained glass but the most striking feature is the gilded reredos panels. 




Downderry St. Nicholas on a wet day
Downderry St. NIcholas, simple interior
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Duloe, St. Cuby & St. Leonard
Unusually, this entry appears on three different pages:  here under churches but also on my antiquities page and my towns and villages page.  The reason is that, for such a small village, there is so much variety of interest.  The form of the church, while not unique to Cornwall, is most unusual.  It consists of nave, north aisle, south transept and a strange leaning tower attached to the south transpept.  The tower was once taller but the top stage was replaced by a pyramidal roof  in the 19th century.  It leans northwards at a sharper angle than the Leaning Tower of Pisa;  fortunately the rest of the church holds it up.  Inside, behind an elaborate parclose screen, bearing names of past rectors and vicars, and possibly made from the former rood screen, the chancel was built as the Colshull family chapel and contains Sir John Colshull's tomb, his recumbent effigy on it, and several elaborate slate memorials.  The rood loft may be gone but the stair and loft doors remain.  About 600 yards south of the church, alongside the road to Looe, is St. Cuby's Holy Well.  What is claimed to be his original font was moved from the well site and now stands in the church.  A few yards north of the church a sign directs you to Duloe Stone Circle, a small circle of 8 stones, believed by some once to have enclosed a cairn.  There is a storyboard.
Duloe is on B3254, about 4 miles south of A38 at Liskeard
Note the Leaning Tower of Duloe
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Egloskerry, St. Keria's Church
I chose an interesting day, at the end of August 2018, to visit Egloskerry's church.  When I had been there in July the church was still being restored following a fire which, happily, mostly did only smoke damage.  By happy coincidence my August visit coincided with Egloskerry's "Church Mouse" day.  In addition to my usual photos of the interior of the church itself, I also took some thirty or more photos of mouse tableaux, most really quite amusing.  I think my favourites were two life-size (human life-size, that is) tableaux, one of a mouse-vicar in his pulpit, the other of a bride and groom.  I gathered from the small attribution cards by each tableau that most of the village must have contributed to the show.  As to the church itself, the first thing to note is the height of the churchyard above the road, almost certainly suggested an Iron Age lann.  The church's origins are in Norman times, evidenced by the north wall and south transept.  An unusual feature, and probably of that date, is the tympanum over the blocked north door with a dragon snapping its own tail.  The nave has a most attractive wagon roof with carved, but not painted, ceiling bosses.  The simple font has cable decoration round the rim.  The church was heavily restored in 1887 and stained glass dates from that time. 




Egloskerry Tympanum
Egloskerry Church
Mouse Couple
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Falmouth

At the 2011 census Falmouth's population (excluding Penryn) was around 24,000, making it Cornwall's third largest town after Camborne/Redruth and St. Austell and marginally larger than the county town, Truro.  It is reputed to have the world's third largest natural harbour, though here is some dispute about that.  Appropriately for a largish town there are several churches of various denominations.  Anglican churches predominate:  King Charles the Martyr on Church Street in the heart of town;  All Saints on Killigrew Street;  St. Michael on Stratton Terrace, on lengthy North Parade leading to Greenbank.  Churches of other denominations are:  Falmouth Methodist Church on Killigrew Street;  the United Reform Church on Berkeley Vale, off The Moor, Falmouth's central square;  the Catholic St. Mary Immaculate on Killigrew Street;  and the Central Spiritualist Church on Quarry Hill off The Moor.  There was once a synagogue on Smithick Hill;  the building still stands but has not been in use as a place of worship since 1879.    This and the following items are preliminary and will be amended and/or amplified when I have been to Falmouth to take photographs.  
King Charles Martyr    All Saints     St. MIchaels

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Falmouth, King Charles the Martyr Church
Text and Images to follow
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Falmouth, All Saints Church
Text and Images to follow
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Falmouth, St. Michael's Church
Text and Images to follow
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Feock, Saint Feoc's Church
I had previously been in Feock on a couple of occasions.  In July 2007 I took a couple of church exterior photos, one of the Cornish Cross and several photos of nearby Loe Beach and Pill Creek.  In September 2016 I took a lot of photos of the village and of the exterior of the church, the steeply sloping graveyard, the detached bell tower, the two lych gates and the Cornish Cross near the porch.  However, on neither occasion did I venture inside the church.  I eventually did so in late July 2018, on an outing that also including Kea and Old Kea.  As for Feock church, once inside the porch the first thing you notice is that there is a kind of small inner porch with glass doors leading into the church proper.  The church, originally dating from the mid 13th century, was enlarged in 1840 then much rebuilt from 1875 by the inevitable J P St. Aubyn.   The first thing you notice when you enter is a reproduction 1576 map of Cornwall, hanging on the north wall.  Most striking feature of the interior of the church, however, is St. Aubyn's chancel with its series of entertainingly painted roof beams.  To be fair that is essentially colourful entertainment.  What are truly important are the font, the pulpit and the very Victorian reredos.  There is some good stained glass, the east window unexpectedly by William de Morgan, better known as a tile designer.  Perhaps the most impressive piece of furnishing is the pulpit, made of four 16th century Flemish Renaissance panels bearing biblical scenes.  But my personal favourite is the late Norman font of blue Catacleuse stone and finely decorated with symmetrical and floral designs.   More images of St. Feock's Church



Feock Church from the road
Feock Cornish Cross
Feock's Detached Bell Tower

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




More Images of Saint Feoc's Church



Feock Pulpit
Feock Rredos
Feock Font
Return to Feock
Return to Holy Sites

Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Flushing, St. Peter's
In March 2017 I visited Mylor Churchtown, where I had not previously been inside the church, so steeply and beautifully situated above the marina.  On the way there I had been first to St. Gluvias at Penryn, which was closed, and St. Peter's at Flushing.  St. Peter's is situated at the top of the hill down to the water.  Opposite, from the top of a steep drive down to a house called Little Flushing, there is a good view down to the water and across to Falmouth.  This Anglican church is highly unusual for Cornwall, dating from 1842, a time when so many Methodist churches were beng built.  The interior (photo below right) is also unusual, with its queen-post roof and a model yacht - appropriate for Flushing - suspended from it.  You might think there had been an older church on this site, witness the unexpected presence of a Cornish Cross in the churchyard.  However, the cross was found in a farm building at Porloe in 1891 and moved to the churchyard.
St. Peter's Flushing
Cornish Cross in Churchyard
The Unusual Interior
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Forrabury near Boscastle, St. Symphorian Church

I first encountered St. Symphorian's church - the same dedication as that in Veryan - in the course of the same round walk during which I first saw Minster Church.  That was in January 2008.  I didn't go inside it then;  my interest then was only in photographing its Cornish Cross, situated to the south of the churchyard.  However, I eventually revisited St. Symphorian's in July 2018 and took some interior photographs.  Before going in the church I walked through the gate in the top left-hand corner of the churchyard.  You should make a point of doing this for the views.  Most striking is the view of the Coastguard look-out on Willapark, the headland to the south of Boscastle.  Sitting just inland from Willapark and lying between the church and that headland is the high ground of Forrabury Stitches. The Stitches are evidence of a medieval way of farming.  This series of fields is divided into 42 stitch-meal plots of farmland.  A method of crop rotation that dates back to Celtic times still exists and is one of the best three surviving examples of stitches being farmed in Britain today.  The church of Saint Symphorian was subject of a major restoration in 1868, resulting in an additional north aisle with heavy classical columns.  The Pulpit, Credence Table and Altar all incorporate old bench ends.  The pulpit is of geometrical design and features a terrier and two rabbits in a barrow, an ape on a stool, and two swans.  One wonders what other treasures existed on old bench ends, sold off to local farms and houses.  A priest's chair is of unusually elaborate design.  The cup-shaped font is Norman with criss-cross diagonal decoration. 





Forrabury Church
Forrabury Cornish Cross
Forrabury Pulpit
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Fowey
The church stands at the southern end of the town, not far from Town Quay.  Behind and above it is Place, the ancestral home of the Treffry family, perhaps best known these days for the great viaduct and aqueduct over the Luxulyan Valley.    St. Fimbarrus is described by Pevsner as "in the first rank of the county's churches but in most stylistic aspects very untypical of Cornwall".  The first notable feature of the church is the large porch with, unusually, east and west entrances. the latter presumably because it allowed direct access for the Treffrys from Place.    The interior is likened by Pevsner to both Brittany and Lostwithiel.  Most striking inside is the sheer height and continuous length of nave and chancel.  The south aisle roof is very un-Cornish but the fine Cornish wagon roof of the nave and chancel is supported by angels and decorated with bosses and shields of benefactors.  A major restoration was undertaken in 1876 by J P St. Aubyn and roofs of nave chancel and south aisle were extensively repaired in 1932-4, mostly using original medieval timbers.  The Norman font is of blue Cataclause stone.  The fine carved oak pulpit dates from 1601.  Stained glass is late Victorian, including nine clerestory windows.  Fine monuments are largely of the local Treffry and Rashleigh families and include a large grave slab with three Treffry brothers in armour.  In the north aisle a large marble chest monument of 1624 commemorates John Rashleigh, dressed in ruff and beret.  Brasses, set in the floor near the pulpit, commemorate Rashleighs and others.  More 15th century brasses, on the sill of the east window in the south aisle remember more Treffrys, including Thomas and Elizabeth who defended Place in the 1457 uprising at the end of the Hundred Years War. 




Catacleuse Stone Font
St.Fimbarrus, Fowey
Carved Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Germoe, St. Germoc's Church
In mid-December 2018 I had an outing down west.  First I visited Porthleven, for the charming Victorian St. Bartholemew's Church.  I know Porthleven well but had not previously been in the church.  Next I visited St. Breaca's Church in Breage, the church with the finest collection of frescoes in Cornwall.  Finally, just a couple of miles west of Breage, I spent some time in Germoe (the 'G' is hard).  Appropriately enough, since their churches are not far apart, Germoc and Breaca were brother and sister, Celtic saints reputed to have arrived from Ireland in the 5th century.  Not having read my Pevsner before reaching Germoe, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found there, helped by a useful sign by the churchyard gate.  The church stands at the centre of the little village, a tiny stream crossing a grassy area in front of it.  Following the sign, I first took a look at St. Germoc's Holy Well.  It has an interesting modern cover, installed in 1977 to commemorate the Queen's Silver Jubilee, and a small information plaque.  I then followed the other sign to find "St. Germoc's Chair" at the eastern end of the churchyard, built into the churchyard wall.    According to the respected antiquarian John Leland the structure was a shrine covering the bones of St Germoe.  However, no trace of Germoc's or anybody else's bones were found under the structure.  The most striking external feature of the church is the tower, with two gargoyles high on each face.  A surprising amount of the fabric of the church is early, predating the 15th century.  Above the chancel arch is a pretty Victorian bell-cote.   Inside, the nave ceiling is in a mix of styles;  the chancel ceiling is of the Cornish wagon type.  The altar is of local granite, the reredos being of coloured patterned tiles.  The font is one of Cornwall's oldest, eleventh century with an irregular bowl and worn faces at the corners.  At the west end of the nave is a 12trh century font bowl with cable moulding.  The oak pulpit has a simple carved frieze.  There are 18th century texts on wall-mounted boards. 




St. Germoc's Well St. Germoc's Church
St. Germoc's Chair
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Gerrans
I have a particular affection for this corner of Cornwall, the Roseland Peninsula.  It is where I spent family holidays as a teenager, it is where I met Jane and the church is where Jane's older son, Jeremy, married his Mimi.  At the bottom of a long, steep hill is Portscatho with a small harbour at the southern end of the sweep of Gerrans Bay.  It has to be said that it is not a very prepossessing church, though the octagonal spire is unusual for Cornwall.  For me, the greatest attraction was the Cornish Cross near the porch;  restored in the 19th century it had apparently previously formed part of the coping of the churchyard wall..  A fire in 1848 meant that less early and original work remains than I would like.  For instance, there are only a few carved bench ends, one bearing the device of Catherine of Aragon.  There is an attaractive square Norman font, standing on a fat central pillar with four slim surrounding shafts.  There are few monuments though that to Edward Hobbs, of 1718, is described by Pevsner as carrying two allegorical figures "in garments as chastely undetailed as if they were of 1820".  On the south wall, a slate tablet lists all Rectors of Gerrans since 1260.  It is suggested that the name Gerrans derives from a saint of that name;  it is more likely that it relates to King Gereint of Dumnonia, for whom Dingerein Castle at Curgurrel  is named.
Note the, for Cornwall, unusual spire
Gerrans and Portscatho are signed from A3078 to St. Mawes
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Golant,
St. Sampson 

I encountered the church of St. Sampson, perched high on a hill above its village of Golant on the River Fowey, while walking the Saints Way in June 2006.  St. Sampson became Abbot of Caldey Island near Tenby in Wales and was ordained Bishop by St. Dubricius.  Soon after, an angelic vision told him to cross the sea.  Above the River Fowey he founded a small monastic settlement by a well.  Travelling on to Brittany he became Bishop of Dol.   He was said to give sight to the blind, heal lepers and cast out devils.  His holy well is just to the left of the porch which itself may originally have been a chapel for the well.  Rebuilt in 1509, the church has a fairly unprepossing exterior:  nave and aisle, stubby tower and small porch.  Inside are two handsome wagon roofs and a small amount of original stained glass, some depicting St. Sampson and St. Anthony.  Sadly, unlike so many Cornish churches, there are no original bench ends.  Happily, some were re-used to create the present pulpit and an elaborate chair, not unlike a minor bishop's throne.  Beneath one window, a slate slab remembers Edmund Constable -  'Short blaze of life, meteor of pride, essayed to live but liked it not and died'.  Legend has it that King Mark and Queen Yseult worshipped at St. Sampson's.  The south gate is marked with their names.


St. Sampson's Church, high above Golant village
The holy well is to the left of the porch
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Gorran Churchtown, St. Goranus,
In mid-May 2016 I had an outing to the south coast. My main purpose was to take photos of Mevagissey harbour with the tide in and sun out, something I have failed to do more than once before.  I failed yet again:  the tide was in but the sun refused to appear.  In Gorran Churchtown I was able to park in the large car park of the Barley Sheaf Inn (see below), not far from the church.  I spent some time in both churchyard and church.  As you can see from the photo, the churchyard is a mass of wikdflowers in Spring.  In the forecourt, before the lych gate, is the village war memorial and the truncated shaft of what appears to be an old Cornish Cross.  The church is dedicated to St. Goranus;  He is said to have come first to Bodmin from South Wales.  Meeting with St. Petroc, he was persuaded to cede Bodmin to Petroc and made his way south.  Beyond the porch is a massive barrel shaped vault, with the legend Resurgemus WSG 1813.  Whoever WSG was, I don't think he has yet risen again. The present church, a rebuilding of a Norman one, is mainly of the 14th and 15th centuries and consists of nave, two aisles, tower and Lady Chapel.  The tower once bore a spire, actng as a daymark for seamen.  Notable early features include 53 carved bench ends, a carved pew, the Norman font of around 1180, and a replica of a 1510 brass.  Attractive woodwork is 20th century as is the carved pulpit.  Round walk from Portmellon.
More images of St. Goranus Church
Gorran's churchyard is colourful in Spring 
The Barley Sheaf Inn, (May 2018) re-opened recently after a complete interior makeover, owned now by descendants of the original owner.  The menu is extensive, perhaps a bit gastro-pub but they do good fish and chips and a good range of lunchtime sandwiches.
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




More Images of St. Goranus, Gorran Churchtown



St. Goranus Font Cover
St. Goranus Bench Ends
St. Goranus Ceiling Boss
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Grampound, St. Naunter's Church
There are two Grampounds, Grampound Road on a north-south country lane and Grampound village on the A390, halfway between Truro and St. Austell.  At first sight it appears to be a one street village, climbing a gentle hill from the infant River Fal.  However, there is more development along side streets than on the main road itself.  Near the river crossing is the Primary School, behind it a Community Centre, Village Shop and Playing Field.  Opposite, Mill Lane leads to the disused Town Mill, once operated by a leat off the River Fal.  On the main toad, halfway up the hill is the Dolphin Inn, where I have stopped for coffee.  Just past the pub is the present focal point of the village, the village hall and church, outside them the remains of a tall (presumably) market cross, its head missing.  The village hall is handsome small building with a slate hung clock tower.  The adjacent church is surprisingly small.  Built in 1421 as a chapel of ease to the far larger and more important St. Crida's in nearby Creed, St. Naunter's was in ruins by around 1820.  It was rebuilt in 1869 and has an unexpectedly lofty interior and good 19th century fixtures and fittings.  The chancel is most attractive with intricate reredos and colourful altar cloth.  Roof corbels are angel figures.  There is some pleasant stained glass.          More images of St. Naunter's Grampound



Carved Angel
Grampound Church and Town Hall
Grampound Pulpit
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


More Images of St. Naunter's Church Grampound


St. Naunter's Nave
St. Naunter's Chancel
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Gulval, St. Gulval's Church
On the same late December 2018 day that I visited St. Elwyn's Church in Hayle I took the opportunity to re-visit St. Gulval's Church in Gulval, just north-east of Penzance.  To my surprise the church was firmly locked;  it had been open when I was there on New Year's Eve in 2016.  So at least I have some interior photos from that 2016 visit, which I can use in this entry.  The church is approached from two directions;  from the east by a broad flight of steps;  from the south by a lych gate, bearing a couple of increasingly illegible inscriptions.  The first thing to note, before entering the church is the collection of artefacts just to the left of the porch.  There you will find an inscribed stone, an upside-down cross shaft and an eroded lantern cross-head.  The oldest unaltered part of the church is the three stage tower of 1440.  The body of the church is of the 13th century but much altered and restored in Victorian times by J P St. Aubyn;  it consists of nave, south aisle and north transept.  The ceilings are conventional, except for the chancel's which is both elaborately and colourfully panelled.  Beyond a relatively crude chancel screen an unusual wooden altar bears the arms of, presumably, the Kymiels and the St. Aubyns, as also does the font.  Stained glass is Victorian.  The pulpit is of carved wood on a marble base, behind it carved panelling.  Bench ends include both old and new. 



Lantern Cross Head
Gulval, St. Gulval's Church
Colourful Chancel Ceiling
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Gwennap, St. Wennapa's Church
You might expect Gwennap Church and Gwennap Pit to be located adjacent to one another.  You would be wrong:  The pit, a collapsed mine shaft where John Wesley is claimed to have preached to 30,000, is in Busveal village.  Gwennap village is a couple of miles away to the south-east, a little way off the Redruth to Falmouth road.   I had been to Gwennap previously, in November 2015, but had been unable to gain access to the interior of the church.  I revisited in August 2018 and was delighted to find the church open.  I parked in the large car park outside the gate to the graveyard and walked up to the church.  It is a surprisingly long way and, oddly, you go through a lych gate halfway up the slope.  St. Wenappa's is thought to be of Norman origin but what you see now is largely 15th century but incorporating some 13th century parts.  Like so many Cornish churches it was heavily restored in the late 19th century by J P St. Aubyn.  To the right of the porch is a small Cornish Cross.  Inside, the church consists of nave and north and south aisles.  There is a variety of stained glass, some box pews, and an attractive modern font, perhaps of Elvan stone, on a simple Norman base.  There are some interesting monuments:  a slate tablet over the north door is by Neville Northey Burnard of Altarnun;  and there are some good monuments of the 1840s to the Williams family.  Above the church, to its north-east, is a remarkable detached bell-tower, rebuilt in the 15th century and possibly of Norman origin.  When I was there in August 2018, parked in the car park by the entrance was an open-topped "wedding car", a Nissan Figaro of 1970, complete with its ribbons.




Gwennap Church
Detatched Bell Tower
Fine small Cornish Cross
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents

Gwinear
I visited Gwinear church in early April 2017, on a sunny Saturday when I also got to see Gwithian Church and Phillack Church, all in a relatively small area to the east of Hayle.  Gwinear's church is slightly confusing architecturally in that, from the east, is appears to have nave and three isles;  in fact the third aisle is the abbreviated Arundell Aisle, dedicated to a local family.  Slightly srprisingly for a Cornish church, there at first appear to be no bench ends.  In fact there are but not on the ends of pews.  Instead these have been utilised to construct the pulpit, lectern and kneeling desk.  Part of the 15th century screen survives, of very dark oak and looking not unlike the face of a Jacobean chest.  In the south aisle is an attractive modern subsidiary altar.  The early 18th century font is deliberately designed to look Norman, with unusual carvings, including a figure, a hand and a face.  The capital of one of the arcade columns exibits a carving of what is said to be a deer but looks more like a rabbit.  On the window sill near the font is an unexpected Cornish Cross Head.  More Cornish Crosses may bee seen in the churchyard, one short cross, one taller cross and a cross head rather hidden in the grass at the east end of the church.  So I was pleasantly surprised to find, altogether four Cornish Crosses or Crossheads.
Short Cornish Cross
Gwinear Church from the South-east
Tall Cornish Cross
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Gwithian
I revisited Gwithian on a sunny Saturday in Aporil 2017, a day when I also visited Gwinear and Phillack.  I was pleased to find both open.  This, though medieval in appearance is later in date.  Nor is it Gwithian's original church.  As with St.Piran's church on Piran Sands, there was an early Christian Oratory in the dunes.  This was excavated in the 19th century but again left to nature and has disappeared beneath the sand.  The present church was built in 1866 and incorporates parts of the earlier structure.  There is an unusual square font, on pillars of blue (perhaps Catacleuse) stone, with carvings of a snake, a rosette and a cross inset.  There is little else of special note but there is a very fine collection of embroidered kneelers.  Just up the road is the last remaining thatched chapel in Cornwall. Deed of 1771 names John Wesley as 'Protector of the Religious Society.'.  The present chapel built in 1810.  The Society ceased in 1995, but the chapel was rescued from dereliction  in 1999 and reopened for worship. There is a display of documents and photographs. The chapel is open Easter to October occasional Sunday evening services are held. 
Thatched Methodist Chapel
Gwithian Church
 Cornish Cross in Churchyard
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Hannett near Boscastle, St. Juliot Church

I had been to St. Juliot church several years ago but only briefly.  Wanting to report on its Thomas Hardy connection, I included it in a Valency Valley round walk from Boscastle in June 2008.  In 1870, the year Hardy came to St. Juliot, he was not yet a published writer but was practising as an architect.  The church was in disrepair and he was to make preparations for its restoration.  At the Rectory he met Emma Gifford, the rector's sister-in-law and fell in love with her.  They married in 1874.  Hardy's sojourn at St. Juliot was the inspiration for A Pair of Blue Eyes and Poems of 1912-13.   St. Juliot church is attractive enough from the outside but, despite retention of the south porch and the south aisle (now the nave), despite re-use of original material and despite careful selection of new materials, the inside disappoints, just another Victorian over-restoration.  All that interests inside is the Hardy connection:  a memorial tablet to him and another, which he himself designed, to Emma;  two of his drawings, one of her watercolours;  and a superb engraved glass window by Simon Whistler.  The window depicts Hardy's journey to Cornwall, the church, Beeny Cliff and waterfalls in the Valency Valley.  There are four Cornish crosses in the churchyard and coffin rests on the stile up from the field.


Whistler Window
St. Juliot Church
Cornish Cross by Gate

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Hayle, St. Elwyn's Church
On the same late December 2018 day that I was unable to re-visit the interior of Gulval Church I was able to see the interior of St. Elwyn's in Hayle.  The church stands in an elevated position above Hayle Terrace, the main road through Hayle.  It was one of the last works of J H Sedding, completed in 1888.  Pevsner says "its strong verticality and satisfying massing bestow an architectural benediction on the whole town".  Because it is surrounded by other buildings, the most satisfying overall view is to be had from the other side of Copperhouse Pool.  The stone comes in a variety of colours and shades of brown and green.  A hexagonal tower at the north-east corner terminates in a stubby spire and features a tall stair turret.  Inside, with its nave and two aisles, has a lofty and spacious feeling.  A little surprisingly, much interior stonework as been painted white but that does add to the feeling of spaciousness.  The chancel is striking for its fenestration:  two pairs of three lights topped by a large roundel.  Alongside it, on its north side, stairs lead up to an open musicians gallery, overlooking the chancel.  The altar is cloth covered, behind it a colourful but primitive reredos.  The font is in the Norman style and of Polyphant stone.  There is a god variety of stained glass, some in lancets, some rectangular.  




St. Elwyn's Tower, Stair Turret
St. Elwyn's Reredos
St. Elwyn's Font
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Helland, St. Helena's Church
On the day in January 2018 when I revisited Blisland Church I also saw inside Helland Church for the first time;  normally the church is locked but I was able to borrow the key.  The church was originally cruciform, a south aisle added in the 16th century and a north transept in the 17th century.  However, it was substantially rebuilt, like so many Cornish churches, by J P St. Aubyn in the late 19th century.  Before entering the church, do look back at charming Churchtown Cottages, alongside which is an attractive, but roofless, lych gate, unusually with a pair of white-painted metal gates.  The church consists of tower, nave, south aisle and a north transept.  I assume that this was always a relatively poor parish as there is not much inside of much interest.  The font has a 13th century bowl on a later stem.  There are fragments of medieval glass in the east window of the south aisle.  Of more interest, really, is early 15th century Helland Bridge over the River Allen, some attractive buildings nearby, including the old Mill House, and Paul Jackson's Pottery in Riversmead on the south-east side of the bridge




Helland Font
Helland Altar & Reredos
Helland Pulpit
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Helston, St. Michael's Church
I had seen St. Michael's Church previously, but only to photograph the exterior, so my visit to view the interior in January 2019 was my first.  St. Michael's is highly unusual for a Cornish church, not medieval but largely Georgian.  The reason for this was not a matter of taste but was the result of lightning which in 1727 virtually destroyed the whole church, leaving only a 15th century gable cross intact.  Rebuilding was completed in 1761 by architect Thomas Edwards, who was also responsible for a couple of great country houses, Trelowarren and Trewithen.  Restoration and extension of the Edwards church which was completed in 1838 by George Wightwick included the chancel, north chapel and south porch.  Pevsner describes the result as "a typical classical mid-Georgian town church" and, while it is so different from the usual medieval Cornish church, I enjoyed it for what it is.  There are two entrances to the churchyard:  the one nearest the (often inadequate) parking offers an easy but roundabout route to the church entrance;  the other, up steep steps from Church Street, takes you more directly to the porch, unusually shaped, two storey in height with a large window in the upper storey.  The generous proportions of the porch are echoed inside the rectangular aisleless nave with its high strap-work ceiling.  At the west end is a gallery with bench seating.  Stained glass in the East window of the chancel depicts the  annual Helston Floral Dance.  Priest's Chair and Litany Desk are of elaborately carved (I presume) light oak.  In the North Chapel are 1602 brasses to the Bougins family.  An unusual font, on a elaborate base, is of Beer stone with a Serpentine shaft.   A marble memorial commemorates George Simon Borlase, probably of the famouse West Penwith family.  Over the south door is a Transfiguration of painted enamel.  In the churchyard, near the porch, is a new marble memorial to local man Henry Trengrouse who invented the "Rocket" life-saving apparatus, precursor of the breeches buoy.  There are unusual churchyard memorials of cast iron (one commemorates just "Harry") and, on a Penberthy grave, a stone Cornish Cross has been fixed.  



Trengrouse Memorial
St.Michael's Church Gallery
Unusual Font
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Herodsfoot, All Saints Church

I visited the small early Victorian church in late April 2018.  Oddly, the church and the former rectory are up a steep hill well above the village with nothing else nearby.  Views from the churchyard are to the former mining village nestling below and across to densely wooded hills.  The church, completed by John Hayward in 1850 is in the Early English Gothic style, a firm favourite of Victorian architects.  So impressed was John Betjeman by the architecture that he was convinced it was actually by G E Street.  As you enter, note the colourful door with its elaborate ironwork and gothic stone arch surround.  Internally the church is essentially simple.  The chancel is higher than the nave and reached by four steps.  There is a two-centred chancel arch.  The font is 14th century and believed to be from St. Winnow;  its cover is Victorian.  The pulpit is of simple white stone;  the lectern is of elaborately carved oak.  Stained glass was redesigned in 2007. 



Herodsfoot Lectern
Herodsfoot Church
Herodsfoot Glass

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


 

Hessenford, St. Anne's Church
In early May 2018, I headed east to visit Herodsfoot.  Feeling peckish I first continued along A38 as far as the Trerulefoot roundabout, where I indulged myself with Kernow Mill's early bargain two bacon rolls for £4, before heading for Hessenford.  Had  I not stopped at Kernow Mill, I would not have taken the lane by Bake Lane End and would have missed an impressive roadside Cornish Cross, shown neither on OS108 nor on Cornwall Council's Mapping Website.  A church, St. Anne's Chapel, had been founded in Hessenford in the 15th century but this was closed in the Reformation in 1539.  A new church was built in 1833 and extended in 1855.  Architect was the ubiquitous J P St. Aubyn and the church is very much in his simple Early English Gothic style. The boot scrapers outside the porch are also clearly his.   Inside is fairly simple:  nave and two aisles with a raised chancel.  Choir stalls are of oak.  Behind the cloth covered altar is a reredos with mosaic inlay.  Stained glass is by St. Aubyn's favourites, Clayton & Bell.  The pulpit is of Caen stone and alabaster and features four carved figures in recessed arches.  The lectern is of carved oak with a carved statue of St. Joseph.   



Bake Lane End Cornish Cross
Hessenford Church
Hessenford Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Illogan, St. Illogan

At the end of August 2017 I was in Illogan, which lies to the north of the A30, halfway between it and the coast at Portreath.  To the south, the mass of Carn Brea is topped by the Basset Monument.  I had previously only passed through Illogan, on my way either to the sea at Portreath or on walks from Portreath on the trail that runs through Tehidy Woods.  On this occasion, however, I was there to visit the parish church of St. Illogan.  I forgot that Saturday is wedding day so I had to kill some time by an expedition to the church at Chacewater which was of little interest except for its external stair turret.  At Illogan church I looked for a Cornish Cross;  I failed to find it as I had expected it to the south of the church when it actually lies to the north.   I returned a week later and found it.  What also stands to the north of the church is the intact tower of the previous (now demolished) church.  The present church has no tower, just nave and two aisles.  This was a church of the mining and banking Basset family and their monuments and memorials are everywhere, starting with a massive sarcophagus in the graveyard and continuing with handsome wall monuments to John Basset and his wife Frances, for whom several mines around the Great Flat Lode Trail are named.  Also noteworthy is the Bodmin type font, standing on four columns and with heads at each corner.  




Illogan Cornish Cross
St. Illogan's Church
Illogan Font
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Jacobstow, St. James Church
Towards the end of January 2019 I headed to the far North of Cornwall to visit three churches - St. James Jacobstow, St. Marwenne Marhamchurch and St. Andrew Stratton.  First port of call was Jacobstow, where Frankie Franklyn had kindly arranged for the church to be open.  I had been to Jacobstow previously, in May 2017, but had taken few photos then.  This time I must have photographed just about everything in and out of the church, delightfully situated in a hollow in its own little Churchtown.  When I was there snowdrops proliferated in the south-east corner of the churchyard and daffodils were almost ready to bloom.  The striking late 15th century three stage tower has octagonal turrets and crocketed pinnacles.  You enter the south porch to be greeted by a slate floor and a substantial door with en empty statue niche above it.  The body of the church is probably late 14th or early 15th century and consists of nave and north and south aisles.  The chancel was rebuilt in 1886 by Otho Peter of Launceston and complements the light and dignified interior.  The nave ceiling is of closely spaced curved wooden rafters;  the aisle ceilings are of the Cornish wagon type.  In the quire simple wooden benches face each other across a tiled floor.  The chancel floor is tiled, patterned and colourful.  There are two altars;  the High Altar is an Elizabethan communion table, the chancel chapel has a stone table with consecration crosses.  Either side of the chancel east window are paintings, probably of the late 19th or early 20th century.  On the east wall of the chancel is a good slate memorial to Susannah and Mary Clerk.  The north door dates from the 15th century.  The font is Norman and is a good example of the Altarnun type with a face at each corner.  The pulpit stands on a white stone base and is made up from 16th century bench ends.  A list of rectors begins in 1270. 




Jacobstow Church, morning sunlight
Jacobstow Porch
Jacobstow elaborate carved Pulpit
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Kea, All Hallows Church

All Hallows Kea stands in a wooded part of the Killiow estate, like Old Kea not far from Playing Place but on the other side of the A39 Truro to Falmouth Road and signed from it, as is Old Kea.  This is a very un-Cornish looking church, completed in 1897 by architect G H Fellowes Prynne.  The impression is very much of an Arts and Crafts church, albeit in the Perpendicular Gothic style.  Stone used is a creamy Killas with block size varying.  Unexpectedly the porch is timber framed on a stone plinth.  The equally unexpected hexagonal spire is particularly striking.  When I was at All Hallows, on the last Saturday of July 2018, the church was being prepared for a wedding but I was in time for a good look round and, as always, many photographs.  I was pleased that the sun was shining so I was able to get some worthwhile exterior photos.  The interior (I quote Pevsner) "is especially handsome, of generous and spacious proportions with a wide nave, narrow north and south aisles with lean-to roofs and walls .... of dressed killas stone, red Paignton sandstone and yellow Ham Hill stone."  The Norman font is notable, the four shafts topped by heads and the sides decorated with the tree of life, a cross and a heraldic lion passant.  The altar has paintings by Prynne of angels, seraphim and the Lamb of God.  Fine stained glass in the Chancel window is to a Prynne design.  A Poor Box dates from 1739.   



Kea Spire
All Hallows Kea Interior
The Norman Font
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Kenwyn, St. Keyne's Church

Kenwyn is on the northern outskirts of Truro and its church of St. Keyne is the mother church of the city.  High above Truro, from the south side of the church there are views of the city, including viaduct, cathedral and river.  I visited primarily to see St. Keyne's Holy Well, something of a disappointment since Elfin Safety has provided a metal cover through which you cannot see the water below.  Originally consecrated in 1259, the church has undergone numerous extensions and alterations, most particularly in the 15th , 16th and 19 centuries.  The church is approached by a lych gate under Church House which may date from the 14th century and may once have been a schoolroom.  The church consists of Nave, South Aisle and Chapel.  Chancel and aisle roofs are of the Cornish wagon variety.  There is some good 19th century stained glass, some by Alexander Gibbs.  As you approach the church you pass first, on a bank above you, a four sided tomb stone, then a war memorial and, next to that the Holy Well.  Outside the south-east corner of the church a 1769 chest tomb is that of Agnes Jenney.  To the NE of the church is the 1869 headstone of Joseph Emidy, a freed slave who became the first black African composer in England.  Also to the NE is a pinnacle which was the top of the spire of St. Mary's church, now part of Truro Cathedral.




Kenwyn aisle ceiling
Kenwyn lych gate & church tower
St. Keyne's holy well

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Kilkhampton, St. James

Once you get north of Camelford, although still in Cornwall for more than 25 miles, the Anglo-Saxon rather than Celtic place names might make you think you were in England.  The coastline with its soaring cliffs would tell you otherwise;  so would the churches, of which St. James Kilkhampton is a fine example.  Intriguingly, although almost all the church dates from the late 15th and early 16th centuries, you enter through a Norman doorway at least 300 years older.  Inside, the thing that takes your eye is the remarkabe woodwork of the pews - and their age.  Until the Reformation in the 16th century there was no seating in churches.  The pews that you see here are almost all the original seating (a few are Victorian replicas), made soon after the Reformation.  As in so many Cornish churches they are elaborately carved, 157 separate carved pieces altogether!  Some are religious, like the one on the right, some heraldic, commemorating local families like the Grenvilles and the Thynnes, some are of animals, of fish and of the tools of trade.  The font is an oddity;  it carries the Grenville arms the right way up but the initials of the contemporary Grenvilles, Roger and Margaret, upside down!  It is also worth following the lane, just north of the church, west for a mile to find the earthworks of a Norman 'motte and bailey' castle. 
See also Kilkhampton village.
St. James, Kilkhampton
More St. James Kilkhampton
'Judas' Bench End
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




More St. James, Kilkhampton
On the final Saturday in January 2019 I visited yet two more churches in the far north of Cornwall, St. James in Kilkhampton and St. Marwenna's in Morwenstow.  I had previously been through Kilkhampton on many occasions and had visited the church briefly in 2016.  On this occasion I spent some time in the church and took a good number of photos.  I have little to add to the above piece about the church but I did note particularly the impressive full width rood screen, complete with rood, and the unusual stone altar with linenfold panelling behind and a gilded reredos above.  There is a large plasterwork Royal Arms;  confusingly Pevsner says it is the arms of Charles I but there is a "G" in the top left corner.  Attractive stained glass windows in the north aisle are late nineteenth century, mostly by Clayton and Bell;  below one is a figure of a horseman. 




The superb Norman Porch
Central Screen & Rood
A few 0f the 157 medieval bench ends
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Ladock, Church of St. Ladoca
Driving through Ladock on the way to Truro you see only part of it, a village hall, the Falmouth Arms pub and a tiny post office and shop on a large car park.  Pevsner devotes more than a page to St. Ladoca's church, up a steep path from the main part of the village on the former A39, and part of a small group including Ladock House (the former rectory) and the School.  Just inside the churchyard is a tall War Memorial to your left.  Ahead of you is the porch, to its left a tall three stage tower.  The door from the porch into the church is quite striking, its four-centred arch surround set into rough stonework.  Over the door is a primitive face.  Inside the church consists of nave and south aisle.  Both have conventional Cornish wagon roofs.  The church was restored 1864 by G F Street; he embellished the chancel with an elaborate roof and an east window with shafts of polished serpentine.  The altar has three painted panels.  A parclose screen is very Gothic.  The font is of sharply carved blue Catacleuse stone.  The rood screen survives across nave and aisle.  There are no medieval bench ends in place but a few were used to make up the lectern.  The stained glass is some of the finest in Cornwall after St. Neot and is the best of Morris & Co's work in Cornwall. 




Ladock Church from the south-east
Ladock Church Pulpit
Catacleuse Stone Font
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Landewednack Church near Lizard Town
Landewednack Church Cove, which OS103 abbreviates to Church Cove, even though the cove is another half-mile down hill to the east, is just to the east of Lizard Town.  I shall call it Landewednack;  its church is St. Winwaloe's.  And Church Cove is not to be confused with Gunwalloe Church Cove on the Lizard's west coast.   Here the buildings in the cove make a delightful grouping:  the old Fish Cellars, an attached Roundhouse, the former Winch House and the old Lifeboat House.  It must have been difficult enough to launch cove boats from here, the lifeboat must have been almost impossible.  All these buildings are now holiday or second homes.  Up the hill is the village and church.  The village is attractive with several thatched cottages and a barn with an octagonal extension.  As at Gunwalloe, the church is dedicated to St. Winwaloe.  He was also known as Wednack and a church at Towednack near St. Ives is also dedicated to him, as is one at Poundstock near Bude.  Seen from the upper entrance gate the tiny church, with its variegated stone is most attractive.  As at Cury, the possibly 13th century church porch is remarkable, like a small chapel with an elaborate doorway.  Inside are attractive barrel-vaulted ceilings, a font and lectern both using serpentine stone, a badly worn carving of two men holding a shield, colourful organ pipes, a probable cross base built into a wall, a priest's chair tucked into a squint, and a 15th century font, its donor's name inscribed on it.




Landewednack Church
The ribbed nave ceiling
The Serpentine pulpit
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Landrake, St. Michaels Church

As you head towards Saltash and Devon along the A38  the elegant 100 foot tower of  Landrake church appears on a hill straight ahead of you;  however, you have to continue and turn right into the village further on.  Parking is not easy but you should be able to find a space near the church.  St. Michael's is built of the local greenish Tarten Down stone.  As with so many Cornish churches, construction was of many periods, mainly 14th to 16th century.  The oldest part is the largely Norman south doorway.  A major restoration took place in 1877.  Ceilings are striking, all in the Cornish "wagon" style.  Between the south transept to the chancel, note a squint and the remains of rood stairs.  The Norman font is of the Altarnun type, faces on the four corners and rosettes between.  Stained glass in the chancel is by Jones and Willis and Fouracre and Watson.  A small inset brass of 1509 commemorates Edward Courtenay, related to the Earls of Devon.  There are several slate wall memorials;  finest is to Nicholas Mills and his wife.  The attractive carved pulpit is of a white stone.  An elaborate reredos bears saintly figures.  A squint to the chancel also has part of the staircase that led up to the now vanished rood. 




Landrake church tower
Landrake carved stone pulpit
Landrake modern glass

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Laneast Church
Encountered whilst walking the Inny Valleys Trail, Laneast (2 miles north of Altarnun) is another of those churches about which I have been able to find out very little.  Even the name Laneast is the subject of dispute although I would take it to mean the enclosure or church of Justus or St. Justus.  Outside are a roofless lych gate with filled-in coffen stile and a handsome four-hole cross by the porch.  The porch has a fine wagon roof with carved bosses and a handsome doorway.  The church was restored in Victorian times but not ruined as so many were by such restoration.  Inside there is a good collection of medieval carved bench ends, some in poor condition, an intriguing Norman font with corbel heads at each corner, and some fragments of rare medieval glass in the east window.  There is a carved screen and altar rail and some fine box pews in the south aisle chapel.  Inside the door, to your left, is an early carved alms box.  The 16th century pulpit was preached from by John Wesley on at least 6 occasions.  Note the black marble plaque on the north wall of the nave commemorating internationally admired Cambridge University astronomer John Couch Adams, discoverer of the planet Neptune.  John Betjeman greatly liked this church;  I understand why, it is charming.
A carved bench end
 More images of Laneast Church
The Norman font
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Laneast Church, more images



Laneast Cornish Cross
Green Man Bench End
Colourful Owl Kneeler; another is of pheasants
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Lanhydrock, St. Hydroc's Church
I must have been in the Lanhydrock Estate on dozens of occasions, mostly walking and dog walking with Jane.  We have been around the house - both above and below stairs - have walked in the woodland and along the Fowey River, and have been around the gardens.  However, until the very beginning of June 2019, I had never been in the church.  A serious omission, since I found it quite unexpectedly interesting.  There was a chapel of Bodmin Priory here by 1299 but the present church date from the mid 15th century.  It was, however, Much restored in 188 by George Vialls of London.  The three stage tower is noticeably offset from the nave.  Pevsner thinks that the restoration of the 1880s may well have amounted to a virtual re-building.  Ceilings are all of the Cornish Wagon type, including that over the chancel.  Mosaic floor is of the 1880s by Burke and Co.  Of the same period are the font and pulpit and a striking alabaster reredos of the Last Supper.  Staained glass in the chancel east window is by Clayton and Bell, responsible for so much stained glass in Cornish churches.  The unpainted Royal Arms is unusual in that it is of 1621 of James I.  Of the several memorials, perhaps the most notworthy is that 1689 of Lady Essex Specot, identified by Pevsner as of local Cornish workmanship.  Outside, notice the tall Cornish Cross;  not in original position or condition, it was re-erected here in the early 1800s. 



Cornish Cross
St. Hydroc's Church
Carminow Coat of Arms
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Lanivet Church near Bodmin
I found Lanivet church when walking the Saints Way.  Its dedication is odd.  The church's own guide leaflet suggests the dedication is to St. Nivet, daughter of Welsh King Brychan, or to St. Nevet, a Breton.  On the other hand the Church of England officially declares it dedicated to St. Ia, who gave her name to St. Ives.  Sadly the church is also a something of a disappointment;  a handsome, typically Cornish, 15th century church in the Decorated style, ruined by over improvement by the Victorians, who scraped many frescoes and removed original stained glass.  The reason to visit Lanivet church is the wonderful collection of stonework dotted around inside and out.  By the porch is a 10th century 'hogback' tomb slab.  Behind the church are a 13th century four-hole Cornish cross and a 10th century wheel cross.  Inside the church are some fascinating memorials.  One from the 5th or 6th century commemorates 'Annicu'.  A portrait tomb slab in the vestry to a Courtney (perhaps related to the Earls of Devon) dates from 1560;  another Courtney was added to it in 1632, surely not the brother the guide leaflet claims.  A nearby tomb slab features gilded angels.  Pulpit and reredos are both Victorian but attractive.
5/6th century Annicu stone
 
Courtney memorial slab
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Lanivet near Bodmin, St. Benet's Abbey - St. Benet's Web Site

I was unsure how to classify St. Benet's but, since it does B&B, I felt that "house open to the public" was best.  However, hedging my bets, I have also included it on my "Holy Sites & Churches" page. I have passed St. Benet's a thousand times on the way to Bugle, St. Austell and the south coast.  Recently I  read that there is a Cornish Cross in the front garden so, on my way back from a visit the St. Pauls Church in Charlestown, I called in at St. Benet's, just off the road near Lanivet.  It is now a Bed & Breakfast (link to St. Benet's web site), with nine en-suite rooms, run by J.J. and his wife.  St. Benet's has had a mixed history.  It was founded as a chapel in 1411, at that time used as a retreat for lepers - a lazar house -  but dissolved by Henry VIII in 1549.  What you see here is relatively minor remains comprising gatehouse and domestic range.  The detached and degraded tower behind is all that remains of the chapel;  between it and the back of the house are the remains of a well.  It was owned in the 16th century by the Courtneys of Tremere, related to the Earls of Devon;  heir monuments are in Lanivet Church.  After it was purchased in 1855 by the rector, Rev. W, Phillips Flamank, St. Benet's had a considerable makeover so that it now appears to be a sort of Regency Gothick.  As you face the house, the left hand end was the gatehouse of the original establishment and retains its octagonal stair turret.  What is now a three light window was once the carriage archway.  Above is an oriel window with what appear to be atatue niches to each side.  In the garden to the front of the house is what I had gone there to see, a small round-headed Cornish Cross, believed to be of the 13th century or earlier, which has been attached to a more modern shaft. 



Chapel Tower
St. Benet's
Cornish Cross

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Reviews Contents




Lanner, Christchurch
I was passing through Lanner on my way to Gwennap when, on a whim, I followed a sign right pointing to "churches."  I had no great expectations but was pleasantly surprised, after passing a Methodist Chapel, to find white-painted Christchurch towards the top of the hill, next to it a parish hall and in the churchyard in front of the church what took my eye was the  unexpected pair of Cornish Crosses in the churchyard.  The church itself dates from 1840 and is by the well known early Victorian architect George Wightwick.  Inside the church is well proportioned with a shallow chancel and a 3-bay aisle, a later addition of 1883.  The only old thing of notice inside the church is an delightful font with an angelic figure on each face.  To my surprise, Pevsner says that this 19th century font was originally in St. Dunstan's, Fleet Street in London. 




Christchurch, Lanner
1 0f 2 Cornish Crosses
Lanner Angel Font
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Lanlivery, St. Bryvyta's Church
I was first in Lanlivery in 2006 when I passed through when walking the Saints Way from Padstow to Fowey.  On that occasion I was walking a section, linking the two southbound routes, between Lanlivery and Luxulyan.  I stopped for food at the Crown Inn.  On that occasion I did not visit St. Bryvyta's church though I did photograph St. Bryvyta's Holy Well by Churchtown Farm.  In mid-August 2018 I decided to do a little research to the west of Lostwithiel and visited the churches in both Luxulyan and Lanlivery.  I started in the latter with a coffee in the Crown Inn then walked across the road to take a look inside the church of St. Bryvyta (or Brevita or Brivet).  As you approach, the first thing you notice about the church is its tower, almost 100 feet tall.  Consisting of Nave, Chancel, South Aisle, Porch and Tower, St. Bryvyta's is mostly of the 15th century but incorporates some 13th century work.  Noteworthy features inside include wagon roofs, several good 17th and 18th century monuments, several fragments of blue medieval glass in the east window, an octagonal font with simple decoration, an ancient carved slate tomb slab.  The wooden pulpit stands on a granite base and bears carved coats of arms.  A wall tablet remembers Thomas Hawkey who died in the United States in 1873.  In the porch a tablet commemorates Charlotte Atherton, wife of Robert Atherton, vicar of Ratcliffe.  Why is a vicar of a Leicestershire or Nottinghamshire village associated with a rural Cornwall church?  In the churchyard are a table tomb and several slate gravestones.  When I was there, in the quire was an exhibition of wood carvings.  The pub opposite, the Crown, is a nice place but menu and prices are more restaurant than pub. 




South Aisle Ceiling
Lanlivery Church from the east
Carved oak pulpit
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Lansallos, St. Ildierna's Church
At the beginning of September 2016 I had an outing to the other side of the Fowey River from Fowey.  I took the Bodinnick Ferry across the Fowey and followed tiny lanes past Pont to Lanteglos-by-Fowey.  There I took interior photos before continuing to Lansallos.  There is a National Trust car park back up the hill but, as I was visiting the church, I chose to use the small parking area by the gate to the churchyard.  It was a very wet day so I failed to get any good exterior photos and, after photographing a Cornish Cross head and separate shaft in the churchyard, I concentrated instead on the interior.  A Celtic church on this site was dedicated to Saint Salwys;  the present church, of tower, nave, aisle and chapel, was dedicated to St.Ildierna in 1321 though the present fabric is clearly of the Decorated period.  The porch has a superb wooden roof with carved bosses and inside the church are fine wagon roofs, again with carved bosses.  There is also as fine a collection of carved bench ends as you will find almost anywhere and carved bench backs, too.  The pulpit, on a stone base, has carved panels.  On a wall is an excellent slate memorial of 1579 to Margaret Smith.  Relics, including a Celtic font, a bell, a chest and stone carvings are at the end of the aisle.  Appallingly, the church was subject of an arson attack in 2005;  happily, only the organ suffered severe damage.    More Images
Easiest approached by a turning from B3359 a little NW of Pelynt 
Note the carved bench ends and bench back
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More Images of St. Ildierna Lansallos


St. Ildierna Lansallos, Chancel Ceiling
St. Ildierna Lansallos, Celtic Font
Return to St. Ildierna's Church, Lansallos
Return to Holy Sites

Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Lanteglos-by-Camelford. St. Julitta, 
In November 2008 Jane and I were invited to join the Camel Ramblers on their AGM Day at Juliot's Well Holiday Park between Camelford and Lanteglos.  An enjoyable day began with a walk that took in Lanteglos and Castle Goff.  It was a pretty wet day and time pressed so we didn't linger anywhere on the way.  There seemed to be a lot of interest in the area so, a few days later, I returned in sun to take a closer look at Lanteglos Church and Castle Goff, and to find St. Julitta's Well.   I was delighted that I did because the interest was immense.  The church at Lanteglos (church in the valley) is dedicated to St. Julitta, yet another of the saintly offspring of prolific Welsh King Brychan.  The nave, south aisle and tower are largely late 15th century, in the Perpendicular Gothic style, though there are some traces of the Norman church.  The interior was ruined by Victorian 'restoration'  but there are some early glass fragments and an attractively carved pulpit.  The big attraction outside is the collection of Cornish crosses near the porch and a memorial pillar whose inscription translates as 'Elsneth and Cencreth wrought this family pillar for Aelwyne's soul and for themselves.'   St. Julitta's holy well is in the grounds of nearby Juliot's Well Holiday Park.  The former rectory is now the Lanteglos Hotel.
St. Julitta's granite glints silver in the sun
Ask at Juliot's Well holiday park for directions to the well
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Lanteglos-by-Fowey, St. Wyllow,

Encountered on a walk around Fowey and Polruan, St. Wyllow's is a delight.  Daphne du Maurier thought so, too, and married Boy Browning here in 1932.  Located between Bodinnick and Polruan, it is hidden high in a valley.  The only nearby habitation is Churchtown Farm.  The brass on the left commemorates Thomas Mohun, 15th century lord of the manor.  The former Mohun pew is now a panel in the south aisle.  Bench ends are quite superb, among Cornwall's finest (and that is saying somehing).   I particularly like this one on the right portraying an eel and two fish.  Outside the south porch is an unusual 'lantern' cross;  nearby is the stump of another.  Whilst you may like to visit by car we much prefer to visit St. Wyllow's in the course of an enjoyable Fowey and Polruan walk, which we have done several times and which also offers superb views of Fowey and the Fowey River, and the chance to see fascinating Pont Pill. 
I was back in Lanteglos in early September 2016 on my way to a first visit to Lansallos church.  Although there is no car park as such at St. Wyllow, there is room for several cars outside Churhtown Farm opposite.  On this visit I noticed in the church, 5 coats of arms on carved wooden panelling, a tomb lacking its recumbent figure, two statues in wall niches, the redundant rood stair, a carved pulpit, a nice wooden font cover and a fine deudarn chest.  I also admired the fine choir stalls and an entertaining painted heraldic shield.
Mohun Brass
 
Fish Bench End
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Launceston, St. Mary Magdalene's Church

With so grand a church at its heart, you would expect that the present Launceston town would be the original settlement.  However, the name Launceston is a corruption of Lan Stephan, still applied to the earlier settlement on the north side of the valley of the River Kensey - and the suburb's church, dedicated to St. Stephen, is itself quite grand - but too often closed.  Of  St. Mary Magdalene's church in modern Launceston, the exterior is the significant part;  only the 15th century painted pulpit truly stands out inside.  Rebuilt in the early 16th century the exterior is a monument to the great skills of Cornish stone carvers.  Nothing is more difficult to work than granite, yet the whole is covered in elaborate decoration, the south porch most of all;  motifs include quatrefoils, flowers, Latin mottoes, the arms of Sir Henry Trecarrel and his wife, the Duke of Cornwall's feathers, figures of St. George and the dragon, of St. Martin of Tours and a figure of Mary Magdalene carved not in stone but terracotta.  A church well worth seeing, most of all for its superb exterior.
View from the Southeast - the off-axis tower is earlier than the church
 Launceston St. Mary Magdalene revisited - interior
Review of Launceston Town
Review of Launceston Castle
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Launceston,
St. Mary Magdalene's Church - the interior

Jane and I had originally visited Launceston's major church way back in 2011 when there was a quilting exhibition on in the nave.  It was possible to see only relatively little of the church then, although I remember being particularly impressed by the very colourful and highly decorated pulpit, probably pre-Reformation and one of the oldest interior furnishings.  I revisited in August 2018 and spent some time in the church and took a good number of photos.  One thing that surprised me was that, in such a large church in a major town, the ceilings were not vaulted but were Cornish Wagon roofs throughout. The next thing to strike me was the proliferation of carved bench ends, late Victorian but none the worse for that.  On the north wall, near the organ, are the small stone kneeling figures of Granville Pyper and Richard Wise.  On one wall is a brass to a lady, who if I interpret the writing correctly, died age 65 having borne 41 children!!!  In a chapel I saw a display of vestments;  whether permanent or temporary I know not.  An altar in the south aisle is painted with biblical scenes.  The Rood screen and Parclose screens are finely carved in Art Nouveau style with flowers, fish and animals.  The font is of the early 20th century but has as its base an original Norman font;  the cover is Victorian and tall and elaborately carved.  Stained glass is all of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  On the reredos in the chancel is a striking and colourful alabaster figure of the Transfiguration of Christ, in the style of Fra. Angelico.  The carved Royal Arms is strongly painted and gilded. 



Launceston Pulpit
Launceston Carved Bench Ends
Launceston Piper Memorial

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Lelant,
St. Uny 
I had walked past St. Uny previously when on the coast path between Hayle and St. Ives.  On this occaion in early June 2006 I was walking the first stage of St. Michael's Way, from Lelant or St. Ives to St. Michaels Mount, which actually begins at the church.  So I decided I should start by looking in and around the church.  St. Uny, also known as St. Euny, was one of those peripatetic holy men of Cornwall about whom nothing is known except the various dedications to him, in this case including the mother church of the parish of Redruth.  Oddly, while the church is dedicated to Uny, the parish name may be taken from an earlier holy man named Anta.  The present chuch dates mostly from the 15th century, though there is one original Norman arch to the Lady Chapel.  Like those at Perran Sands and St. Enodoc, it suffered regular inundation by drifting sand.  Inside there is not a great deal of historic interest except for a couple of 17th century slate memorial slabs, a (probably) Norman font and rood stairs, not removed in restorations.  The real interest is outside where there are several ancient Cornish crosses and the most wonderful views, taking in Hayle Sands, Godrevy Light and Hayle Harbour.   Entertainingly, there is also a golf course which comes right up to the churchyard. 
There is some parking on the road outside.  More Lelant
The church of St. Uny Lelant
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More St. Uny, Lelant
In January 2017 I had an expedition down west.  First I went to see Towednack church, closed when I was there recently but happily open this time.  Then I continued to Lelant where a little research in Langdon had suggested the existence of several Cornish Crosses.  I checked on Cornwall Council's excellent Mapping Website and was able to confirm that I should find crosses in the churchyard of St.Uny Lelant, in the large cemetery and even on the main street.  Previously I had only been in Lelant when on the Cornish Coast Path between Hayle and St. Ives.  On that occasion I had taken the path between the church and its separate cemetery and not lingered at the church.  On this occasion I stopped in the town first where, opposite the Badger Inn (formerly the Praed Arms) a Cornish Cross had been built into the wall next to Cross Cottage.  There is now a War Memorial on the site but it looks as if the cross head is mounted on top of the memorial.  In the cemetery I found 3 crosses;  in the churchyard I found a further 2.  The church is delightfully situated, next to a golf course and overlooking Hayle and the Hayle Estuary.  Of interest in the church are 2 ancient slate memorials, an octagonal font, panelling from a medieval screen and a good reredos.  More images
From A30, follow A374 St. Ives to Badger Inn and go forward to Church
Lelant Church - another view     
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




More St. Uny, Lelant Images

I was back at St. Uny, Lelant in late September 2018 and thought to add a few more notes and images.  In medieval times Lelant was a seaport of more importance than St. Ives and the Church of St. Uny was the mother church of St. Ives.  While it is hard to imagine Lelant's former importance, there are few churches in a more attractive setting than St. Uny Lelant, not to be confused with St. Euny, Redruth's parish church.  The church stands on a large grassy  plot, woodland to its south, a view over the Hayle estuary, looking as far as Godrevy Light, to its north--east.  Within meadow and woodland, to the south of the church are three Cornish Crosses, a fact nicely echoed by one of the kneelers inside, picturing a Cornish cross.  There are three more of these crosses in the graveyard, to the west of the church.  A hedge and a path, heading for the Coast Path, separate churchyard from the graveyard.  You enter the church through a fine porch;  inside are nave and north and south aisles.  Extensive restoration was carried out by J D Sedding in 1872-3.  Roofs are fine, that of the south aisle being original and richly decorated.  Sadly there are no original bench ends;  these disappeared in Sedding's restoration.  The unusual octagonal font, supported on nine slim supporting shafts, was found in a farmyard and restored to the church in 1889.  Slate monuments on a wall near the font commemorate William Praed and family, 1620, and Stephen Pawley, 1635. 




Lelant Cornish Cross
View from Lelant Churchyard
St. Uny Lelant Cornish Cross Kneeler
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Lesnewth

After revisiting St. Juliot's church with its Thomas Hardy associations, I went on to nearby LesnewthThe name  is a corruption of Lys Noweth or New Court.  The village is but a hamlet with church, Old Rectory, Coach House, two farms and a few cottages.  What I hadn't expected was to find a large Cornish Cross, its head a nicely cut wheel-cross.   The church consists of three stage, pinnacled tower, nave, chancel and a vestry in the form of a double south transept.  In the nave there are reported to be stained glass roundels (2003) by Caroline Henderson.  I only noticed one, that of a bird on a twig, crosses on a hill in the background.  On a wall an entertaining board records a grant from the "Incorporated Society for Building Churches".  Elsewhere a slate memorial slab of 1680 carries an elaborate coat of arms.  Pevsner says that in the porch are a Cornish wheel-head cross and a C13 grave slab with an incised foliated cross.  I returned to check but I am afraid Pevsner is msitaken.



Cornish Cross
Lesnewth Church
South Transept
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Lewannick
Lewannick is a fairly ordinary, but not uninteresting, little village, happily bypassed by the busy A30, just off the eastern fringes of Bodmin Moor.  It has several buldings of interest including a house calling itself Lewannick Manor, but originally the Rectory;  next to it a house calling itself Priory House;  a former Police House, in that use from 1871 to 1950;  and a pub named Archer Arms for the former local landowners. The church stands on an elevated site, presumably with an earlier non-Christian history.  It consists of nave, aisles, porch and three-stage tower.  The porch roof has some interesting carved bosses, including the one below right, and an old font stands there, too.  Inside, the most important feature is the two inscribed stones, one in the church inscribed in ogham as well as regular script, the other south of the churchyard.  There is an elaborately carved pulpit and the Norman font carries carvings of a labyrinth and two pentagrams.  There is an unusual carved stone reredos and the altar is covered with a colourful cloth.  A metal wall plaque carries figues of a lion and what looks like a Roman soldier.
Inscribed Stone
Lewannick Church
Carved Porch Roof Boss
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Linkinhorne, Stoke Climsland and Lezant

At the very end of December 2017 I made a trip down east to the general area between Launceston and Callington in order to take a look at the churches in Linkinhorne, Stoke Climsland and Lezant.  I had been in the first two of these villages back in May 2007 when walking the Cornish section of the Land's End Trail heading west from the River Tamar at Horsebridge to Land's End.  On this occasion I had gone to visit the churches in each village.   
At Linkinhorne, the churchyard and path down to the church had suffered from December gales.  Trees were down but had been chain-sawed back to give access to the church.  I was pleased to see that the Cornish Cross by the lych-gate, the first Cornish Cross I ever saw, was still there and undamaged.  Last time I was here I didn't look in the church but on this occasion I spent some time inside.  Before entering, I noticed an old sundial on the tower wall by the porch.  The other side of the porch is what appears to be a mass grave with four wheel crosses on it.  Inside the porch the handsome doorway contains a door bound with iron straps.  Inside the church the south and north aisles both have white wagon roofs with carved bosses.  The nave has a wooden wagon roof.  In the chancel are a handsome altar table, and a good priest's chair and lectern with seat.  The granite font stands on a granite base and pillars.  The woodwork of the pulpit and its stairs are both nicely carved.  Oldest, and most interesting, is the pillar on the south wall bearing a fresco.  I think the Church House Inn, opposite, remains open and has appears to have received some good reviews, and I was glad to see that it no longer appears to be for sale. 
Next I took a look around Stoke Climsland.  I parked by the green and walked down past the village hall and attractive post office to take a look at the church.  As at Linkinhorne, the interior of the porch is striking with a fine slate tombstone dedicated to one Thomas Calvert who died in 1781.  Again, as at Linkinhorne, the very Cornish ceilings in the south aisle and chancel catch one's eye with their blue panels and carved bosses. 
Finally, I paid a visit to the church in Lezant.  This one is a little unusual in that it stands on a raised site, some 6 feet higher than the surrounding road.  The very first thing to catch one's eye is the lych gate where the side walls are of linen-fold panelling, perhaps previously in the church but more likely from a local grand house.  The porch has a wagon roof with carved bosses and this is repeated by ceilings inside the church. 



Stoke Climsland Chancel Ceiling
Linkinhorne Cross
Lezant Lych Gate Linenfold Panelling

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Liskeard, St. Martin's Church

In early March 2019 I headed down east again, this time to visit St. Lalluwy's church in Menheniot village and St. Martin's church in the major town of Liskeard.  The most striking feature of St. Martin's is the way it stands out on its hill, south of the town centre.  The next thing that strikes you is how ugly the church is on the outside, its dark stone repelling rather than enticing.  Before entering do first look for the two Cornich Crosses in the churchyard:  one you pass on your way from the south lych gate to the church entrance in a two-storey height porch, the other is in the graveyard on the south east side of the church.  What I missed was the Consecration Crosses on the outer waslls of the north ans south aisles, apparently unique in Cornwall.  Except for services the church is normally locked tight so I was fortunate to arrive at the same time as a churchwarden, who not only allowed me in but also provided some helpful information, including the fact that St. Martin's is Cornwall's second largest parish church after St. Petroc's in Bodmin.  The interior has a lofty and airy feel though the chancel, separated by a chancel arch, is lower than the nave.  With one exception, the east window, all chancel windows are original Perpendicular.  A fragment of medieval glass is displayed in a niche in the south aisle.  The plain font is probably 16th century;  its cover, probably Victorian, is very elaborate.  In the chancel both altar and reredos are elaborate, the latter quite colourful.  A royal coat of arms is of George II.  The elaborate organ, its pipes colourful, is topped by a trumpeter.  A nicely carved lectern stands by the quire parclose screen.  The octagonal pulpit, made in 1646 by Peter Short, is beautifully carved. 




Churchyard Cornish Cross
St. Martin's Church, Liskeard
Liskeard Reredos
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Little Petherick

I'm usually more-or-less in agreement with most of Pevsner's judgements.  Not this time though.  Pevsner is quite scathing about its Victorian faux-medieval qualities.  I, on the other hand, find Little Petherick church a delight, both outside and in.  It's a pity about its situation;  coming to it for the first time from the Wadebridge direction, by the time you see the church you are probably too late to pull into the village hall car park.  Coming from Padstow, you are so busy looking for traffic approaching the bridge that you probably don't even spot the church.  A great pity because it is a delight and well worth an extended visit.  Attractive from the outside, with its nave, aisle and small south chapel, it is the inside which really impresses.  Most striking are the two colourful and highly detailed rood screens.  Altar, reredos and stained glass in a south window also impress and there are some fine carved bench ends - one topped by a pheasant - good memorials and an unusually simple clock.  A colourful royal coat of arms is set into the floor and a slate wall plaque lists rectors and patrons of "St. Petroc Minor of Nansfounteyn, Little Petherick"  Despite Pevsner, I believe thet Little Petherick church is well worth going out of your way for.  Or, if you are walking the Saints Way, it is handily right alongside the first stage from Padstow.
St. Pertoc's church, Little Petherick
The church is on A389 Wadebridge to Padstow
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Looe, St.Martin-by-Looe and Morval
The town of Looe has no Anglican church of its own.  Instead there are two a little way north of the town, St. Martin about a quarter mile north, Morval a mile or so further.   St. Martin's church is dedicated to St. Keyne and St. Martin.  The south gate is simple but attractive.   The doorway from the porch is late Norman zig-zag.  The church is probably basically 13th century and the tower 14th and 15th.   Inside, the unusual font is decorated with a tree of life.  Altar rails are probably early 17th century as is the parclose screen.  Monuments include  a tomb chest of 1590 and a wall tablet of 1667 to Walter Langdon and his wife.  There are some carved bench ends, probably Victorian;  original bench ends seem to have been used in making one screen, the other elaborately carved screen is presumably Victorian.  There is some William Morris glass.  In the graveyard is a Cornish Cross of dubious authenticity.  Morval church is dedicated to St. Wenna.  Seen from the road it is low but most attractive, standing, as does the house to which it belonged, in a small landscaped park and with rhododendrons in the churchyard.  Inside is an octagonal 13th century font, a seventeenth century alms box and  a 1637 monument to Walter Coode. 
 


Morval Churchyard Cross
Morval Church
St. Martin Porch Doorway

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Looe, St. Martin and Morval

The town of Looe has no Anglican church of its own.  Instead there are two a little way north of the town, St. M artin about a quarter miles north, Morval a mile or so further.   St. Martin church is dedicated to St. Keyne and St. Martin.  The south gate is simple but attractive.   The doorway  from the porch is late Norman zig-zag.  The church is probably 13th century and the tower 14th and 15th.   Inside, the unusual font is decorated with a tree of life.  Altar rails are probably early 17th century as is the parclose screen.  Monuments include  a tomb chest of 1590 and a wall tablet of 1667 to Walter Langdon and his wife.  There are some carved bench ends, probably Victorian;  original bench ends seem to have been used in making one screen, another elaborate carved screen is presumably Victorian.  There is some Willaim Morris glass.  In the graveyard is a Cornish Cross of dubious authenticity.  Morval church is dedicated to St. Wenna.  Seen from the road it is low but most attractive, standing, as does the house, in a small landscape park and with rhododendrons in the churchyard.  Inside is an octagonal 13th century font, a seventeenth century alms box and  a 1637 monument to Walter Coode. 





St. Martin Screen
St. Martin Porch
Morval Chuirch
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Ludgvan, St. Ludgvan & St. Paul

I first encountered Ludgvan's church only in passing in 2006.  My mid-year project was walking St. Michael's Way from Lelant to Marazion and St. Michael's Mount.  I must confess that, at that time, I had not yet developed an interest in Cornwall's churches so I passed by, lingering only for a photograph of what I then wrongly thought was Ludgvan's only Cornish Cross.  I eventually returned at the very end of August 2019 for a thorough look at the church and first discovered that there were, in fact, three crosses.   After the crosses, the first thing to note is the porch.  This has an unusual four-light window in its east side and a wagon roof with carved wooden bosses.  Apart from the porch and the tower, there is little that is original as the church was heavily restored in 1912 by H J Wadling, an associate of J. P. St. Aubyn.  The result is an unexpectedly severe interior.  The font is a 19th century copy of a Norman design.  There are monuments and memorials to John South and family, 1636;  to Christopher Borlase, 1749;  to antiquarian William Borlase who was rector here 1720 to 1772;  and to the parents of Sir Humphrey Davy who invented the miner's safety lamp.  Quire stalls are surprisingly colourfully decorated. 



Ludgvan Church
The Colourful Quire Stalls
C19 Copy of Norman Font
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Luxulyan, St. Ciricius & St. Julitta Church

As with Lanlivery, I was first in Luxulyan in 2006 when I passed through when walking the Saints Way from Padstow to Fowey.  On that occasion I was walking a section, linking the two southbound routes, between Lanlivery and Luxulyan.  Passing the church, I noted a fine Cornish Cross on the wall by the lych gate.  Also in the churchyard is an ancient sundial.  I revisited Luxulyan in August 2018, this time to view and photograph the interior of the church.  Luxulyan's church certainly existed in the mid 12th century, as a chapel of Lanlivery, and was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries.  The first thing of note is the porch, unusually elaborate for Cornwall, with a traceried, tunnel-vaulted ceiling.  The north aand south aisles retain their original wagon roofs with carved bosses.  Noted Cornish architect Silvanus Trevail worked on the church early in the 20th century.  The chancel screen is by him and the stained glass of the east window is his memorial.  The font is Norman, of the Bodmin type and boldly carved with heads at each corner.  Fine monuments include that (1728) to vicar Joseph Carveth.  The pulpit, wood over granite, is carved with coats of arms.  There is an elaborate carved screen above the internal entrance to the tower.  Two 17th century chairs stand in the chancel.  The altar has some nice carved woodwork.  A marble wall memorial is to members of the local Rashleigh family.  An odd figure holding a shield is set into a granite wall.  Nearby, you can enjoy a lovely walk in the Luxulyan Valley.  Park at Pont's Mill, walk up the valley on a well made track following the Par River, and passing on your left Mid Cornwall China Clay Dries, to the Treffry Viaduct.  Go under it and climb the steep path on your right to reach the beginning of the viaduct.  The follow the former rtamway south, past Carmears Waterwheel, and back down to Ponts Mill.





Luxulyan Cornish Cross
Luxulyan Church
Luxulyan Pulpit Panels
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Mabe

The Mabe in question is Mabe Burnthouse, a couple of miles from Falmouth.  In fact Mabe church, is almost as far from Mabe as Mabe is from Falmouth.  Approached from a big car park down a long driveway and through a large lych gate, the church overlooks one of a pair of reservoirs, Argal Lake.   The church consists of three-stage tower, nave and two aisles.  Near the porch are two surprises, neither shown on OS103.  First is a fairly massive 8 foot tall standing stone, second is a fine example of a Cornish Cross.  Disappointingly, when I was there the church was locked, so I must again rely on Pevsner, who found much to admire here, particularly the fine porch, its doorways having cable decoration and repeated lily motifs.  Inside, either side of a modern reredos are fragments of a fifteenth century alabaster altar. 



Mabe Church
Mabe Cornish Cross

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Madron, St. Maddern
Madron lies a little to the north of Penzance, just off the road to Bosullow Common, Lanyon Quoit, Men-an-Tol and Nine Maidens Common.  As you drive through you are hard put to decide where to park but, if you head for the church and school, there is ample parking.  There is more here than just an impressive church, within the churchyard are two impressive memorials - a great mausoleum to Rose Price and a globe-bestriding statue with an unreadable dedication - and two Cornish Crosses (there are two others nearby).  Inside, the roofs have carved wooden bosses, there are two attractive screens and the south chapel has an alabaster plaque of saints, some ancient bench ends topped by beasts.  High on a wall is the "Nelson Banner", carried in the procession that celebrated Nelson's victory at Trafalgar.  In addition to the two Cornish crosses in the churchyard, there are two others nearby, one in a field to the south of the church at 45436/31503, the other on a lane near Madron Well and Chapel, at about 44512/32541.  Well and Chapel are worth visiting, the former a spring identified by trees adorned with strips of cloth, interceding for family or friends, the the latter substantial but roofless.  Both sites are cared for by the admirable Cornwall Heritage Trust.  Nearby is the National Trust's lovely Trengwainton Garden.
Lych gate and tower of Madron Church
Madron is signed from the Heamoor roundabout on the Penzance by-pass
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Maker and the Rame Peninsula

In July 2017 I had an outing to the Rame Peninsula in far south-east Cornwall.  My purpose was to visit churches in five villages altogether:  Antony, St. John, Sheviock, Maker and Rame.  I found the churches in Antony and St. John closed but found plenty of interest in the other three.  Maker church stands isolated, except for a lodge cottage, high above Mount Edgcumbe Park.  It is a substantial building with pinnacled tower, nave, two aisles and an additional Edgcumbe family chapel attached to the south aisle.  Ceilings are of the Cornish "wagon" type; the nave one being quite elaborate.  The Norman font was originally at St. Merryn.  Best of the Edgcumbe monuments is that of 1752 to Richard Lord Edgcumbe.  In the nearby former Maker Barracks a Nissen hut houses the excellent Canteen restaurant;  we have enjoyed meals there on many occasions.  There is ample parking near Maker church and access to the vast Mount Edgcumbe Estate, where we have enjoyed many good walks and the occasional meal in the Edgcumbe Arms, the Orangery or the cafe by the house.  Rame church is a little less isolated;  nearby are the Old Rectory and Rame Barton and Penmillard farms.  The church is built of rough slatey stone and, unusually for Cornwall, has a broach spire.  An Ashton memorial dates from 1677.  Screen and wooden pulpit are well carved.  A rood, relatively unusual for Cornwall, stands atop the screen.  Not far away, at the furthest point the Rame Peninsula, a small Norman chapel stands on a 330 foot point with superb views in both  directions. Sheviock church is in the middle of the village, opposite it the Rectory.  Much of the building is of the 13th and 14th centuries but, unfortunately the tower has been grey plastered. Inside, tombs of a knights and a lady, probably of the Courtenay family, are late 14th century, A brass cross commemorates Alphonse Charles de Morel.  There are some fairly elaborate carved bench ends. 



The rood in Rame church
Maker pulpit
Sheviock church bench ends
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Manaccan, St. Manacca's Church
Although the Lizard is the best part of an hour and a half's journey from Wadebridge I decided it was high time I visited and reported on several churches down there.  I was in Manaccan and St. Anthony in mid February 2019.  In addition to these I propose to report on Mawgan in Meneage and St. Martin-in-Meneage.  An odd word "Meneage", it means "Monk's land" so would have been the property of a monastic settlement.  Manaccan is a pleasant small village on a hill not far from the eastern end of Gillan Creek.  At one time the village had pub, shop and post office.  All closed in 2014 but, in a remarkable show of co-operation, the villagers got together to save and re-open the pub.  After some more ups and downs, the New Inn is open again and is a pleasant spot, serving good food;  on an adjacent wall are mounting steps.  A couple of hundred yards away is St. Manaca's church.  The first thing you notice is a fig tree growing out of the west end of the south wall, believed to be 250 years old and surely unique in Cornwall.  The next thing you notice is the unusual south doorway, essentially Norman although the arch above has been remodelled.  Inside is a plain font, believed by Pevsner to be a late-medieval copy of a Norman original.  Stained glass appears medieval but is late Victorian.  A simple pulpit may be 20th century.  In the chancel two chairs are made from 15th century timber, taken from the former rood screen.  A surprise is the carved and colourful ceiling bosses, undoubtedly modern since they include a butterfly and a terrier. 




Shield ceiling boss
Flying insect ceiling boss
Terrier ceiling boss
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Marhamchurch, St. Marwenna's Church
Towards the end of January 2019 I headed to the far North of Cornwall to visit three churches - St. James Jacobstow, St. Marwenne Marhamchurch and St. Andrew Stratton.  My second port of call was Marhamchurch.  I had been in the village before, when walking a route from Bude, via the canal and Helebridge, to Dexbeer, Burmsdon and Tamar Lakes, but I had not previously been inside the church.  Some Norman work survives but the greater part of the church is of the 14th and 15th centuries.  The south porch has a typical Cornish roof with some carving;  its floor is made of squares of small upright slates.  The door, of studded vertical planks, with massive iron hinges, is unusual and very sturdy.  Inside, the impressive nave has a 19th century Cornish wagon roof, while the north aisle roof is mostly of the 15th and 16th centuries.  The seating in the quire, though probably Victorian, is attractively carved.  The font is believed to be a late 19th century re-cutting of a Norman original.  The pulpit dates from the 17th century.  In the chancel is a small Cornish Cross, probably an early original.  An unusual brass memorial to Maria Scott Maskell is set into a worn stone slab.  There is quite a lot of attractive stained glass. mostly of the mid-19th to early 20th century.  Below the chancel step are four 17th century slate memorial slabs.  To my disappointment there are no Cornish Crosses in the churchyard. 




Marhamchurch Chancel Ceiling
Quire Seating
Brass Memorial

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Mawgan-in-Meneage, St. Mawgan's Church
On a sunny Saturday in late February I headed down to the Lizard peninsula to take a close look at a couple of churches, that of St. Mawgan in Mawgan-in-Meneage and that of St. Martin-in-Meneage.  The Daffodil Festival had been held over for an extra week at St. Mawgan;  delightful as it was I had hope for a clear un-daffodilled view of the interior of the church, so I shall have to visit again at a later date.  At St. Martin I had a pleasant surprise:  I know that, remotely situated, the church would be locked and I was just planning on exterior photos.  However, while I was eating my soup and sandwich before leaving, who should arrive but a lady churchwarden, so I was able to take my photographs inside as well.  (See separate entry)  St.Mawgan's church is in a fairly isolated position away from the main part of the village.  The extensive graveyard, raised as ir is, it suggests a lann and includes an impressive raised chest tomb.  The three-stage tower is of the 15th century but the body of the church is mostly 13th century and consists of nave, north aisle and north and south transepts, the latter linked to the chancel by a squint.  There are Cornish wagon roofs to porch, nave, north transept and north aisle, the latter richly carved.  There are two fonts in the south transept, one circular, the other hexagonal.  In the south transept is a fine recessed tomb with the marble figures of Sir Roger Carminow and his wife.  There are several good monuments to members of the Vyell family.  In the north aisle the wagon roof is supported by angels and has a variety of carved bosses.  The lectern is a delight, of red and green serpentine, found only on the Lizard.  Victorian stained glass. 




Porch Angel Roof Support
Mawgan-in-Meneage Carminowe Monument
Serpentine Lectern

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Mawnan, Mawnan Smith, Budock & Constantine

In early June 2017 I made a couple of expeditions down to the other side of Falmouth.  I was actually looking for a memorial stained glass window by Glenn Carter, commemorating someone named Steve.  Jane's sister, who spotted the item in a newspaper, thought it was in Mawnan Smith church.  This is a Victorian church just off the road to Mawnan.  Although there was some passable Victorian glass, the Glenn Carter window was not there.  I wonder where?  Except for an odd little bell tower at the west end, the church was otherwise of little interest.  On to Mawnan, where the first thing I noticed was the lovely view from the south side of the churchyard over the mouth of the Helford River to Nare Head.  The first thing to take your notice is the lych gate, complete with coffin rest and a Cornish inscription which translates as "It is good for me to draw nigh unto God". In the graveyard are  Inside is a 15th century octagonal Font, a 17th century Alms Box and part of a 15th century Screen.  There is a Cornish Cross in the churchyard.   I was in the area on a couple of occasions and also visited churches at Budock and Constantine.  At Budock there are three Cornish Crosses and some interesting tomb markers.  There are, unusually, two lych gates;  the rear one has collections of primitive lawn mowers and watering cans.  Constantine church has panelling from a former screen, a simple font and a finely carved pulpit.  Rood stairs are still in place. 





Mawnan
Mawnan Smith
Budock
Constantine
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Menheniot, St. Lalluwy's Church
In early March 2019 I headed down east again, this time to visit St. Lalluwy's church in Menheniot village and St. Martin's church in the major town of Liskeard.  I only discovered Menheniot  [the name means Hyniet's land according to Craig Weatherhill, St. Neot's place according to Julyan Holmes - take your choice] towards the end of April 2016.  Jane wanted to see an exhibition of Norman Hartnell's designs and materials, being held in the church.  I drove her there and quite like the look of the village so, a week later, I had an outing to explore the village.  However this item is about the church, unusual for Cornwall in that it boasts a spire.  The church was restored in 1866 by J P St. Aubyn and further restored by G H Fellowes Prynne in 1922.  Perpendicular windows are mostly  of the 15th and 16th centuries.  There is good stained glass but, to my mind, the outstanding glass is the engraved glass, depicting a Cornish Cross and grains of wheat, by David Pearce,  in the south wall of the south aisle.    The pulpit is from 1891 by the noted Harry Hems of Exeter and is of intricately carved dark wood.  Set in the floor, at the base of the pulpit, is a beautifully engraved brass inscription of 1386 to Sir Ralph Carmynow and there are several monuments to members of the Trelawney family, below one of which are a pair of handsome chairs.  Seating in the quire is a carved delight.  A large black marble slab has superb lettering  and remembers Augustine Question (that's what it says!).   The font is simple, square with a central pillar, four columns supporting it and with a carved Victorian cover.  




Menheniot Etched Glass
Menheniot Linenfold Panelling
Menheniot Carved Pulpit
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Merther and Eglosmerther

These tiny hamlets lie to the east of the Tresillian River, not very far from Truro.  It is strange countryside with almost none of the narrow lanes actually going anywhere of any consequence, most simply ending at one of several rivers, Fal, Truro and Tresillian.  The names of these two places are a little odd.  Merther, in both old Cornish and Welsh, means Martyr, so Eglosmerther is the church (or perhaps burial place) of a martyr.  But who was the martyr?  Presumably St. Cohan to whom the ruined church is dedicated   From 1620 the manor of Merther has been part of what is now the estate of the Boscawens, Lords Falmouth, the Tregothnan Estate.  The ruined church at Merther (oddly, there is no church at Eglosmerther, only a Methodist chapel) was dedicated to St Cohan or Coan;  it is said that he was martyred but I can find no trace of him.  In 1904 a new church was built at Tresillian Bridge and the 12th century Pentewan stone font, the 17th-century polygonal oak pulpit, the bells  and the statue of St. Anthony were moved there.  St. Cohan's at Merther became a mortuary chapel but fell into disuse and gradually deteriorated; now only the tower and walls are substantially intact.  Apparently the old church bells were melted down in 1970 and made into 2 new bells for St Clement church, just over the Tresillian River.  To the east of Merther church, in a field called St Coan (grid reference SW866448), is the site of St Cohan's Chapel and well. The chapel was destroyed in about 1750 and by 1860 the last stones removed.  Eglosmerther is a Grade II listed farm building on the site of a former manor house, recorded as being held in 1311 by the Reskymers.  It is now a farm, and the farmhouse including the courtyard wall, was a rebuilding in 1806–8 of an earlier house.   





Merther church tower
Eglosmerther chapel
Merther Lane Cornish Cross
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Mevagissey, St. Peters
Mevagissey is a village of two distinct parts.  The picturesque harbour is surrounded by attractive cottages on one side, by commerce on a second with restaurants, cafes and shops, and on the third by buildings relating to the surprisingly large fishing fleet.   Behind the harbour is a narrow through street. Leading off it are largely residential streets, some of them steep and narrow.  Church Hill heads steeply north-west up to St. Peter's Church, an awkward spot for worshippers with a steep climb and little or no parking.  I thought traffic wardens up here unlikely so I parked on a yellow line by the most convenient entrance to the churchyard.  At some point the tower collapsed;  it was rebuilt with, for Cornwall, un unusual saddleback roof.  The west wall has a blocked doorway with a tympanum bearing the figure of (I think) a horse.  Inside is a handsome pulpit, carved with different scenes on each face, an elaborate memorial to Otwell Hill with recumbent figures in relief, another simpler in slate to the Dart family with 10 kneeling figures.  There is also a nicely carved Norman stone font. To judge by the bootscraper outside the porch, the church was probably restored by J P St. Aubyn in the 19th century.  All in all, I felt that  St. Peter's, Mevagissey was of sufficient interest to justify a steep walk up the hill.  If interested, you may be able to park by the harbour;  there is ample parking elsewhere. 




Mevagissey Church Tower
Horse Tympanum over door
Carved Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Michaelstow, St. Michael's Church

On the same Saturday in mid-February that I re-visited St. Endelient's church, I also visited St. Michael's at Michaelstow.  I had been there before but only to photograph the Cornish Cross and Holy Well in the churchyard.  On this occasion I was there to see the inside of the church, which consists of nave, north and south aisles, tower and porch and dates in part from the 13th century.  You approach St. Michael's up steep steps from an ample parking area and through either side of a double lych gate and past a very tall Cornish wheel cross.  Off to your right is an uncared for Holy Well.  You enter the porch to a handsome door surround and a roof with carved bosses on the timbers.  Inside nave and aisles have standard Cornish wagon roofs.  The plain 15th century font stands on a Norman base.  The exceptionally good benches and bench ends were rescued from St. Tudy church.  The pulpit, with Gothic carving, stands on a stone base.  The Royal Arms are of 1727 and are probably of George II.  There are fragments of medieval stained glass, some good Arts and Crafts glass and a banner of St. Michael.  Slate monuments tand against the west wall, one obscured by a radiator.  A small stone cross stands on a window sill. 





Michaelstow Cornish Cross
Michaelstow Altar and Reredos
Carved Bench End
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Minster near Boscastle

I first encountered Minster Church quite unexpectedly.  I had parked in Boscastle and was walking up the Valency Valley, following the river on my right  After about a mile I saw a bridge over the river and a path heading up through dense woodland.  I decided to see where it went and, after a few hundred steep yards through Peters Wood, found myself emerging through a gate on to a lane with Minster Church tucked below me.  At that time I didn't look into the church as I had decided to follow the lane to Forrabury church, across the Stitches, ancient small fields, and back to Boscastle on the Coast Path.  The exterior of the church, tucked into the hillside below its graveyard, is unusual in one particular:  its tower which boasts a saddleback roof.  Such roofs were common in Anglo-Saxon times, suggestion that this church might be older than we think.  In fact Pevsner thinks there may have been a small very early monastery here.  As so often with Cornish churches, restoration was carried out in the second half of the 19th century by J P St. Aubyn.  Inside, there are two 13th century windows, a simple Norman font, a good collection of slate memorial slabs, a rood over the chancel entrance, a fairly plain oak pulpit, a carved and pierced lectern, remnants of an elaborately carved screen, some elaborate marble wall memorials, a 1602 memorial brass to Hender Robarts, and a nice collection of flower patterned kneelers. 




Minster Church in woods
Hender Robarts 1602 Brass
Litany Desk Panel
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Morvah, St. Morveth

This little church, in the tiny village of Morvah, beyond Zennor on the West Penwith peninsula, which I visited in May 2018, is probably the least interesting of all the Cornish churches I have researched so far.  The tower dates from the 14th century but the body of the church was rebuilt in 1828, so just pre-Victorian.  The approach is attractive, up three steps and through a pair of iron gates to a green outer porch door.  Inside, the nave is simple and pews are unornamented with no carved bench ends.  The ceiling is a simple ribbed barrel vault.  The octagonal font is unusual with painted decoration on its shaft.  The pulpit is simple oak with no decoration.  The altar is of local stone with an incised cross.  The reredos has three simple panels with a fretted top rail.  Window glass is also simple with centre panels carrying a cross motif. 




Entrance gates to Morvah church
The plain oak pulpit
The painted font

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Morwenstow, St. John the Baptist and St. Morwenna
Morwenstow's church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist and to its putative founder St. Morwenna, possibly a daughter of Welsh King Brychan, is unusual in more ways than one.  It must be just about Cornwall's least accessible church, a full five miles from the nearest road of any significance and in the county's most northerly parish.  Of Norman origin (though there must have been an earlier church here), although restored in Victorian times, it retains a fair amount of Norman work, notably in the porch and the north arcade.  And finally, for 40 years from 1834, it had as its vicar the remarkable Robert Stephen Hawker, poet and free spirit, who was responsible for much of the restoration of the church and who chose to bury shipwrecked sailors, of whom there were many in these dangerous seas, in his churchyard rather than, as was the custom, on the shore where they were washed up. 
Worth noting inside the church are the unusual and very early Norman font, the screen and rood which Hawker restored, and a degraded wall painting believed to represent St. Morwenna.  Outside, look at the lych gate and its adjacent lych house, at the figurehead of the Caledonia, and in early spring, the most amazing display of daffodils.  And do walk to the cliff, turn left and seek out Hawker's Hut, where Parson Hawker wrote his poetry.
Morwenstow church in the evening sun
For the churchyard at daffodil time, see Morwenstow village
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Mullion, St. Melina's

I visited Mullion towards the end of March 2018 in order to look around St. Melina's church, which stands towards the northern edge of this large village on the western side of the Lizard peninsula.  There is a donation car park fairly close by and a pub, the Old Inn, almost opposite.  The sturdy tower of the church is striking, built of a mx of granite and serpentine blocks.  Otherwise the church consists of porch, nave and two aisles.  The porch is worth attention with its Cornish wagon roof, studded door and three stage door surround.  Inside are 15th century wagon roofs, an impressive three part rood screen incorporating some of the original screen, complete with rood, an Elizabethan lectern carved with two female figures, a 13th century hexagonal font with simple decoration, and elaborate royal coat of arms of Charles II.  There are several monuments, though none of great significance.  All this is fine but the reason for visiting St. Melina's is to see one of the best collections of 16th century carved bench ends in Cornwall - and that's saying something.  In the churchyard, several crosses include the head of an octagonal section medieval cross.  From Mullion I went on to Perranuthnoe, a couple of miles south-east of Marazion. 




Carved Lectern
Mullion, St. Melina's Church
Medieval Bench End

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



 Mylor
There are two quite separate villages, Mylor Bridge where you will find All Saints Church and Mylor Churchtown, sometimes known as Mylor Harbour.  Mylor Bridge village is of little interest;  its All Saints Church of no great significance but worth a short visit if on the way to Mylor Churchtown
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Mylor Bridge, All Saints Church

On our way from Peranarworthal to Mylor Churchtown Jane and I called in at otherwise uninteresting Mylor Bridge to take a look at All Saints Church.  We thought we were out of luck, finding the church locked, but almost immediately a very helpful churchwarden, who lives across the road, spotted us and dashed over to unlock the church.  Thank you, churchwarden.  The exterior is of little interest, dull stonework with far too much mortar.  At the west end there is a small bellcote in the gable.   However the interior proved to be quite unexpectedly interesting.  Above an unusual arch-braced roof, the ceiling is painted blue, something I have otherwise only encountered a couple of times elsewhere, most notably at St. Peter's, Newlyn.  The feeling is much more of a Methodist chapel with a gallery at one end and chairs rather than pews.  A circle of chairs is presumably used for parish meetings.  Stained glass behind the altar is simple and geometrically patterned. 


All Saints, Mylor Bridge
The unexpected interior

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Mylor Churchtown
To many this is just Mylor Yacht Harbour, a major yachting and watersports centre where Mylor Creek joins Carrick Roads.  With yacht club, large marina, extensive moorings, renowned boatyard and bars and restaurants, that’s understandable.  As a result of the Harbour’s success property prices are among Cornwall’s highest and large houses spread along Mylor Creek.  However, for others, this is Mylor Churchtown and the main interest is the church of St. Mylor.  One of Cornwall’s oldest holy sites, the first church is said to have been founded before AD411 when St. Mylor was martyred here.  A charming church, set in a steeply sloping churchyard, there are two Norman doorways but the body of the church is essentially of 13th and 15th centuries.  There are remains of a 15th century painted rood screen, an Elizabethan pulpit and a puzzling priest’s chair, reputed to have come from nearby Glasney College, closed when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries, of 1000 year old Irish bog oak with Norse carving and Tudor panelling.  The churchyard, lych gate at the top, small iron gate on the quay, is most enjoyable,  Steeply sloping, it contains a free standing bell tower, St. Mylor’s holy well, a Cornish Cross that, if the whole shaft were visible, would stand 17’ 6” high, fine wild flowers, and ancient tombstones, one commemorating the 200 who died when Queen was wrecked on Trefusis Point. Mylor Village  -Walk from Churchtown
More on Mylor Churchtown = St. Melor's Church
Mylor Church
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


Mylor Churchtown, more images of St. Melor's Church

In late August 2018 Jane and I had a most enjoyable outing down Falmouth way.  First, at the invitation of churchwarden Paul Stuart, we had a good look at the interior of St. Piran's Perranarworthal, normall closed except for services.  Then we stopped in Mylor Bridge to take a look at the interior of All Saint's Church, again courtesy of an obliging churchwarden.  We then spent some time in St. Melor's Church, set above Mylor Harbour.  Finally we enjoyed an ecellent light lunch in Mylor Cafe where, if you spend more than £5, you may get your car park fee refunded.  I was quite taken with the interior of St. Melor's with its elaborate screen, elaborately carved pulpit and a series of ceiling bosses which rate no mention in Pevsner;  they reminded me of the far more comprehensive collection in St. Nectan's, slao reviewed on this page. 



Elaborately Carved Pulpit
St. Melor's Chancel and Screen
One of several Ceiling Bosses

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Newlyn, St. Peters

I was quite surprised by this church, associating Newlyn essentially with the fishing industry and its associated trades.  If you walk up The Cooombe, cross the third little bridge over the little Coombe River, there in front of you is St. Peters.  What I was looking for, a Cornish Cross head formerly in Trereife Park,, was straight in front of me by the south wall.  The church is on a relatively grand scale for a small harbour town.  It dates from 1859-66 and is very much in the Victorian style of its time.  I had really only gone there to photograph the Cornish cross head brought her from Trereife Park but was sufficiently impressed by the exterior to take a look inside.  I was glad I did because the interior was quite a surprise.  It is predominantly blue, with blue pews in the nave, a blue chancel ceiling and a blue ceiling in the transept where the organ is.  The font has an unusual cover, topped by a dove.  The chancel is striking with a reredos of the Last Supper and a crucifixion on a baldachino canopy over altar and reredos.   A niche in the south wall has a charming small Madonna  and Child statue.  The granite pulpit is adorned with serpentine pillars.  There is a variety of good stained glass. 



St. Peters Church, Newlyn
Cornish Cross Head
The Blue Nave

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Newquay, St. Michaels





When I tried to visit St. Michaels, Newquay, towards the end of January 1918, I was thwarted.  It was closed.  I should have realised that, in a town like Newquay, it was not reasonable to expect a church to be open all the time, particularly as it had been the subject of an arson attack on 29th June 1993.  So I emailed the church and received a very prompt reply from Canon Jem Thorold with details of opening days and times.  I shall return there for a good look around.  In the meantime I quote briefly from the new 2014 Pevsner.  "1909-11 by Sir Ninian Comper, one of Cornwall's finest churches and the twentieth century's most significant architectural contribution to Newquay.  The whole interior bestows a cool, calm, assured character". 
St. Michaels, Newquay from the south-west
On the corner of St. Michaels Road and Marcus Hill

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Newquay, New Creation Centre

In mid-March 2018 Jane and I visited Newquay together.  Secondary purpose was to lunch at the Headland Hotel's excellent Terrace Restaurant, where we enjoyed an excellent lunch overlooking Fistral Beach - and made a booking for Jane's 80th celebrations in May.  Primary purpose was to visit the Parish Church of St. Michael but yet again it was closed, despite being supposed to be open on Wednesday mornings.  However we made up for that by visiting the Newquay Christian Centre on Seymour Avenue.  This is an Elim ‘Foursquare Gospel Alliance’ church, part of the Elim Pentecostal Church.  This proved to be very different from the usual Anglican church:  we were greeted by a friendly, informative but in no way pushy lady and were immediately offered coffee and cakes.  The church has a very open and welcoming feeling.  The first two things to strike us were the lovely collection of fabrics on the seats and the striking blueness of the chancel.  Then, looking around, we were very much taken by the contemporary stained glass which included a watermill and a carpenter's tools.  The wooden ceiling is notable, too, very Cornish in style.  Seating in the foyer features colourful cushions.  A charming, welcoming place.




Colourful seating
New Creation Centre
Colourful glass

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




North Hill
In the middle of March 2019 I visited two churches in the vicinity of Bodmin Moor:  St. Clair's in St. Cleer to the south of Minions and St. Terney's in North Hill, some 6 miles south-west of Launceston.   Although we didn't visit the church at the time, Jane and I have pleasant memories of a tough Mark Camp walk we did from North Hill in 2004, taking in the (then) wobbly bridge over the River Lynher, North Hill itself and Hawkstor Downs, returning by a lower route including Castick Farm.  Pevsner describes St. Terney's as "one of Cornwall's most enjoyable churhes" and I have no dispute with that.  From a grassy car park  short walk leads to the west end of the church and its impressive three-stage battlemented tower with its crocketed pinnacles;  unusually there is a large Gothic window in the west face of the tower.  Head round to the south side of the church and you are faced with a charming, if somewhat tattered sundial.  Inside, the porch has a surprisingly elaborate wagon roof with carved bosses.  Inside, the church, dating mostly from the turn of the 15th century, is airy and spacious.  The roof theme continues with wagon roofs to nave and aisles.  The fine chancel roof, also wagon in style, is ribbed and painted.  Below it are paintings of a miner and a fisherman.   The floor is colourfully tiled.  There is an Easter sepulchre in the north wall of the chancel.  Communion rails date from 1685.  Slightly surprisingly there are few carved bench ends.  A 1621 brass commemorates Leonard Yeo. A slate chest tomb commemorates Thomas Vincent 1608.  Incised slabs remember Dorothy Killigrew 1634 and three daughters of Edmund Yeo 1638.  A surprisingly simple altar has behind it a marble reredos.   A window in the north wall has three small colourful panels.  The pulpit features linenfold panelling.  An elaborate marble wall memorial is dedicated to members of the local Spoure family of Trebartha. 




Spoure Memorial
St. Terney's Church Tower
Carved Bench Ends
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



North Petherwin, St.Paternus Church

I visited North Petherwin, oddly quite some distance from South Petherwin, at the very beginning of June 2018, on the same day that I looked at Landrake and St. Erney churches.  Away from the main village, the church is in its own churchtown a little way north with only Beaumont Court and a couple of farms and their cottages nearby.  The church stands out, both tall and on high ground.  There are surprises:  the first is to discover a small Cornish Cross above the door in the porch;  the second is to discover inside a Norman north aisle, complete with its massive piers;  the third is to find clerestory windows, most unusual for Cornwall, above the piers.   Despite the Norman north aisle, the overall appearance of the church is of the 15th century Perpendicular period.  Both aisle and chancel ceilings are wood panelled, that of the chancel having a band of blue and gold panels over the east window.  The lower part of the screen survives as two pair of panels.  There are a few carved bench ends.  Stained glass is Victorian.  There is a brass of 1621 to Leonard Yeo and incised slate wall memorials to Dorothy Killigrew and to members of the Pedlar family.  The font has a decorated Norman based and a crude later octagonal bowl.


North Petherwin church
Remains of the medieval screen
Cross in porch

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




North Tamerton, St. Denis Church

I didn't actually mean to visit North Tamerton on an outing to St. Anne's Church at Whitstone in the north of Cornwall towards the end of June 2018.  However a missed turning found me there and I was delighted at the result of my mistake.  At first I thought I would not get to see the inside of the church.  It was locked but a notice referred me to a key-holder and I was able to enter.  Before I did I looked at the tower where, most unusually, I saw that the plinth is decorated with a band of simple but varied carvings.  Near the porch is what I thought to be the base of a missing Cornish Cross.  The church is essentially 15th century but much embellished inside in the latter half of the 19th century.   There is a good wagon roof, with carved bosses, to the chancel.   The 12th century font is a simple circular bowl.  Near it are two wall memorials, one to Walter Robins, dated 1706.  Somehow I managed to miss a small brass, mentioned by Pevsner, to Leonard Loves of nearby Ogbeare Hall.  There is some attractive 20th century stained glass.  Imagine my pleasure, on entering, to discover that, quite unexpectedly, the church was full of late-medieval carved bench-ends, including some good ones in the quire.   To the left of the churchyard as you enter is attractive 16th or 17th century Church House. 





North Tamerton Church
North Tamerton Font
Bench End

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Old Kea Church
I discovered this oddity when I extended a walk around some Fal creeks to include the Truro River at Malpas.  As I walked down a field from Trevean I could see a church tower.  When I got there I found that the tower is all that remains of the medieval church that once stood here.  Old Kea was an inconvenient location and as far back as 1531 royal licence had been granted to build a new church but All Hallows Kea, three miles away at Killiow, didn't get built until 1802.  The old church was partly demolished but some of its stone was re-used to build a poorhouse on the site.  This was later incorporated into the present small Victorian church that you see today.  Outside is an early cylindrical cross shaft.  Inside is a medieval font, set in a cross base, alongside it a small cross head.  St. Kea is one of those Cornish saints to whom several legends attach.  Rather like the better known St. Piran he is supposed to have floated over from Ireland on a boulder, landing at Churchtown Creek on the Truro River.  In fact it is more probable that he was Cornish born, rose through the church hierarchy to become a bishop, resigning to found a cell here.  He is said to have died in Brittany in AD495.  Legend also records him as King Arthur's knight Sir Kay!
Off A39 take Calenick turn S of Truro.                     More Images of Old Kea
The Victorian church at Old Kea
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More Images of Old Kea Church

I revisited Old Kea in late July 2018.  It is a very pleasant and quite isolated spot.  I was there to take a few more photos and include some of these below.  The interior of the church is quite unusual with regular nave and tiny chancel, a seating area, I guess for church meetings, and some unusual modern stained glass. 



Cornish Cross Shaft
Nave of Old Kea Mission Church
Stained Glass

Back to Old Kea
Return to Holy Sites

Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Otterham, Jacobstow & Treneglos

I visited Otterham and Jacobstow, in the north of Cornwall, in late May 2017, mainly for their churches.  Otterham's has a part Norman tower, was heavily restored in 1889, and offered little interest to Pevsner.  Indeed there is little that is special about it.  Apart from the tower it consists of just nave and south aisle.  The chancel ceiling is attractive, with wagon roof and carved bosses.  A priest's chair has carved decoration;  on one wall there is a fine slate memorial tomb cover;  on another is a carved wood war memorial.  Jacobstow church lies in a hollow at the bottom a hill.  Opposite is an attractive row of fairly modern cottages.  Outside is a Cornish Cross of indeterminate age.  Inside is a Norman font with heads at the corners, a carved wood pulpit on a stone plinth and a plain slab of granite for an altar.  Treneglos is a few miles to the south-east of Otterham and lies north of the A395 Camelford to Kennards House road.  It is a tiny hamlet, consisting of little more than a church and a couple of farms.  I was unable to gain access to the Victorian church but liked the older porch.  It has a wagon roof with carved wooden bosses and an intriguing tympanum over the inside door:  two lions, facing one another, separated by a tree.  Pevsner reports that inside is a small circular font with faces on the corner of the square base. 


Otterham Church
Treneglos Porch Ceiling
Jacobstow Church

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Padstow. St.Petroc, 
It had surprised me to realise that, although I had been in Padstow on so many occasions, usually in the course of a walk, I had never actually been inside St. Petroc's Church.  Walks had included one of our favourites, bus to Trebetherick, walk down to Daymer Bay, visit St. Enodoc Church, continue on golf course or dunes to Rock, ferry to Padstow and bus back home to Wadebridge.  Another much enjoyed had been a round walk by Stepper Point and Trevone.  Jane and I had also visited Prideaux Place, Padstow's 'big house'.  So in November 2016 I parked in the big Link Road car park and walked down the path to the church through a hailstorm, the results seen in the photo on the left.  Initial interest was in the churchyard, an early Cornish Cross near the south porch and a massive cross base and part of a shaft by the south-east gate. There is also a Cornish Cross in the grounds of nearby Prideaux Place.  St. Petroc's, almost entirely 15th century, consists of nave and two aisles and a substantial tower.  Inside the church at the west end is another, rather unusual, cross head and a fine 14th century font of blue Cataclews stone, carvings of three apostles on each face. The nave has a wagon roof with carved bosses and angel supporters.  There are several fine Prideaux Brune memorials.  Along the norrth wall are carved "Stations of the Cross".  St. Petroc was a Welshman, educated in Ireland.  Arriving in Cornwall, he founded a monastery on the Camel estuary - Petroc Stow, Petroc's holy place.  Later he founded churches in Little Petherick, Bodmin, Wales and Brittany. 
An autumnal  scene in the graveyard
Park in the top Link Road car park and walk down (signed)
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Paul
Paul tends to be ignored by visitors, inland as it is from well known destinations such as Penzance, Newlyn and Mousehole.  The first three things that strike you are the uncovered lych gate, the Cornish Cross head to the left of it and the memorial to Dolly Pentreath of Mousehole who died in 1777 and was believed to be the last person to speak Cornish as a first language.  Inside there is a reasonable amount of interest.  The font is unusual with octagonal base and square bowl supported by four slim pillars.  The octagonal pulpit is unusual, too, entirely of carved stone and supported on slim stone pillars.  Box pews are unexpected though disappointingly there are no carved bench ends.  However the lectern is quite striking with its carved wood and angel finials.  The screen between chancel and aisle is unusual, its centrepiece depicting the 1595 Spanish raid on Penzance, Mousehole and Paul.  There is an elaborate memorial to Captain Stephen Hutchens and another to Lieutenant General Robyns.  Opposite is a large car park, at one end of it the Kings Arms where we enjoyed coffee.  A path off the car park leads to the former graveyard, now a pleasant spot with views to Mount's Bay and St. Michael's Mount. 
Paul Cornish Cross
Paul Church and its roofless Lych Gate
Dolly Pentreath Memorial
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Pendeen, St. John the Baptist
Towards the end of March 2019 I headed down to the far west, to the Penwith Peninsula beyond St. Ives, to visit my next church as I work my way alphabetically through Pevsner.  This church is something of a surprise in more ways than one.  You tend to expect the church to be the focal point of a village.  And you expect Cornish Anglican churches to be of the 12th to 16th centuries.  Not so here;  St. John Baptist dates from 1851 and was the brainchild of Rev. Robert Aitken, who designed and enlisted the aid of his parishioners to built it, the previous wooden church having burned down.  Because the village was already built up there was no room for the church at its centre so a new road was built heading towards Trewellard Common and the church was built at its end, Aitken's vicarage next to it.  The church wall is highly unusual was likened by Betjeman to a "Toy Fort".  There is an extensive graveyard at the far left corner of which is a small but distinct Cornish Cross.  The church is in a cruciform plan with the crenellated tower on its northwest side.  The exterior is in the Early English style with tall lancet windows and a steeply pitched roof.  The interior has an airy and lofty feel.  The chancel arch is narrow and pointed and leads to a chancel with tall lancet windows, some of their stained glass inset with original Flemish roundels.  The tall pointed theme is continued in the organ housing.  Pews are essentially simple with no traditional carved bench ends though the litany desk is a little more elaborate as is the traditional looking carved pulpit.  There is some attractive and colourful tiling in the chancel and some nicely worked altar kneelers.  Most unusually the altar rail posts are of serpentine from the Lizard Peninsula.  By no means an exceptional church but, nonetheless, a pleasant place to visit with ample parking. 



Carved Font Cover
Pendeen, St. John Baptist Church
Serpentine Post

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Penponds, Holy Trinity
Holy Trinity was built in 1854 to a design by J P St. Aubyn.  The architect may have been born in Powick in Worcestershire but was of the Cornish St. Aubyn family, Lords St. Levan and owners of St. Michaels Mount.  John Betjeman, the great expert on Victorian buildings and particularly churches, described Holy Trinity as "a gem", a surprising thing for Betjeman to say as he was usuially a fierce critic of St. Aubyn's work.  Betjeman's description was "a complete period piece of High Church good taste".  My puzzlement at this seemed to me good enough reason for a visit.  The church is normally closed but I was able to visit on a "free coffee" morning in early April 2019.  Perhaps the reason for Betjeman's favourable view is that the church was apparently extensively refitted by Canon Carah between 1896 and 1935.  In style it is Early English with simple lancet windows with trefoil heads.  Betjeman noted that there is much in the way of gilding, marble and rich furnishings.  An entertaining collection of bench ends, described by Betjeman as "spirited," feature biblical figures and are by Hunt of Plymouth and a dado is by local man William Mitchell of Penponds.  The aumbry incorporates a fragment of medieval bench end.  Early 20th century stained glass is by Clayton and Bell. 



Pulpit Triptych
Penponds, Holy Trinity Church
Carved Bench End

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Pentewan, All Saints Church

Once, but no longer, a small fishing port, at the mouth of the St. Austell River, it came to handle cargoes of tin, stone, sand and grain. A proper harbour was constructed in 1744 and it was the first port to handle the local china clay.  However, when the Rashleighs built their new port at nearby Charlestown in 1801, Pentewan's Hawkins family owners struggled to keep it open, eventually closing.  The harbour remains intact and still has its sea-lock but access to the sea is blocked.  Remains of industrial buildings moulder to the south of the harbour.  Substantial houses and cottages line the main street.  Walk up Pentewan Hill and follow the coast path sign to find the colonial looking Terrace and a Georgian church.   From the exterior, I had expected much of the church but was more than a little disappointed.  All Saints is distinctly unambitious inside, witness the lack of benches, replaced by chairs.  There are two rather ordinary Jesus paintings, one walking on water.  The altar cloth is rather featureless.  The square font is simple but no worse for that.  Modern stained glass is quite attractive and there are some good kneelers, particularly the badger and the entwined fish. 



Pentewan Pulpit
Pentewan, All Saints Church
Pentewan Font

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Perranarworthal, St. Piran's Church

Perranarworthal, what little there is of it, lies on the main road from Truro to Falmouth.  Most notable feature along the main road is the former Perran Foundry, now being converted to fairly expensive housing.  The foundry was owned by the ship-owning Fox family of Falmouth.  It operated from 1791 to 1879, produced high quality large machinery. mostly related to the mining industry.  Acquired by the Williams family of Scorrier, it was immediately closed, presumably to stifle competition.  The site, all Grade II lsited, is now being converted and further developed as expensive housing.  Perrenarworthal church is tucked away at the eastern extremity of the village, next to Churchtown Farm.  It is Victorian, by J P St. Aubyn who, although of a notable Cornish family, was born in Worcestershire.  He designed houses and churches mostly in Devon and Cornwall but also in Surrey and Yorkshire.  His design for Truro Cathedral failed to be adopted.  St. Piran's church is in an attractive setting, surrounded by trees and shrubs.  Near the porch is what appears to be a Cornish Cross, but of indeterminate age.  Pevsner describes the church as "indifferent".  I am unable to contradict him as St. Piran's, like too many Cornish churches,  was closed when I was there.   St. Piran's revisited

Perranarworthal Church
Cornish Cross
Churchtown Cottages

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Perranarworthal, St. Piran's Church Revisited

You pass through Perranarworthal on the busy A39 between Truro and Falmouth.  You may notice the expensive housing development at the old Perran Foundry site.  What you don't realise is that the original settlement is up the hill to the west of the road.  I had previously been to try to see inside St. Piran's church - and had failed.  At last, in mid-August 2018, I was able to see inside the church, thanks to the kind help and co-operation of churchwarden Paul Stuart.  Jane and I met Paul at St. Piran's and he showed us around and told us some of the church's history.  The tower is of the 16th century but the body of the church was rebuilt by J P St. Aubyn in late Victorian times;  Pevsner calls it "indifferent".  The nave has a rather unusually vaulted ceiling with a lot of exposed woodwork.  There is an attractive litany desk and a fine altar cloth.  The royal coat of arms hangs on a wall.  An octagonal font is simple.  Two attractive chairs stand in the chancel.  There are several stained glass windows of no especial merit.  A smal wooden pulpit stands on a stone plinth.  To my mind the most attractive feature is a hanging which refers to St. Piran as Patron Saint of Tin Miners.  Thereby hangs a tale.  Piran is supposed to have discovered tin when his fire melted the tin in a rock.  A nice tale but Cornish tin dates from the Bronze Age;  Piran was 6th century.   He certainly came to Cornwall from Ireland, allegedly floating across on a stone.  He founded a church on Perran Sands near Perranporth and remains of his oratory have recently been excavated.  Another hanging is of Mary and the infant Jesus. 



Perranarworthal Banner
Perranarworthal Altar Cloth
Stained Glass

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Perranuthnoe, St. Piran & St. Michael

I had previously only known Perranuthnoe from passing through on the coast path, between Marazion and Porthleven, and from a round walk that Jane and I did from Porth-en-Alls near Prussia Cove.  On this occasion, in late March 2018, I was there to visit St. Piran's church which stands high above the rest of the village but, surprisingly, with no view of the sea.  First thing I noticed as I entered the churchyard, perched above the lane, was a modern Cornish cross-head, set against a low wall and surrounded by daffodils.  Next thing to catch my attention was a large funerary urn to the right of the porch.  Best feature of the little church is the chancel where, beneath the wagon roof, a late 19th century reconstruction by J P St. Aubyn (who else?) was later enriched in the early 20th century.  Chancel screen, choir stalls, altar, reredos and altar rails all have fine woodwork.  There is some good late Victorian stained glass.  However, to my mind the most interesting feature requires one to look up to see a few carved, coloured and gilded ceiling bosses, pictured below. 




Perranuthnoe Ceiling Boss
Perranuthnoe Chancel
Perranuthnoe Ceiling Boss

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Perranzabuloe, St. Piran's 
This is effectively the fourth church of St. Piran in the Perranporth area.  A chapel, probably built by St. Piran himself in the late 5th century, on Penhale Sands above Perranporth beach, was replaced in the following century by a small oratory.  Sometime around 1250, encroaching sand led to abandonment and a new church was built further inland and higher up.  The oratory was lost under the sand, excavated in 1843, protected by a concrete shell in 1910 and reburied in 1980.  The new church was itself lost to the sand in 1804 - it was re-excavated in 2005 - and yet another church was then built further inland at  Perranzabuloe (meaning Piran in the sands, odd since there are no sands here).  From the outside you would think you were looking, not at an early 19th century church, but at a genuinely medieval one.  Perhaps the builders were constrained by re-using a lot of material from the church on the sands.  Anyway, the result is very much in the perpendicular style.  Inside is tall, light and airy with a few features from the old church - a 15th century granite font, rood screen panels, bench ends and a couple of worn slate memorial slabs.  You may wonder at the enormous graveyard, but it serves the whole of Perranporth.  It is a pity that the church is only open for a few hours each Wednesday in summer only. 
See also St Piran and Piran church archaelogical dig
St. Piran's church seen from the lych gate

I revisited Perraenzbuloe in August 2017, on my way to see the church and some Cornish Crosses at the nearby hamlet of St. Allen.  My purpose was to take some interior photographs.  By happenstance, I was also able to add to my ever expanding portfolio of Cornish Crosses.  No cross is shown,  on OS 104, nor is one mentioned in Pevsner, but there is indeed a small one, on the left soon after entering the churchyard.

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Phillack
In early February 2017 I had a busy Saturday, visiting not only Phillack but also Gwithian and Gwinear, all essentially for their churches.  Phillack is one of those places which it is easy to miss, sandwiched as it is between Hayle's Copperhouse Pool and the dunes of Hayle and Riviere Towans and the Cornish Coast Path.  However, it is a community in its own right.with church, village hall, pub and Spar shop.  The pub is the gruesomely named the Bucket of Blood.  Legend has it that, in smuggling days, a brutally murdered customs officer was discovered at the bottom of the pub's well.  My purpose in Phillack was to look around the church and see the two Cornish Crosses and the inscribed stone in the churchyard, where I also spotted a tombstone to the delightfully named Constance Everett Faithfull.  Inside the church there is little of note though I liked the modern lectern, the delicate chancel screen and the colourful reredos. 
Phillack Church
Inscribed Stone & Cornish Cross
Cornish Cross
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Philleigh, St. Fili's Church

Situated halfway between the Tregony to St. Mawes road and King Harry Ferry across the River Fal, Philleigh is an attractive small village boasting a "big house," The Glebe, a striking mid 18th century rectory, standing four-square at the end of its curving driveway and seen through gateless gate posts; a popular pub, the Roseland Inn;  and the 13th century church of St. Philleigh (or Fili) at the end of a longish tree and shrub lined driveway.  Interesting cottages include Court Cottage, The Round Cottage and The Old Forge.  St. Fili's church (or, if you prefer, St. Philleigh's church) was originally of the 13th century but has a 14th century tower;  and the body of the church was extensively restored in 1867 by the Reverend C W Carlyon who was also responsible for St. Anthony-in-Roseland and St. Just-in-Roseland.  The door to the body of the church is 13th century and windows vary from original 15th and 16th century to 19th century of the Victorian restoration period.  19th century roofs are arch braced and have dog-toth moulding to the trusses.  The font is octagonal, its sides with arcading.  Painted on the tower screen are the royal arms of George III, dated 1735.  In the chancel, the fairly simple reredos is of 1915.  There is some simple stained glass;  below it window sills have biblical tableaux.  There is a very good collection of kneelers, my favourite is the colourful pheasant.  Unmentioned by Pevsner, to my surprise, is the comprehensive collection of decorative wall plates, where wall joins roof.  These take the form of shields with real or imagined coats-of-arms. 




Philleigh Heraldic Shield
Philleigh, St. Fili's Church
Philleigh Heraldic Shield

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Pillaton, St. Odulph's Church

At the very beginning of March 2019 I headed down east, beyond Liskeard to visit a couple of fairly remote churches in Pillaton and Quethiock.  St. Odulph is an unfamiliar name but odolphie.com suggests It is probably fair to assume that the name derives from St Odulph also Odolphus.  He was an Augustinian canon born in Oirschot North Brabant and became a missionary and followed St Boniface in bringing Christianity to the Frisians. He died in 855AD and his saint’s day is June 2nd.  Pillaton is most easily approached from the A338 near St. Mellion.  The church stands next to a pub, the delightfully named Weary Friar.  St. Odulph's consists of tower porch, nave, north aisle, chancel and south transept.  The first thing you notice, even before entering the church, is the fine wagon roof of the porch.  The doorway to the body of the church is probably Tudor;  beside it stands a small slate cross.  Inside the most noticeable feature is in the south transept, where rood stair openings remain in place.  Wagon roofs in the north aisle and south transept are of the 15th century;  nave and chancel roofs are replacements from 1878.  Unusually there are two boards carrying the Royal Arms, one dated 1663 of Charles II, the other dated 1729 of George III.  Oddly there are monuments to the Tillies of Pentillie, though that is some miles away, on the banks of the River Tamar.  Stained glass is mostly late 19th century.  An octagonal pulpit stands on an octagonal shaft.  a hexagonal pulpit stands on a light granite base;  the adjacent eagle lectern is of a similar medium oak.  The chancel is worth lingering over;  its wagon roof has a variety of carved and gilded bosses and its floor has good tiling.  I enjoyed coffee in the Weary Friar. 




Pillaton Chancel Ceiling
Pillaton Church of St. Odolph
The Weary Friar Inn

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Polruan, St. Saviours Church

Although I had been in Polruan on several occasions in my Coast Path walking days, i had not only never been inside St. Saviours Church, I had never seen it and didn't even know where it was.  When I went to visit it in late February 2018, it took me some while to find it and, lacking any convenient car park, I parked in the forecourt of the next door Institute, happily causing no inconvenience.  St. Saviours is a late Victorian church by W. Smith of Truro, considered of so little consequence that the original 1951 Pevsner made no mention of it.  However, Peter Beacham's 2014 revision does include it.  Of red brick, it stands high above Fore Street but is best seen from the lawns behind it on the west side.  I have to agree with Beacham's derscription ..... "spacious, dignified interior, wide and lofty".  Four windows are by Kempe, the two circulkar windows by William Morris's company. I particularly liked two of the windows, one a modern version of a rose window, the other a simple wavescape. 


St. Saviours Banner
St. Saviours Church, Polruan
Nautical Window

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Porthpean, Higher Porthpean, St. Levan's Church

This is an unusual and attractive small church, standing in the centre of the little village of Higher Porthpean.  Built in 1884 by J Reeves for Lady Graves-Sawle of nearby Penrice, its front is quite unexpected, an arcade bearing coats of arms, presumably including those of the Graves-Sawles, and a bell-cote above.  I know of no other church in Cornwall with a similar arched loggia for its west front.  It's on a pretty tight site, the lane on the south side running steeply down to Lower Porthpean and to St. Austell Bay.  The  interior is of local Pentewan stone, un-plastered, colourful and attractive and nicely sets off the three light east window by Clayton and Bell.  No pews, instead chairs.  The altar is simple;  when I was there flowers stood on the altar cloth.  A reredos is in Devon marble.  The font at first looks simple but, on closer inspection is quite complex, incorporating seven different bands of shaping.  A St. Levan's Sunday School banner hangs on one wall. 


Higher Porthpean Church, East Front Loggia Higher Porthpean Church, the Chancel

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Porthilly, St. Michaels Church 
Jane remembers this little church at Porthilly from her early days when she was raised in nearby Trebetherick.  I have been here on several occasions in the course of walks but June 2016 was the first time I have lingered and been inside the church, which is one of three in St. Minver Parish, the others being St. Enodoc and St. Minver itself..  The situation is a delight best appreciated when the tide is in on the Camel Estuary and the view to Rock is dottted with small sailing boats.  Across the broad Camel Estuary is the bustling tourist village of Padfstow.  A ferry runs there from Rock.  The first thing you notice as you approach the porch from the lych gate is a truncated four-hole Cornish Cross;  this was apparently brought here from the mother church at St. Minver.  Then look up at the tower to see an unusual - for Cornwall - saddleback roof.  Inside are an unusual simple bowl font, the framework of a rood screen, an early 16th century linenfold panelled pulpit and a nicely decorated slate memorial to William Rouncevall,  A window is etched with a memorial to Marian Chilcott Miller.  The tiny village has a couple of attractive houses and an art gallery featuring the work of Jethro Jackson.  There is a car park but time allowed in it is restricted.
St. Michael, Porthilly
More about St. Michael's Porthilly
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Porthilly, more about St. Michaels Church
It is hard to imagine  a more idyllic setting than that of St. Michael's Church at Porthilly near Rock at high tide.  It stands at the water's edge with views over the Camel Estuary to Padstow and Rock.  To some the one blot on the landscape is the pair of buildings currently (July 2019) being erected by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.  Ignore them and concentrate on the setting of the little church and on its unusual and attractive interior.  Though first, leaving the car park, do note the construction of the wooden gate towards the church featuring, as it does. a Cornish Cross.  Then note the lych gate with its coffin rest not inside the gate but before it.  Then note the stumpy Cornish Cross opposite the church porch, its head surely once on a much taller base.  Note also the small cross on top of the gable of the two storey porch.  Inside, in addition to the expected stained glass there is one window of etched glass;  The church has been here since the 12th century when it was a chapel of St. Menefreda's in St. MInver.  A notable interior feature is the wagon roofs, most especially that of the chancel with its carved bosses.  There is a very fine wall mounted slate memorial to William Rouncenall, nearby a mich simpler one to Helen Profitt.  Rather nicely, another wall mounted slate commemorates the gift of the new 2012 Delabole slate floor by Elizabeth Mary Slade.  In a corner, alongside the simple screen, is a tall dark oak pulpit, decorated with linenfold panelling.  




Porthilly Cornish Cross Head
St. Michael's Porthilly Nave
St. Michael's Font

Back to Porthilly
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Porthleven, St. Bartholemew's Church

On a fairly sunny day in mid-December I headed down west to visit three churches:  St. Germoc's in Germoe for its Holy Well and St. Germoc's Chair, St. Breaca's in Breague for its remarkable collection of frescoes, and St. Bartholemew's in the harbour town of Porthleven for its slightly unusual Victorian layout.  St. Bartholemew's is located behind and above the main car park and looks out over town and harbour.  You might think that being Victorian, it would be of no great interest.  However, it is well worth taking a look at this 1842 church by Sampson Kempthorne, restored in 1891 by H Fellowes Prynne who added the baptistery.  The church is unusual in that both east and west ends finish with a semi-circular apse, the east end the baptistery with a massive granite font, the west end the chancel.  There is a certain Norman Revival feeling to the church, so many openings are round-arched.  There is also a strong Anglo-Catholic feeling, notably from the images of the Stations of the Cross around the walls.  It is a pity that there are no pews, only chairs, but the colourful tiled floor, similar to the baptistery,  tends to keep one's eyes off the chairs.  There is no Rood Screen but the Rood, in the form of an anchor, is both unusual and appropriate to a fishing port.  The low finely-wrought-iron chancel screen is unusual and attractive.  The altar is simple, behind it a reredos with figures in each of three round-headed arches.  There is a rectangular Lady Chapel where an oak pew has carving representing fishing and farming interests.  The pulpit is highly unusual, a stone base carries the wrought-iron pulpit which has brass stencils of fish, starfish and anchors.  A figure of Christ depicts him as carpenter, with mallet and chisel.  Altogether an unusual and enjoyable Victorian church. 



Porthleven Pulpit
St. Bartholemew's
Porthleven Altar Rail

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Poughill, St. Olaf's Church

Poughill -pronounced Puffle, is tucked away on a quite lane, leading to Northcott Mouth, on the north side of Bude.  It is a steep village and the lane is narrow but, fortunately, there is a good sized car park below the church.  There are some attractive cottages, particularly Church Cottage and St. Olaf's Cottage.  St. Olaf's Church, dedicated to the Nowwegian King and Martyr, stands on a knoll, perhaps suggestive of an ancient site.  The (unused) oak tower door has an impressive surround.  The porch, in it a slate memorial in Latin, has an ancient studded oak door.  Inside, wagon roofs have carved bosses.   The frescoes of St. Christopher are a remarkable survival;  whitewahed at the Reformation, they were rediscovered in 1894.  The elaborately carved pulpit is unusual for its open fretwork.  A wall plaque commemorates Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, Wadebridge doctor, builder of Bude Castle, inventor of a fast steam road carriage, whose limelight lighted the houses of Parliament for 60 years.  As at Kilkhampton, there is a fine collection of early bench ends.  The attractive looking Preston Gate Inn, which also calls itself a café, is open 11 to 11 every day and does interesting sounding food lunchtime and evening.  Produce is mostly local and there are fish and chips on Friday, roasts on Sunday and the occasional curry evening.




Poughill Carved Pulpit
Poughill Church from the south-east
Poughill Fresco

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Poundstock, St. Winwaloe's Church

Less than half-a-mile from the busy A39, the so-called Atlantic Highway, Poundstock is a remarkable little hamlet.  A lane loops through it from the A39 but otherwise goes nowhere.  Yet this was once an important place, mentioned in Domesday Book but in existence as a manor for long before that.  Even if you include nearby Trekinnard and Bangors the population is tiny yet the impressive church, set in a lovely sloping churchyard, might seem to belong to a much larger village than this.  The church as it is today dates largely from the fifteenth century, though there are scant Norman remains.  It is dedicated to St. Winwaloe;  can this really be the same Winwaloe as on the Lizard, at Towednack and at St. Germans?  Confusingly, a nearby well is dedicated to St. Neot, as in Bodmin Moor.  There are some treasures inside:  a late Norman font, an octagonal Jacobean pulpit, a panel from the original rood screen, a 16th century chest, parts of a wall painting, saved and exhibited against the north wall, and some early inscribed slate tomb slabs.  Sadly there are almost no bench ends but there is an interesting bench in the chancel.  Perhaps the greatest treasure of all is at the south end of the graveyard, a restored late medieval gildhouse (church hall), the only example in Cornwall.  In the churchyard are more early inscribed slate tomb slabs.  St Neot’s Well is off a track that heads NNW to Great Wanson.  Up the lane to Bangors is a large free car park.



Poundstock Pulpit
Poundstock Guilhouse & Church
Poundstock Bench Ends

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Probus, St. Probus & St. Grace

The centre of Probus village is quite attractive, with a wide sloping triangular at its centre, perhaps formerly a market place.  Around the triangle, and up the road towards Trewithen, are a farm shop, a fish and chip shop, a couple of restaurants and the excellent Hawkins Arms pub, named for the family that acquired the nearby Trewithen estate in 1715.  This is an impressive church;  one's first view of it is of its 3-stage 125 foot tower, tastefully decorated and the tallest in Cornwall.  Pevsner's view of St. Probus is that it is more Somerset - particularly North Petherton - than Cornwall in style and I have to agree.  The nave and two aisles of the interior are spacious.  The interior was restored by G E Street in 1849-51 and the chancel was elaborately embellished in 1886-8 by J P St. Aubyn,  its ceiling decorated in blue, red and gold.   The altar slab has five consecration crosses.  A Norman piscina in the sanctuary has zig-zag decoration.  The reredos is by St. Aubyn.  The rood screen, though by St. Aubyn, incorporates 16th century bench ends, which also feature in the parclose screen, the choir  stalls and the tower screen;  what a pity that restoration had to effectively obliterate medieval bench ends.  Stained glass is late Victorian and early 20th century.  Monuments and memorials include a 1514 brass to the Wulvendon family.  The pulpit is well carved and, unusually, includes a trio of figures.  The hexagonal font is deeply carved.  In the churchyard, a 1914 monument remembers the Hawkins family and features kneeling pall-bearers at the four corners. 



Colourful Chancel Ceiling
Probus Church from the south-east
Elabotately Carved Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Quethiock, St. Hugo

This does seem to be an oddly named village, but less oddly when you understand that it is a variation on "coit" and therefore means wood or woodland, not that there is much woodland here these days.  According to Genuki, the name was originally Gwydhek and, in its present form, is pronounced "Gwithick".  I was there, in mid-September 2017, essentially to see the Cornish Cross, a tall wheel-headed cross in three sections, probably medieval rather than earlier.  In the event I was very pleasantly surprised by the church interior which retains some early features.  Behind the altar is an elaborate and colourful reredos.  The nave and aisle ceilings are wagon roofed with carved bosses;  the chancel ceiling is wonderfully patterned and coloured.  Most unusually the rood stairs are still in place, though the loft and screen are long gone.  In the chapel in the south transept  a number of brasses are displayed, the oldest, to Roger Kyngdon, of 1471.  Another brass is to Johann Rooke Fletcher.  The quire pew has an elaborately carved back, scenes including the crucifixion.  I also visited Pillaton and Tideford, the latter so often mispronounced as spelt but really Tiddyford for its river, the Tiddy. 



Quethiock Cornish Cross
Quethiock Church
Quethicck Church Chancel Ceiling

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Rame - See "Maker & the Rame Peninsula"



Redruth Churchtown, St.Euny, 

We first saw St. Euny Church, from a distance, when we were doing a short walk on Carn Brea hill above Camborne and Redruth.  Later, when we walked the full Great Flat Lode trail, we detoured to take a look at the church.  At that time the church was closed and the tower hidden by scaffolding during a major restoration.  But we found the whole place both atmospheric and unusual and promised to return.  We did so in May 2005 when St. Euny's church was holding its annual Flower Festival. 
This a remarkable place in many ways.  The original church was founded in the 6th century by Irish monk St. Euny (see also St. Uny, Lelant).  Nothing remains of that and the oldest part is now the restored Tudor tower.  Inside is a complete and unexpected Georgian interior, light and airy, its windows more than a little reminiscent of those in mine engine houses. 
But it is the churchyard that really takes your interest.  St. Euny was the miners' church and the churchyard is filled with their tombs, all of granite, each carved with just a family name.  Michell was clearly a prominent mining family as several tombs bear their name.  The lych gate has a massive coffin rest.  Mine accidents would often kill more than one and the rest was to support two coffins waiting to be borne into the church. 
Open only for Sunday services and Thursday p.m. 
St. Euny's church, Tudor tower, Georgian body
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Ruan Lanihorne
Towards the end of September 2017 I headed down to the Roseland to pay visits to three churches, at Philleigh, Ruan Lanihorne and Lamorran.  My memories of Ruan Lanihorne [not to be confused with Ruan High Lanes on the St. Mawes road, or with the many Ruans on the Lizard] are of an early meeting there with Jane and of lunching there with her at the attractive and excellent King's Head.  On this occasion I just had a coffee in the King's Head before taking a look at the church.  Almost opposite, and a bit below, is St. Rumon's church, mostly 14th century, has a tower of the late 17th century.  Pevsner suggests that the font is 14th century, its cover made of wall plates of a previous roof.  The pulpit is made of old bench ends and dates from around 1530.  A monument of a praying priest is 13th century.  Two wall-mounted boards carry the Ten Commandments.  Where the ceiling springs from the nave wall there are several painted shields, one noting the restoration of 1866, others with unfamiliar coats of arms.  When I was there a tapestry was on display, depicting "Historical Ruan."   I was there again in mid-May 2019, takinh the opportunity for a visit was Jane was Lunching at the Roseland Inn at Phllleigh with her old school friends.  It was the first time I had been inside the church and I had Two surprises:  the first to see such a collection of painted shields around the church at wall plate height, the second to discover later that Pevsner makes no mention of them. 


13th century priest stone figure
The squint
13th century carved stone priest

Ruan Lanihorne Shields




Pembroke College, Oxford
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Jesus College, Cambridge

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Saltash, St. Stephen's Church

To open, I can do no better, in describing this somewhat unusual church, than to quote Pevsner - "A large and ambitious church with a stately tower standing in a most unusual position N of the W end of the nave and facing the W end of an obviously later N aisle".  The church, set in a grassy but largely empty churchyard, dates from the middle of the 13th century but the present building is largely of the 15th and 16th centuries, much restored, as is the case with some may Cornish churches, in late Victorian times.  The tower is impressive as is the interior when you enter the church through a massive oak door.  Nave and both aisles are high ceilinged with typically Cornish wagon roofs with an abundance of carved and painted bosses.  The reredos, by Harry Hems of Exeter is elaborate and colourfully painted.  There are five early 20th century stained glass windows in the north aisle, some quite striking.  In the chancel, monuments to the Hitchens family are painted in pastel colours.  The Norman font is of the Bodmin type with a central pillar and four slim outside pillars topped with carved heads.  Pews have been removed from the rear of the church;  those that remain are probably Victorian and of no particular merit.  A much eroded lantern cross stands in the churchyard immediately south-east of the church.       Now go to St. Nicholas & St. Faith, Saltash



St. Stephen's Church
Modern Stained Glass
Hitchens Monument

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Saltash, St. Nicholas and St. Faith

When I revisited Saltash to  explore the waterfront, I was pleasantly surprised to find the church open and a lady preparing it for a later funeral.  So I took my chance to have a good lock inside.  As the church is in the centre of town, I would have expected it to be Saltash's main church.  However that honour goes to the mother church, a mile away in the former village of St. Stephen, now swallowed by Saltash.  St. Nicholas and St. Faith occupies a central position, next to the Guildhall.  It was originally just a chapel of ease to the area's main church, St. Stephen, a mile away in what was once the separate village of St. Stephen.  Despite that its origins are Norman and much Norman work remains.  The interior, with its Cornish wagon roofs, has a lofty feel.  There is a South Transept, unusually for Cornwall, connected by a squint to a chapel.  There are openings where the rood stairs were and the rood itself remains in place at the entrance to the chancel.  The font appears to be Norman and the pulpit has some linen-fold panelling.  The altar has three carved panels.  Stained glass is of the late 19th and early 20th century, much restored following war damage.  A simple litany desk is probably Victorian.  There is a fine memorial to three Drew brothers, drowned at sea and there is a simple but attractive hanging on the organ case.   Now go to St. Stephen's, Saltash



The Rood
St. Nicholas & St. Faith, Saltash
Pulpit, Linenfold Panelling

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Sancreed, St. Sancredus Church

I have been in Sancreed, way down west in West Penwith, almost to Land's End, on four occasions.  The first was in July 2006, the second in March 2008 then, after a gap of more than nine years, I was back there in October 2017 and again in April 2018.  In 2006, in search only of antiquities, I had ignored the village and had been to Sancreed Beacon and Caer Bran.  In 2008 I had concentrated on the church itself and the nearby Holy Well and Baptistery Chapel.  In October 2017, the church was closed for renovation so I again concentrated on the Cornish Crosses, one of the finest church collections in Cornwall:  I counted five in all, including one on the graveyard hedge to the road and one on the wall by the main steps.  According to Pevsner the church of Saint Sancredus is largely of the 15th century.  It consists of nave, south aisle, north transept and short pinnacled tower.  The porch has an original wagon roof.  Inside are rood stairs, remains of the lower part of a rood screen with amusing carvings, and a 15th century font of the St. Ives type with four angels holding shields.  The nave and chancel ceilings are particularly fine, the woodwork carved and fretted.  The original reredos, a Nativity scene, is now on the north wall of the chancel.  Some notable artists are buried in the churchyard, including Stanhope Alexander Forbes, Elizabeth Adela Forbes and Thomas Cooper Gotch.  When I was there in April 2018 the graveyard was covered in primroses.  A little way up the road, a holy well and baptistery are marked by a modern Cornish Cross.





Elaborate Chancel Ceiling
Sancreed Church at primrose time
Carved Wood Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Sennen, St. Sennen's Church

Most people, when they think of Sennen, will think rather of Sennen Cove, the surfimg settlement on the sea on the lovely curve of Whitesand Bay.  Attractive though that may be, and I have passed through it many times walking the Coast Path towards Land's End, now my interest is in the village on the road heading there.  There is very little to Sennen village except for a few speed bumps, a few houses, the First and Last pub and the small parish church of St. Sennen, the most westerly in England.  I say small but there is more to it than at first appears:  nave, north transept, chancel, south aisle and, of course, tower.  The church dates from mid 15th century and earlier.  It was restored in 1867 by the ubiquitous J P St. Aubyn.  The internal fittings are a mix of old and relatively new.  The small font, with its Victorian cover, bears the date of 1442.  Chancel pew ends are topped by carved angels.  The 1920s oak pulpit carries carvings of biblical figures and, according to Pevsner, fish, crabs and lobsters, but I didn't spot them.  Stained glass is from 1878-9 by Clayton & Bell.  In the churchyard are two Cornish Crosses, a tall one overlooking the road and a cross-head by the entrance steps to the churchyard.  In the porch is an entertaining welcome message;  don't miss it. 





Sennen Cornish Cross
Sennen Pulpit
Sennen Angel Pew End
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Sheviock, Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary
In mid-August 2019 I headed way down east to the Torpoint peninsula, across the broad Tamar from Devonport.  I took a look at Torpoint itself but was singularly unimprerssed.  My main port of call was to be Antony for St. James Church, Maryfield but I also took the opportunity to see the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Sheviock.  The majority of Cornish village churches were constructed in the 15th century.  That in Sheviock is unusual in that much of the fabric is of the late 13th and early 14th centuries.  It is also unusual in that the tower is narrow compared to the nave, and that it is a "broach" spire, starting from a square base but developing into octagonal form.  In the 15th century a north transept was converted to a north aisle.  In the south transept are funeral recesses;  a night and a lady of about 1375 lie on plain tomb chests, Sir Edward Courtney(1371) and his wife Emmeline, daughter of the local great family, the Dawnays.  On the north wall is another tomb chest bearing another knight of similar date.  Therer are three plain sedilia and piscinas in the chancel and south transept.  The minton tiles in the chancel floor date from an 1850 by G E Street.  Slate tablets of the Lord's Prayer and the Creed are in the north aisle.  There is an elaborately decorated triple panel pew back and a prticularly fine collection of bench ends.  There are good stained glass windows of the late 19th century. 


Sheviock Church
Wesley Window
Effigy of Lady Emmeline Courtney
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




St. Agnes
I had hoped to have an entry on St. Agnes church by now but unfortunately the church is not always open and when I was in the village in early April 2018 it was closed.  I emailed Tony Hocking - there's a good Cornish name - and now have contact details for churchwarden Becky.  I shall be in touch with her and, when I have been able to visit, will produce a report.  In the meantime, here are some exterior images. 




St. Agnes Church
Cornish Cross
Ancient Tap
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Allen
On the same day that I revisited Perranzabuloe church I made a first visit to St. Allen church on a minor road off the A30 near Zelah.  My choice of route from the A30 was fortuitous as I found a good Cornish Cross halfway between Trevalso and Rosemerryn.  St. Allen itself consists of little more than the church and Old Rectory.  So it was something of a surprise to find a large car park by the church;  perhaps a large congregation comes by car.  The most striking feature is the tower with a tall stair turret rising above it.  Inside both nave and aisle have stained glass windows and wooden wagon roofs.  Although there are no carved bench ends, one pew has a fine carved wooden back.  [I quote here from Cornwall Historic Churches Trust.  "There are three medieval granite crosses in the churchyard.  One, a wayside cross, was found buried in the churchyard close to the east end of the church in 1862 when the grave of Mary Morris, the incumbent’s wife, was being dug. It was re-erected in 1912 at the south east corner of the church, near where it was discovered.  A tall ‘wheel head’ cross, also formerly buried,  now stands near the porch following its discovery 1930.  Both these crosses are thought to have been concealed at the Reformation and have survived well".  In August 2017 there was a lovely flower display standing by a carved figure with a staff;  is this St. Allen or St. Christopher?  More Images of St. Allen



St. Allen Tall Cross
St. Allen Church
St.Allen Short Cross

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More Images of St. Allen




St. Allen Church Nave
Inscribed Pillar
Nave Ceiling

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Antony-in-Meneage

Visited on the same day in February 2019 as St. Manacaa's church in Manaccan, this is an unusually situated church,  only a spit of shingle with boats parked on it separating the church from Gillan Creek and just a few cottages near it.  The church was originally 13th century but only parts of the nave and transept date from that time.  To my delight, before even entering the church, I discovered a damaged Cornish Cross.  I found a lot to like within the church.  There are fine wagon roofs with simple carved bosses.  The font is circular, of the 15th century and has shield-carrying angels.  In the chancel chapel a reredos of the Last Supper is said to be from Lord Byron's Newstead Abbey.  In a niche in the transept is an unusual relief carving of the Last Supper.  Unusually, the pulpit is of the 20th century by Violet Pinwell, one of three Devon sisters.  Stained glass is mostly late Victorian.  The Royal Arms are unusually inscribed "GUL IV Rex".  The lectern is a carved wooden eagle.  Rood stairs are still in place but, disappointingly no rood screen.  A carved wooden chest has a front of three panels.  There is a good collection of kneelers;  my favourite carried a lamb and flag within a sunburst. 



Elaborately Decorated Font
St. Anthony-in-Meneage Church
St. Anthony Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Austell, Holy Trinity
St. Austell is probably nobody's favourite Cornish town, particularly since the advent of the much maligned White River shopping development in the town centre.  However, the centre of the old town has its attractions, particularly the little enclave surrounding Holy Trinity church, an enclave that includes the old market hall and several atractive pubs.  The church is especially handsome on the outside so it is a pity that one's view of it is partly obscured by trees.  The tower, essentially 15th century and typically Cornish but of the type sometimes known as a 'Somerset' tower, is handsomely pinnacled but its finest feature is the superb carvings that decorate its four facesthe Trinity, four apostles, the Annunciation and the Risen Christ.  The porch, too, has elaborate carvings: angels and carved shields.  The interior, earlier than the tower, was over-restored (as so often) by Street in 1872, and disappoints though there are handsome wagon roofs.  There is a Norman font and a Norman piscina.  Sadly there are only a very few original bench ends though what may be the original delicate lace-like rood screen survives under the tower arch.  There is an urn monument to Joseph Sawle (see Menacuddle Well) by Isbell;  could this be Digory Isbell, stonemason of Trewint, whose cottage is a museum to John Wesley?
The very Cornish tower of Holy Trinity
More images of Holy Trinity, St. Austell
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Austell, Holy Trinity - More Images



Holy Trinity Banner
A Panel of Holy Trinity Reredos
Bench End

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Blazey, St. Blaise Church

I had tried on several occasions in the past to see inside St. Blaise Church but without success.  Eventually, it transpired from its web site that it is open only from April to September.  One might be discouraged from trying to visit St. Blaise by the apparent lack of obvious parking but there is, in fact, room for the priest and one or two others to park.  So I visited in late June 2019.  From the road, high above you on its probable lann site, the church appears somewhat unprepossessing.  Appearances deceive as inside it is lofty and spacious, consisting of nave and south aisle.  Dating originally from around 1440, the church has been extensively restored in 1839 and again in 1897 by the ubiquitous E H Sedding.  The overall style, as you might expect, is Perpendicular.  The three-stage tower has an odd little figure, probably of a bishop, set into the second stage of its south face.  The body of the church consists of nave, south aisle and north aisle.  Inside are wagon roofs with carved ribs.  The porch is unusual for having two small stained glass windows by E R Suffling.  Monuments include a wall slate of 1701 with the figure of Father Time and an elaborate wall monument to Henry Scobell and his wife, dated 1727.  The lady chapel has an unusual and attractive carved wooden altar.  The pulpit appears to have dark marble sides above a narrow plinth and  stone steps.  There are several attractive hangings and a monument to several generations of the Carlyon family of nearby Tregrehan. 



Marble pulpit
St. Blaise Church
Scobell Monument

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Breock village, St. Breock Church
That this tiny hamlet has such an impressive church may be because it was once in the important manor of Pawton and was the mother church of Wadebridge.  Outside is odd;  the porch should be on the south side but this is tucked close into the hill so the porch is on the north side.  Inside are the expected wagon roofs and some handsome memorials;  best is the beautiful Vyell tomb of 1598, dismantled and displayed on the wall of St. Michael's Chapel.  Other interesting memorials include brasses and slates and the 13th century tomb of a priest, perhaps the first at this church which was completed in 1259.  I visited in March 2007, on my way home from exploring antiquities on St. Breock Downs.




More Images of St. Breock Church
The north side of St. Breock Church
By a narrow lane from Tollgate roundabout on A39 at Wadebridge
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More Images of St. Breock Church  -  and even more images




Stained Glass
The Organ in St. Breock Church
Font of Blue Catacleuse Stone

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Even More Images of St. Breock Church


St. Breock Stained Glass
Vyell Memorial
Queen Anne's Arms

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St.Breward, St. Brueredus, 
St. Breward is a village of many parts, including Mount Pleasant, Row, Hill, Rylands and, its most northerly, Churchtown.  Churchtown is the main centre with the excellent Old Inn pub, the village stores, village hall and, not surprisingly, the church.  Dedicated to St. Branwalader or Brueredus, the church stands at the highest part of the village and can be visible for miles, as I have discovered during Bodmin Moor walks.  Some claim St. Breward to be the highest village in Cornwall but, at a little over 700 feet, it is way below Minions at 1000 feet.  The church is dedicated to St Branwalader, recorded in the 12th century by his original Latin name of Sancti Brewveredi de Hamatethi - Hamatethy Down is just north of St. Breward.  It appears to date from Norman times with an arcade of massive, typically Norman, piers.  There is a fine wagon roof in the sough aisle, other roofs were replaced in 1865 by J. P. St. Aubyn, who over-restored so many Cornish churches.  There are some fine memorials, some in slate, but the highlight is the display of carved and painted bench ends, happily retained by St. Aubyn.  In the porch note the handsome door surround and the wagon roof with carved bosses.  In the lower part of the churchyard, across the lane, is a fine restored Cornish wheel-head cross.
St. Breward Church from the south-east
Painted bench end
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Buryan,
St. Burian's Church

St. Burian, said to have been the daughter of an Irish king, is thought to have landed in St. Ives in the early 6th century and founded a chapel here on the site of the church which now bears her name.  In the 10th century, this was made a collegiate church by English King Athelstan, and granted sanctuary rights by him.  This might support the tradition that the village of St. Buryan was at one time something of a convict colony. 
St. Burian's church stands on a mound, a suggestion of antiquity, and is larger than you might expect of a small village - but the population is far smaller than in its mining heyday.  The present church is largely 15th and 16th century and has some outstanding features.  Inside is a beautiful carved screen, still painted in its original colours of red, green and gold.  Although partly destroyed in the reformation, what remains is impressive. An unusually shaped early font is of Ludgvan granite, carved with figures of three angels.  In the chancel are two pairs of oak miserere stalls.  Under the tower a tomb slab to the wife of a Norman knight dates from 1119.  Outside, the porch, as at St. Just-in-Penwith, matches the tower, battlemented and pinnacled.  In the churchyard is an ancient cross head.  Another is outside the churchyard, near a great mounting-block.
Visited during a figure-of-eight walk from St. Buryan
St. Burian's church, note cross head and mounting block
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




St. Cleer, St. Clair's Church

I first saw St. Cleer church in 2011 in the course of a round walk south from Minions which included Trethevy Quoit and King Doniert's Stones.  I had not been back there again until I visited in mid-March 2019.  I parked in the public car park (handy free toilets) to the north side of the church and entered the churchyard from the south-east corner.  The three-stage tower is exceptionally fine and topped with conical pinnacles.  On heading round to the south porch, the first thing I noticed was a small Cornish Cross to the left of the porch.  Then, propped against the left-hand side of the porch, a slate bearing a welcome message.  The porch itself has a wagon roof and a substantial double door to the body of the church.  Much of the church is of the 14th and 15th centuries, though the north arcade may be late 13th century.  Unusually the north arcade is of green Polyphant stone.  There is a squint between the north aisle and the chancel.  The fine chancel arch is of the late 19th century with a wooden chancel arch and a wagon roof with angel corbels;  this was part of an early 20th century restoration by H Fellowes Prynne.  Also the result of Prynne's restoration are the altar front, reredos, rood and parclose screens, the choir stalls and bench ends.  The elaborately decorated 1896 pulpit is by Harry Hems of Exeter.  A large Royal Arms is dated 1708.  Stained glass is mostly early 20th century, much of it by Clayton and Bell.  Facing you as you enter is a fine massive slate chest tomb of Robert Langford, of 1624.  There are some handsome buildings opposite the north-east corner of the churchyard, the Vicarage and a County Police Station of 1859. 




Cornish Cross by Porch
St. Cleer, St. Clair's Church
Connock Memoria

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Clement near Truro  -  See below for St. Clement revisited
Less than two miles from the heart of Truro, St. Clement might be another world entirely.  Reached by a quiet and narrow lane, it nestles above the tidal Tresillian River, its wooded banks a haunt of herons.  Jane and I revisited after more than thirty years and, for the first time, took a close look at the church.  The delightful churchyard is entered through an unusual lych gate, rooms above it and a filled-in coffen stile, like a great granite cattle grid, beneath your feet.  The churchyard, itself part of a wildlife project, is full of ancient tomb stones with sentimental inscriptions.  Near the south porch is a remarkable survival, an eleven foot high granite pillar, twice used as a 6th century memorial, re-cut as a Celtic Cross and later used as a gate-post.  Inside is a pulpit of green serpentine, a 14th century font and a rather touching marble memorial to Samuel Thomas.  An easy one mile, sometimes muddy, walk down-river brings you to the village of Malpas and its Heron Inn.  A pleasant, but sometimes muddy, walk up-river brings you to Tresillian village just east of Truro.  A walk uphill and across fields brings you to Boscawen Park on the Truro River just on the south side of Truro city centre.  There is a small amount of parking at the creek below the church. 
 St. Clement and the Tresillian River from above
 A round walk from Boscawen Park includes Malpas and St. Clement.
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Clement revisited

I was back in St. Clement in early 2019 at a time when the village's annual flower festival was taking place in the church.  On this occasion I took the opportunity to spend time in the church and take a good number of photographs,  The first thing that struck me was the number of stained glass window.  Pevsner explains their significance..."a rare and striking set of enamel-painted windows, by Revd Clement Carlyon, in livcely geometric patterns aith heraldic motifs.  The font looked interesting but was too bedecked with flowers to be able to see the detail.  On the other hand, the pulpit was fully visible and is extremely unusual, square and constructed entirely of serpentine and dating from 1870.  I was also struck by two marble wall memorials, one to William Carpenter, the other to John Vivian of Pencalenick. 



St. Clement Decorated Font
St. Clement Tower & Lych Gate
St. Clementine Serpentine Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Clether

I had been to St. Clether, on the periphery of Bodmin Moor, back in 2007 but, on that occasion, had been interested not in the church but rather in St. Clederus Chapel and Holy Well, and Cornish Crosses at Basill, just below the village.  Simon Jenkins, in his England's Thousand Best Churches, mentions St. Clether but only to disparage the church and praise the chapel and holy well.  I think him a little harsh on what is a pleasant but unexceptional church, actually quite handsome from the outside, with its nave, south aisle, porch and three stage battlemented tower.  St. Clederus church is the first thing you come to on the right as you descend the hill from the north. Close to it is the Sunday School and the former Vicarage is across the road.  A wheelchair ramp leads from the car park to the gate to the churchyard.  You enter the porch by a waist-high red-painted divided gate.  Inside, massive pillars separate the south aisle from the nave, their capitals fairly crudely carved.  Pews are quite handsome but lack bench ends.  There are box pews (not many left in Cornwall)  in the south aisle and its chapel.  The font is quite simple compared with many Cornish churches but clearly early.  An unusual pulpit incorporates a lectern, an unexpected arrangement, possibly Victorian.  From the church it is a walk of 500 yards or so over rough Moorland to  St. Clederus Chapel and Holy Well

St. Clether Church
From A395 Davidstow - Launceston road follow sign R to St. Clether
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Clether, more images of the church


I've seen this delightfully misspelled sign elsewhere
St. Cether's charming box pew

Back to St. Clether church
Return to Holy Sites

Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Columb Major
In early August 2016 I had an expedition to the St. Columb area in order to take a look around three churches.  My first port of call was Porth Reservoir, something of a disappointment because it lacks scenic quality and, unlike Tamar Lakes and Sibleyback Reservoir, has no facilities.  Next I headed for the hamlet of Colan where, despite a notice in the church porch saying it was open, the door was firmly locked and I could find no-one to ask for a key. So I went on next to St. Columb Minor (see below).  Success here:  the interestingly sited church was open.  Finally, St. Columb Major, where the church is very Cornish with its three stage tower, nave and two aisles.  Oddly the churchyard is entered by either of two lych gates, only yards part. In it are a stump of what may have been a Cornish Cross set in an early cross base, a recent WWII memorial bench,  and beside the porch is an early Cornish Cross.  Inside, note particularly the rood screen complete with rood, the carved chancel roof over a fine reredos, and adjacent in the south aisle chapel a colourful reredos bearing coats of arms.  There are some good carved bench ends, and a fine carved pulpit and lectern.  Unusually for Cornwall, the font is rather disappointing.  When I was there the porch entrance had been decorated with a garland of flowers for a wedding.
Best approached from the Trekenning roundabout on A39, S of Wadebridge
Church, lych gate and War Memorial
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Columb Minor (& Colan)
My early August expedition to the St. Columb area took me first to the hamlet of Colan then, on my way to St. Columb Major, I decided to go first to St. Columb Minor.  Disappointingly, despite a notice in the porch saying that Colan church was open, it was firmly locked.  There was no-one in the nearby houses who I could ask for a key.  I shall return on another occasion and hope that then Colan church will be open.  St. Columb Minor is very close by so I carried on to it.  The church stands on a prominent mound, probably a pre-Christian site and overlooks the Farmers Arms - perhaps an opportunity for thirsting after righteousness.  I didn't have the time to try the pub but have alook at its web site;  there are several good bargains to be had.  The church is approached by either of two flights of steps, one of them quite steep.  It has nave and two aisles and a tall four stage pinnacled tower.  The interior of the porch is striking with its Gothic door and door arch.  Inside is not very impressive, sadly there are no ancient bench ends, but a nice pulpit has linenfold panelling and there is an attractive tall carved lectern.  There is also a nice modern stained glass window, commemorating Bill and Betty Rodgers.
The Farmers Arms in St. Columb Minor
Signed off A3059, Trekenning Roundabout (on A39) to Neewquay
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Dennis
Driving along the A30, past Goss Moor to the west of Bodmin, if you look south towards china clay country, you will see a hill topped by a tight circle of deciduous trees, a church tower protruding above them.  This is St. Dennis church, oddly well north of the village of St. Dennis, one of the largest china clay villages.  In July 2008 I had finished a walk from Goss Moor and decided to take a look at the church.  A very rural route took me through Tregoss, Enniscsaven, Gothers and Carne to climb the hill to the church.  The church itself is of little interest, restored after a recent fire - and locked anyway.  What is special about it is that it is said to stand within an iron age hill fort.  It is a very strange site.  The churchyard is surrounded by a massive stone wall, 10 feet high in places and up to 6 feet wide.  Another wall creates a courtyard to its south.  Inside the wall the land on the north and west sides is higher than the wall, yet the church is set down in a hollow.  Trees completely surround it.  Some suggest that the wall follows the course of the hill fort wall.  If so, why is the land inside higher?  And if it was a hill fort, why so small.  Perhaps it was an outlier of Castle-an-Dinas, clearly visible 3 miles to the north.  Rather entertainingly, as with St. Juliot church, you can approach the churchyard by a massive stile from the field to the west.  When I visited in 2016, views from the site were superb and panoramic.                                 St. Dennis revisited 2018
St. Dennis is signed from the A30 at Indian Queens
Trees and a massive stone wall surround the church.
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Dennis Revisited August 2018

I have been to St. Dennis Church, well separated from its parent village, on several occasions, first in July 2016, when I approached on foot from Goss Moor and entered the site by a stile into the iron-age hill fort and its woodland.  The second occasion was in December of the same year when, from below, I could hardly see the site in the clouds.  On both of those occasions I took plenty of photos but was unable to obtain access to the church which, due to its remote site, is normally kept locked.  Happily, when I went to St. Dennis Church in mid-August 2018, it was a case of third time lucky.  Lucky because a wedding service was nearing its end and before long a vast white limousine pulled away with the happy couple.  I headed into the church to be sure to be inside before it was locked.  Inside I found the vicar, Revd. Paul Arthur, and enjoyed an informative chat with him.  He is convinced that the ancient font, outside the porch, is Saxon;  Pevsner categorises it as fifteenth century.  I would like to think Revd. Arthur has the right of it.  The church has had a chequered history.  A 15th century church was rebuilt, as so many were, in Victorian times, in 1847, though the original tower remains.  The north aisle had to be rebuilt after a fire  in 1986.  The interior is of relatively little interest, resembling, if anything, more a Methodist chapel than an Anglican church.  Priests chair, priest's pew and pulpit are all of oak and simple in design.  Stained glass is quite attractive.  The unusual altar frontispiece has the appearance of marquetry.  Alongside the path to the porch is a fine Cornish Cross, its best face away from you, so walk on the grass to see it best. 



Fine Cornish Cross
Colourful Altar
Queen Anne's Coat of Arms

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Dominic, St. Dominica's

At the very beginning of February 2018 I chose a fine Friday to head down east towards the Tamar, for most of its length the boundary between  Cornwall and Devon, to pay a visit to Halton Quay, the place where in 689AD Irish Saints Indract and his sister Dominica landed.  A white Chapel commemorates the Saints.  Nearby is a former lime kiln.  Half-a-mile north east, near Greenbank, is their Holy well.  St.Dominic's Church is about 1 1/2 miles NNE.  I took photos of river, chapel and lime kiln before moving on to St. Dominica's Church.  The first thing you notice is the unusual three-stage tower, its second stage somewhat recessed.  Inside are nave and two aisles, all with Cornish wagon roofs, that of the chancel painted blue with small gold symbols.  The Victorian Quire pews have nicely carved decoration.  The organ case has twelve panels, depicting saints.  Behind the organ are the arms of the Clarke and Brendon families and the tomb of Sir Anthony Rous and his son.  There is an attractive Victorian carved pulpit.  On one wall is a small part of the original medieval rood screen, perhaps torn down in the "Reformation", perhaps a victim of Victorian restoration.  There are a couple of restrained Victorian bench ends. 


About 3 miles ESE of Callington
Effigies of Sir Anthony Rous and his son

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Endellion, St. Endellient's Church
In August 2006 I planned a walk from Chapel Amble, almost to the north coast and back, for the express purpose of getting to see Roscarrock, an ancient manor near Port Isaac that had featured as Ross Poldark's home in the TV Poldark series.  By happy coincidence, I called in to St. Endellion church, too, to discover there a Roscarrock chapel and a memorial to the long-departed Roscarrocks.  My walk proved not only longer than expected - I lost my way on the return - but included even more interest in some historic stones at Long Cross.  As so often with Cornish churches, there is dispute about this church's origins.  One authority will tell you that it was founded by St. Endellienta, another by St. Delian and only later dedicated to Endellienta, one of the many holy offspring of Welsh King Brychan.  Be that as it may, a summer music festival has brought fame to the church and a renowned string quartet has been named for it.  Inside there are some good bench ends (on new pews), a fine slate memorial to the Roscarrocks, a rhyme about bell-ringing (the bells are famous) and, most importantly, what is probably the base of what was once the shrine of St. Endellienta.  If you are in need of refreshment, try the excellent nearby Trevathan Farm Shop nearby - they grow superb strawberries. 
St. Endellion Church
On B3314 from Wadebridge.                 St. Endellion revisited
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Endellion revisited

When I looked to see when I first visited the church at St. Endellion, I was amazed to discover that it was the better part of 13 years ago, in August 2006.  So I made haste to revisit in mid-February 2019 - and added a visit to St. Michael's Church at Michaelstow, not far away.  St. Endelient's church is unusual for Cornwall in that it is a collegiate church:  originally staffed by four prebendaries, it became a collegiate church in 1928.  [A collegiate church is one where the daily office of worship is maintained by a college of canons, a non-monastic or "secular" community of clergy, organised as a self-governing corporate body, which may be presided over by a dean or provost.]  Although John Betjeman's local church was St. Enodoc, his favourite was St. Endelient's and there are signs of his interest in the church:  a plaque remembers him as poet laureate and a nearby carved and colourfully painted angel bears a shield commemorating him.  Before entering the body of the church linger a while in the porch:  angels support the ceiling timbers which bear carved bosses.  Inside the 15th century church consists of nave, two aisles and chancel.  The light and airy interior has fine Cornish wagon roofs.  The tiny font, of two different stones, is Norman.  A Gothic altar is of carved and polished slate.  A 15th century tomb chest in the south aisle is of polished Catacleuse stone.  There are some fine late medieval bench ends;  on one the arms of Roscarrock impale those of Grenville, both local North Cornwall families.  In the north aisle there is a sixteenth century "ledger" stone with a cross in relief.  In the belfry there are images of bell ringers together with ringers' rhymes.  There are 17th century chairs in the chancel and a 17th century bench in the south aisle.  The pulpit is unusual, with turned balusters and an ancient bench end worked into it.  When I was there, the graveyard was alive with the sound of grass strimmers, eight yellow-jacketed men working away.  There is a good sized car park at the east end of the church.  



Porch Ceiling Boss
Cataclause Stone Chest Tomb
St. Endellienta Banner

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Enoder
On the first Saturday in December 2016, having a couple of hours for a research outing, I took just a 20 minute run from home to the almost non-existent hamlet of St. Enoder, just off the A30 near Penhale (Kingsley) Services.  There must once have been another settlement to St. Enoder, as the full title of this one is St. Enoder Churchtown.  All it consists of is the church, the former rectory, now a private home, and two farms, Glebe and Hendra.  Glebe Farm would have been church land, Hendra means The Old Farm or Home Farm.  The church being somewhat isolated, I had thought it might be locked but was pleasantly surprised to find it open.  I was even more pleasantly surprised to find, just through the gate, a good small Cornish Cross, surprisingly not shown on the OS map, though most crosses are.  The interior is nothing special though the barrel-vaulted ceilings are good.  The carved screen is presumably Victorian,  There are 8 original bench ends, one now part incorporated into the lower part of the screen.  A simple circular bowl stone font with four small carved heads is believed to be Norman, the oldest thing in the church.  The attractive carved pulit, on a stone base, is probably Victorian.  An unusual lectern is on a carved wood base.  The altar is also unusual, with an arcaded front.  An elaborate wrought iron oil heater stands near the font.  There are a couple of elaborate carved slate memorial slabs, one in the porch. 
Leave A30 at Penhale, take Truro/Ladock turn,  R before bridge over A30
St. Enoder church in the late October sun
LANDS END TRAIL: Back in 2009 I helped re-rsearch the Lands End Trail.  Stage 9 from Mitchell to Tregonetha passes though St. Enoder.
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Erney, St. Terney's Church

There is very little to St. Erney, a hamlet on the way to almost nowhere, just a couple of farms, a few cottages, including an attractive row and, surprisingly. an active Anglican church and a former Methodist Chapel and its adjacent Sunday School, the latter two now converted to homes.  Pevsner has very little to say about the church:  he notes that it was first mentioned in 1269, probably as a chapelry to Landrake church.  Like so many Cornish churches, it was restored in Victorian times.  I would have liked to be able to comment on the interior but, regrettably, the church was  locked when I was there in early June 2018. 

St. Erney Church
Former Methodist Chapel
St. Erney House, opposite the churc

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Erme, St. Hermes Church

A little surprisingly this is not the only Cornish church dedicated to St. Hermes;  this one is a few miles north of Truro, the other is a few miles south of Padstow.  According to Pevsner the church is set in an oval lann.  It has to be said that while I could see it as oval, from the entrance gate I could see little evidence of the ground being raised as you expect with a lann.  Be that as it may, I found it to be an interesting church and, oddly, one which seems larger and more spacious inside than you expect from the outside.  St. Hermes stands in a large but empty churchyard - gravestones are lined up along the perimeter.  As you enter the churchyard, you are immediately struck by the impressive tower, three story with crenellated parapet and crocketed pinnacles and a north-east stair turret.  A wooden door in the east face of the tower has a carved stone head above the voussoir. The church dates from the 15th century but was heavily remodelled in 1819/20 by John Foulston, with further work by E H Sedding in 1908.  The body of the church consists of nave and north and south aisles.  barrel- vaulted roofs are of the 15th and 16th centuries with roof ribs, purlins and roof-bosses.  The wooden wall-plate is carved.  The circular font is Norman with unusual ornamentation, foliage scroll and four lily motifs, which Pevsner thinks was the prototype for Bodmin and St. Austell.  Royal Arms are of George IV, dated 1827, and are painted on a metal sheet.  Stained glass in the east window is of Christ's Call to the Fishermen, by Mary Lowndes in Arts and Crafts style.  A fine brass is to Robert Trencreek, his wife and children. 



St. Erme Trencreek Brass
Fishermen Stained Glass
St. Erme Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Erth
Walking the second stage of the Land's End Trail, I finished up in St. Erth and was pleasantly surprised to find a delightful church.  According to the church guide, St Erth (or Erc or Ercus) was Irish, a brother of St. Ia and St. Uny and a close friend of St. Patrick.  Tradition has it that he is buried beneath the church.  Outside St. Erth church is conventionally Cornish with its three-stage pinnacled tower, same height nave and two aisles, and decorated and perpendicular windows.  Inside is quite a surprise.  Wooden barrel vaulted roofs have elaborate bosses and, at the chancel end, painted decoration.  Corbels carry carved stone heads and two carved angels look out of dormer windows.  The Trewinnard Chapel, in the south aisle, is colourful with painted roof and bosses, a gilded altar and reredos and a beautifully carved screen.  The chancel, too, is colourful with more roof decoration, painted carved oak reredos and a good stained glass window.  The surprise is that all this elaboration is late Victorian and Edwardian.  There are associations with Harveys of Hayle;  it was here that Richard Trevithick married John Harvey's daughter Jane.  There are two Cornish crosses in the churchyard, one close to the porch, the other incorporated in a grave.  A most unusual cross stands in the square in the village, its head rectangular but not in lantern form.                                                            
St. Erth church seen across the little Hayle River
St. Erth Revisited
After my Land's End Trail walk that finished in St. Erth, I read the guide book and realised that I had missed a lot in the graveyard.  So I returned a week later in December 2007, when also visiting Cape Cornwall and Towednack Church.  The graveyard is large and well stocked with graves.  Most significant are those of the Harvey family (of Harvey's of Hayle) and of the related Trevithick family.  Richard Trevithick married John Harvey's daughter Jane;  it is a shame that he is not here but in an unmarked grave in Dartford, Kent.  By the south-east corner of the church is a handsome chest tomb.  There are two Cornish crosses, one near the south-east corner of the church, another topping a tomb to the north side of the church.  There are also a couple of cast iron crosses, marking (I think) graves of children.
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Erth Revisited

I visited St. Erth on the last Saturday in September 2018 but found the church locked.  I had to satisfy myself with photographs in the churchyard and village.  An email then elicited details of a key-holder, George Lawry.   I rang George who very kindly gave up his Saturday morning the following week, not only to open the church but also to give me a good guided tour, pointing out things I would have missed such as the single clerestory window in the nave.  The most striking feature of the church is the Trewinnard Chapel in the South Aisle:  Trewinnard Manor is south of St. Erth.  The tower is of the early 15th century and the porch of the late 15th century but the body of the church was rebuilt by J D Sedding 1873-4.  Restoration continued into the early 20th century and included the Trewinnard Chapel, described by John Betjeman as "one of the first really sensitive restorations in Britain."  Dormer windows (I only spotted one) were inserted into the roof to add light.  Unusually, Sedding used green Polyphant stone, from the far east of Cornwall, in the walls.  His bench ends echo the late medieval bench ends found in so many Cornish churches.  The chancel has an elaborately and colourfully decorated ceiling, as has the Trewinnard Chapel;  it also features a finely decorated and gilded altar and a reredos of 1903.  In the Trewinnard Chapel are tapestry copies of those in Trewinnard Manor.  The square font is Norman.  Painted Royal Arms are of George I.  Among the late 19th/early 20th century stained glass, note the south window of the Trewinnard Chapel which shows Bishop Benson with a model of Truro Cathedral.  Pevsner refers to a pre-Norman churchyard cross in the west corner of the south aisle;  I think he may have mistaken a papier-mâché copy for the real thing, one of which may  be seen in the churchyard. 



St. Erth Church South Aisle Ceiling
St. Erth Church seen from the east
St. Erth Cornish Cross

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Ervan
I visited St. Ervan church on a warm and sunny July Saturday when I also managed to include the churches at St. Issey and St. Merryn and the work of the remarkable self-proclaimed bard, Ed Prynn, whose small garden has the most remarkable collection of standing stones, known to many locally as Prynnhenge.  St. Ervan is a tiny settlement, just a farm, converted farm buildings and a former school house.  The road peters out at the church but a track continues downhill to a ford and footbridge leading to what looks like a former mill building.  The church is nicely set below a small green.  It is dedicated, rather oddly, to St. Hermes, surely not the winged messenger of the gods!  From the green the church looks even tinier than it really is, set below the level of the lych gate.  It consists of a massive stubby tower, rebuilt in 1935 of reinforced concrete, porch, small nave and two transepts.  There is an unusulally large number of slate memorials. usually so many would have been relegated to the graveyard; one is a delight, of a medieval gentlemen in balloon trousers.  The porch door, its surround of local blue Cataclews stone, has a carving of an angel with two raucous birds.  I visited in July 2016.  I hope to revisit to explore down by the little river before too long.
More images of St. Ervan
Tiny, secluded St. Ervan church with its unusual tower
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




More Images of St. Ervan



St. Ervan Door from Porch
St. Ervan Font
St. Ervan Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Eval

St. Uvulua church stands quite isolated, on the fringe of a former Bomber Command airfield and not far from the sea.  Normally there would also be at least a small churchtown but this was demolished when the airfield was constructed.  The settlement of St. Eval is some distance away and consists of military housing and, of all things, underground bunkers.  The exterior of the church is quite conventional.  A prominent three-stage tower once acted as a landmark before Trevose Head lighthouse was constructed;  it is banded with local blue Catacleuse stone, which makes it unusual and striking.  The same stone is also used to good effect in window surrounds and in the porch.  The exterior may be conventional, the interior is less so, thanks to its connections with the RAF.  Conventional features in the interior are the plain Norman cup-shaped front, with its RAF cover, the octagonal pulpit of 1688, the base of a rood screen with traceried panels, and a good set of carved bench ends with, in some instances, original bench backs.  The pulpit of 1688 is finely carved but on an overly plain base.  The south aisle arcading is in an odd mix of styles.  It includes a 15th century carved capital in Catacleuse stone.  Modern stained glass (1989) Crear McCartney commemorates the RAF;  striking colours set off an RAF symbol surrounded by a crown of thorns.  Two walls carry carved and painted RAF badges.  In the Lady Chapel a stained glass windows bears RAF symbolism.  While in the Lady Chapel, do look up, otherwise you will miss a fine collection of carved ceiling bosses.  One wall carries painted Royal Arms but without the clear indication of which king.  Outside, before entering the churchyard gate, do note the WWII was memorial. 




The RAF font cover
St. Eval church from the east
A wall covered with RAF badges

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




St. Ewe
This church, in the attractive small village of St. Ewe, not far from St. Austell and Mevagissey, is relatively early for Cornwall, at least in part:  the tower, spire and south aisle all being of the 13th and 14th centuries.  I visited while Jane was enjoying coffee with an old friend at Grigg's Country Store at Sticker, just three miles away.  After my St. Ewe visit I joined Jane for lunch at Griggs:  good food and excellent value.  I had been in St. Ewe village previously, to lunch at the excellent Crown Inn, to photograph the market cross, unusual for Cornwall, and to photograph a Cornish Cross on top of a scraggy hedge near the village.  On this occasion, in mid-June 2018, I concentrated on the church, where there is plenty of available parking.  The church, approached through wrought iron gates - or over a coffen stile - is relatively unimpressive from the outside, except for its striking tower, topped by a dark-stone hexagonal broach spire, most impressive and most unusual for Cornwall.  The porch has an attractive Cornish wagon roof.  Inside, the south aisle roof is, according to Pevsner, a reconstruction of the19th century with bosses imported from St. Keyne.  Finest feature of the church is the rood screen, three elaborate open-work carved panels each side of an equally elaborate central door.  The coving at the top of the screen is elaborately carved with animals birds and even a naked boy.  The 19th century pulpit is made of late medieval bench ends.  The circular font is supported by a central pillar and four narrow pillars around its edge, each topped by a crude head.  There is some stained glass, including two lights set back in an attractive early window surround.  The several monuments include a fine 1737 one to William Mohun (a good old Norman name, encountered also at Lanteglos by Fowey).  The donation box is most unusual, a small Yale safe with a complex combination lock. 



St. Ewe  Church Spire
Kneelers in St. Ewe Church
St. Ewe Church Font

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Gennys

I was last in St. Gennys way back in 2009, when I was walking the complete Cornish Coast Path from the Devon border in the north at Welcombe Mouth to the Tamar ferry crossing at Cremyl opposite Plymouth.  At that time I didn't look inside the little church.  This time, in mid June 2018, I had a churches day, revisiting Lesnewth and St. Juliot and looking inside St. Gennys for the first time.  St. Gennys is just to the north of Crackington Haven but where the latter usually bustles, St. Gennys is a tranquil spot an consists only of the church, Churchtown Farm, Churchtown Cottages, and the former School House, now holiday apartments.  If you follow the National Trust sign to the Coast Path you soon come to Pencannow Point, from whose high and vertical cliff there are fine views to Crackington Haven below and on to towering Cambeak Point with its folded rock strata.  The Gennys Church is tucked away in a small valley, its neighbour the old School House.  A filled-in coffen stile leads through a wrought iron gate next to a post box and in to the churchyard.  Immediately ahead of you is what may have been the base of a Cornish Cross.  The earliest part of the church, the lower two stages of the tower, and the walls of the chancel, are from Norman times;  the tower is topped by striking crocketed pinnacles.  Notable features inside include a 12th century font, a fine altar cloth, slate wall memorials, an interesting, possibly medieval, chest, a simple pulpit on a stone base, remains of altar rails and some 20th century stained glass. 


St. Gennys Church entrance
St. Gennys Church Tower
St. Gennys Church Pulpit
After my visit, I re-read my Pevsner and realised I had missed a reference to bench ends being made into a "Litany Desk."  I returned the following weekend and there was the Litany Desk in the chancel.  It is indeed made of old wood, as is a small nearby shelf, but only one of the uprights seems to be a former bench end. 

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Germans
Seen from the grounds of Port Eliot House, as it is in the photo to the right, this is an impressive looking church.  Its vast west doorway has elaborate Norman stone carving, much more than just the usual simple Norman chevron moulding.  The twin western towers are striking, not least because they are different.  The southern is a simple square tower but the northern is octagonal.  Ths view from the west is promising but the interior disappoints.  Enter through the oddly situated porch and you are in a dull cavernous space filled, sadly for Cornwall, not with pews with elaborately carved bench ends but with rows of chairs!  And, oddly, the south aisle is wider than the nave!  There is almost no woodwork of note, except for a free standing ancient choir stall with a misericord remembering a man named Dando, punished for hunting on a Sunday.  The font is interesting but badly worn,  The pulpit, unusually for Cornwall, is of stone and pleasantly carved.  There are some striking monuments, most notably the Rysbrack monument to Edward Eliot and a charming wall monment to the first Earl of St. Germans.  The impressive east window is by Burne Jones, one of the finest in Cornwall after St. Neot.  The village, in several parts, is worth exploring.
By B3249 off A38 near Tideford, or from Trerulefoot roundabout by A374.
The west front seen from Port Eliot grounds
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Hilary Churchtown

Shortly before Christmas 2017, after visiting Newlyn for St. Peters church I went on to St. Hilary Churchtown for the church there.  It could be easy to miss;  St. Hilary village is on the B3280 road from Marazion to Leedstown but you have to continue a short way to Higher Downs and turn there for St.Hilary Churchtown and its remarkable and most unusual church.  The church consists of nave, south aisle, south transept and porch and, most unusually for Cornwall, a broach spire.  Pevsner describes it as "of uncommon interest and arresting atmosphere".  The delightful, art-filled interior is thanks to Father Bernard Walke, vicar from 1913 to 1936.  He developed a close association with the famed Newlyn School of Artists and commissioned its members to create an original and colourful interior. 




Cornish Cross
Paintings in the Chancel
Painted Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Issey
I visited St.Issey church on a warm and sunny July Saturday, a day when I also managed to visit the churches at St. Merryn and St. Ervan and the remarkable garden of self-proclaimed bard, Ed Prynn, who has erected Prynnhenge in the small garden of his bungalow not far from St. Issey.  St. Issey is a fairly large village by Cornish standards with a population of around 1000.  Its name, a reference to St. Isa or Idi, one of the many evangelising daughters of Welsh King Brychan, was originally Egloscrug, the church on the barrow.  Behind the church, the attractive school building has a camel weathervane. Opposite the church is the Ring o'Bells Inn.  When I was in St. Issey in July 2016 I was delighted to spot a short parade of steam powered vehicles on their way to the Padstow Festival.  St, Issey church was largely rebult in 1891;  happily, many good internal features were retained.  The aisle arches are unusual, coourfully inscribed with biblical sayings.  The font carries lightly carved decoration.  The fine reredos is 14th century and of the local blue Cataclews stone;  Pevsner surrests that it was originally part of a tomb chest.  The Ring O'Bells dates from the 17th century and retains original features.  The  owner has a smallholding nearby, where he rears livestock and grows produce to serve in his restaurant.
The school and church in St. Issey
On the busy A389 Wadebridge - Padstow.  There is a church car park.
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Ives, St. Ia's Church

As so often in Cornwall, this church commemorates an Irish saint, this one reputedly arriving sailing on a leaf.  From the east end, standing on the harbour wall, you appear to be looking at a unique church, of a nave and three equal-height aisles.  It is only when you move to the south side that you discover that this is indeed the standard Cornish plan of nave and two equal-height aisles. The fourth gable, on the south side, is actually that of a small Lady Chapel.  Built, unusually in granite country, of a local sandstone, this is a most handsome church.  It is all of a period - 1410 to 1426 - except for the slightly later Lady Chapel and porch.  The impressive tower rises to some 90 feet. 
Inside are typically Cornish wagon roofs, decorated with bosses and angels, fine carved stonework, a pulpit faced with re-used carved bench ends, and choir stalls carved with local scenes.  The rood loft has gone but the rood stairs are still in place by the Lady Chapel, in which is a Barbara Hepworth Madonna and Child, commemorating her son, in front of it steel candlesticks which she designed.  Also inside, rather surprisingly, a notice reads 'Some people will tell you that at the Reformation the Church of England ceased to be Catholic and became Protestant.  Do not believe it.'    
St. Ia's church from the Remembrance Garden
More on St. Ia's Church
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Reviews Contents



More on St. Ia's Church

New report following a visit at the end of May 2018
On the same day that I visited uninteresting Morvah church I also took a look at St. Ia's church in St. Ives, a totally different, and rather grand, kettle of fish, its tall tower visible from many part of town.  Do walk around the outside first to admire the four east gables - nave, two aisles and a Trenwith family chapel - each slightly different, and to note the unusual Cornish Cross on the south side.  Remarkably, this church was once merely a "chapel of ease" to St. Uny, Lelant.  Inside, note the roofs, all wagon roofs in the Cornish style.  The chancel roof is the finest with a network appearance with richly carved bosses;  below it is a fine rood.  A panelled aisle ceiling is supported by two regal figures.  A little unexpectedly in so grand a church, there are a number of good bench ends and a couple of benches bear figures of saints with angelic shield-bearers.  The altar is of local stone and the reredos is illuminated.  The pulpit is of dark oak, deeply carved.  The granite font is unusual with a carved base, hexagonal column and bowl with strap-work and heads at the four corners.  A "Madonna and Child" sculpture by Barbara Hepworth remembers her son Paul.  Stained glass in the chancel is by C E Kempe.  Fragments of a 1463 brass are to Oto Trenwyth.  A low screen is made of old bench ends. 



St. Ia's, the four east gable ends
Pulpit
Rood and chancel ceiling

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Reviews Contents



St. Just-in-Penwith
Much of the early history of the Celtic Church is lost in the mists of time but, if the guide book on sale in the church is to be believed, this must be one of the earliest Christian sites in Cornwall.  St. Just himself seems to have been Prince Iestyn, one of the sons of of Gereint, a 5th century Cornish King of Dumnonia.  And this is said to be the site of his church or cell.  Whatever the truth of that, St. Just is certainly a very early Christian location to judge by some of the inscribed stones with Chi-Ro symbols found locally, one of which, the late 5th century Selus stone is on display in the church. 
The church is typically Cornish, with nave, south aisle, substantial tower and an impressive pinnacled porch.  It is no surprise that it is built of the local granite.  It dates partly from 1334 with later additions and alterations of the 14th and 15th centuries.  In addition to the Selus stone, other things worth looking out for inside the church include the remains of the rood stairs (the rood loft and screen are long gone), and a 9th century Hiberno Romanesque carved stone, once part of a cross.  But the real treasure is the pair of 15th century frescos on the north wall, one of Christ of the Trades, the other of St. George and the Dragon.  What a crying shame that, in the 19th century restoration, walls were otherwise insensitively scraped bare.
The south aisle and the impressive porch
Best by B3306 scenic coast road from St. Ives
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Just-in-Roseland Church

I must confess a special interest in the church at St. Just-in-Roseland.  For twenty years my father's cousin Bertie was rector of the parish of St. Just.  As children we enjoyed family summer holidays staying with Bertie and Marjorie at the rectory, just across the road from the church (it's now the Old Rectory and a private home).  Jane knows it well too, having lived just a few miles away at Gerrans.  The church has a long history, reputed to have been founded by St. Anthony in the 6th century on a spot said to have been visited by tin merchant Joseph of Arimathea and his nephew Jesus!  Remarkably, although the Celtic Church submitted to the rule of Rome in 664 AD, St. Just remained Celtic until the middle of the 10th century.  The church  is attractive from the outside but is disappointing inside, having been over-restored in the 19th century.  The real attraction is the location, deep in a wooded valley with the waters of a little creek lapping the churchyard walls below the lower lych gate - unusually there are two lych gates - and the sub-tropical garden planted in the sloping churchyard by an enterprising Victorian rector.  The churchyard is sufficiently steep that from the upper lych gate you are looking over the church tower.  The church is easy to find;  a sign on the road to St. Mawes points to St. Just Church and Bar - perhaps an illustration of thirsting after righteousness?
Church tower seen through the upper lych gate
More St. Just-in-Roseland
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




More St. Just-in-Roseland Church

In late August 2019 I revisited St. Just in Roseland, primarily for the church.  However, I also discovered that things had changed since I was last there.  Opposite the little car park above the churchyard is now a fairly class cafe cum tearoom called Mrs. V's after owner Vanessa Vercoe.  Open daily from 10 till 5, it serves primarily cream teas and lunches.  Above it is a fairly large new car park.  It has indoor, outdoor and undercover outdoor seating.  We enjoyed a  good but fairly expensive smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich.  Then Jane and I split up.  We had brought two dogs with us, Jane's usual borrowed collie, Meg, and artist neighbour Tony's spaniel Poppy.  While I had a walk around the lovely churchyard garden and went into the church for a thorough look round and photographs, Jane and the dogs walked the two miles into St. Mawes, where we met up again.  Although I had long known St. Juts - ever since staying woth the then Rector, my father's cpusin Bertie, way back in 1957, I had never previously had a good look around inside the church, having preferred just to enjoy the wonderful churchyard garden, created by famed Cornish gardener John Treseder;  I would like to think that it is his descendent who has a nursery on the road from Bodmin to Bugle.  Inside the church, thjemost noticeable feature is the series of biblical texts all around the wall-plate.  To a fair extent, the interioris the creation of the Revd. C. W. Carlyon, who restored the church in 1872, including the biblical texts.  Much of the interior is actually by the and of Carlyon - including pulpit, pews and clergy seat.  The charming roof bosses are not old;  they were designed by John Phillips andcarved by Charles Moore in 1990.  The octagon font is 15th century.  A painted panel of the Lord's Prayer by the south door dates from 1693.  A brass on the east wall of the aisle shows a priest in choir cope and probably dates from 1505.  Reading all this in Pevsner, before my visit, added to my interest and enjoyment.




Jane, Meg & Poppy at St. Just
St. Just Church Pulpit
Colourful Dove Roof Boss
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Keverne
When I walked from St. Keverne village to Porthoustock and Porthallow in November 2005, I made a point of being back in time to have a good look at this fascinating church.  The first thing to strike you is that it is probably built on an older pagan site, raised as it is on a platform higher than the surrounding village.  Steps lead you up through a massive lych gate, still complete with its coffin rest.  The big perpendicular windows suggest the 15th century but inside tells a different story.  Here is a round headed arch to the north door and a lancet window to its left, both of the 11th or 12th century.  Between the two is a medieval wall painting of St. Christopher, patron saint of travellers.  Furnishing is a mixed bag.  Many early bench-ends were retained when the church was refurbished in the 1930s;  mostly they represent the Passion but some commemorate local families.  The small but handsome carved pulpit is Jacobean.  Memorials include a brass plate remembering a Titanic victim and another the Primrose, wrecked on the Manacles in 1809.  The east window commemorates the hundred or more who lost their lives on the Manacles in the Mohegan in 1898.  Half are buried in a mass grave outside the north door.  My information is from the excellent guide leaflet.    
More images of St. Keverne
Reached by B3293, off A3083 Helston to Lizard Town
St. Keverne church - gothic windows, spire,  palms
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More Images of St. Keverne
Detail of the Rood Screen
Churchyard looks towards Falmouth
The elaborate Carved Stone Font
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Kew, St. James and St. Kewa's Church

The first thing you notice about St. Kew is the charming juxtaposition of St. James Church and the excellent New Inn;  surely yet another illustration of the saying about thirsting after righteousness.  St. Kew is the 'churchtown' of an extensive but little populated parish in North Cornwall.  Now of little importance, except for its church and excellent eponymous hostelry, in medieval times it was a centre of some importance.  The names of its relatively few buildings bear witness to this former importance.  The church of St. James the Great - an unusual dedication - is believed once to have been the site of a Celtic monastery and indeed is apparently mentioned as early as the 6th century.  Consisting of nave, two aisles and a tall three stage tower, it is noteworthy for its three wagon roofs, its stained glass (much admired by Pevsner), its original rood stairs, its much later elaborate rood screen, its elaborately carved font.  There is a handsome pulpit, remains of a lantern cross and an unusual stone carved in Latin and Ogham scripts.  Outside is a tall but damaged Celtic Cross and elaborate triple bank of steps up from the road.  Adjacent is the admired St. Kew Inn, itself probably originally of the 15th century;  an elaborate evening menu is counter-balanced by simpler lunchtime snacks.  Southeast is the large former vicarage.  Other interesting buildings include The Barton, Barton Farm and The Grange. 




St. Kew Carved Angel at Wall Plate
St. Kew Elaborate Pulpit
St. Kew Lantern Cross

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Keyne
Reached by winding lanes from Liskeard, if you continue beyond St. Keyne you come to  Duloe.  There is not much to St. Keyne, but on the south-east side is the church of St. Keyne.  It stands on a mound, raised well above the road, suggesting, as so often in Cornwall, a pre-Christian site.  Opposite the church is the "Little Old School House", originally, to judge by its tallet steps, a small barn of sorts.  South-east of the church is St. Keyne's Holy Well, which Pevsner describes as "the most famous of English holy wells".  A little way beyond that is the Well House Hotel.  Surprisingly for a hotel with an AA 3 rosette restaurant it seems to have no web site though it may just be a wedding venue these days (2017) having been bought by a German company a few years ago.  On earlier visits I had found the church closed and it was only at the end of April 2018 that I eventually found it open.   Like a number of Cornish churches, what you think you see is not necessarily what you actually see.  St. Keyne is an example:  apparently medieval Gothic, it is really largely a rebuilding by noted Victorian architect J P St. Aubyn;  only the 15th century tower is largely untouched.  The roof dates from St. Aubyn's time with scissor trusses and cambered collars with arch bracing (I quote Pevsner).  There are some fine slate memorials, notably to John Edgcumbe and John Hicks.  The plain octagonal font is of the 15th century.  The pulpit is three sided.  Stained glass is of the early 20th century.  The altar, unusually, was decorated with flowers when I saw it.
Little Old School House, once a barn
St. Keyne Church stands on a mound
St. Keyne's Holy Well
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Levan in West Penwith
Jane and I had seen St. Levan church before in 2004 when we had done a round walk from Porthcurno to Gwennap Head and back.  In July 2008 I had time to spare in West Penwith after checking out a problem on the Land's End Trail.  So I parked in St. Levan to take a closer look at the church, to visit St. Levan's Well and Baptistry on the cliffs above Porth Chapel and to get some photos at Porthgwarra.  What I found proved to be an interesting church with a fascinating churchyard.  The church is largely 15th century but with an older tower.  Inside are an ancient holy water stoup in the porch;  carved roof bosses and a Norman font in the south aisle and rood stairs in the south wall;  the rood screen is not original.  Outside are two ancient cross heads and a handsome tall carved Cornish cross;  and the St. Levan Stone, split in two and said to have been venerated in pre-Christian times.  Most remarkable are the two lych gates.  Both have seats and coffin rests, neither has a roof;  both have coffen stiles, the top one open to prevent animals straying from the field above.  If you leave by the lower lych gate and take the path to Porth Chapel, a popular family beach, you will encounter St. Levan's Well and Baptistry, just above the beach.
The upper lych gate leads to a path to Porthcurno
There is parking (small charge in season) just above the church
Notable modern features within the church are a granite and bronze low-relief, by local artist Judy Reed, of St. Levan blessing three sea bream (he was apparently a keen fisherman) and some modern carved commemorative bench ends, nicely continuing the Cornish tradition.  The ancient bench ends in the church include one of two fish, presumably bream, one with a hook in its mouth, presumably caught by St. Levan.
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




St. Mabyn
I have been in St. Mabyn on several occasions:  in the course of walks, solo and with Jane;  for lunch on several occasions at the excellent St. Mabyn Inn;  and to photograph the church in September 2016 and in April 2019.  Before entering, do look out for the Cornish Cross at the eastern end of the churchyard.  The exterior of this largely 15th and 16th century church is typically Cornish with nave, two aisles and a three stage pinnacled tower.  As you enter, you are greeted (or, at least, I was) by a colourful St. Mabena banner where you might expect St. Christopher.  Inside are three fine wagon roofs with carved bosses.  Rood stairs remain intact though, of course, the rood loft is long gone.  The font, which Pevsner suggests is of Purbeck stone, dates from Norman times.  Sadly, chairs have replaced the pews so, in this instance no chance of any carved bench ends, though the choir stalls are attractive.  The Norman font is of Purbeck stone.  An attractive pulpit may be of Portland stone.  A credence table has a 16th century panel which Pevsner suggests is from an earlier pulpit, though the church's website suggests ir .  The east window, though Victorian, is in 16th century style and there are fragments of medieval glass in the aisle windows. 


 
St. Mabyn Choir Stalls
Cornish Cross
St. Mabyn Stained Glass
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Martin-in-Meneage
On a sunny Saturday in late February I headed down to the Lizard peninsula to take a close look at a couple of churches, that of St. Mawgan in Mawgan-in-Meneage and that of St. Martin-in-Meneage.  St. Martin's church is south of the village but at St. Martin I had a pleasant surprise:  I knew that, remotely situated, the church would be locked and I was just planning on exterior photos.  However, while I was sitting there eating my soup and sandwich before leaving, who should arrive but a lady churchwarden, so I was able to take my photographs inside as well.  The tower is original, of the 15th century, but the rest of the church was rebuilt after a fire in 1830;  note the use of serpentine blocks in the external walls.  As the church is essentially a simple rectangle it feels more like a Methodist chapel of the period.  Entrance is through an unusual blue door in the tower.  One font is perhaps the oldest thing about St. Martins, while the other is Norman with corner shafts and foliate decoration.    Pews are simple unornamented benches, relieved by a few colourful kneelers.  There are a coule of attractive hangings, one of the Lord's Prayer, the other a pictorial of the village by local schoolchildren.  In the churchyard I noticed a white camellia and a sundial minus its gnomon. 




St. Martin Tower Door
St. Martin Old Font
St. Martin Hanging

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Mawes

There is really no parking here so you will need to park in town - quay or main car park - and walk up very steep Church Hill to visit St. Mawes Church.  This small church was built in the early 19th century (and rebuilt in 1881) as a chapel of ease to the main church in St. Just in Roseland. It is in the Early English style and is topped by a slate-hung bell-cote.  Inside, the roof is arch-braced, springing from granite corbels.  Grisaille stained glass is by Powell and Sons and F W Skeat;  two stained glass windows illustrate the story of St. Maw.  The unusual font is hexagonal with quatrefoil carving.  Four steps lead up to a pulpit of only two sides.  There are some attractive kneelers.  One get the impression that, despite the wealth of St. Mawes village, this is a poor church of but minor importance. 




St. Maw sails for Armorica
St. Mawes Church Spire
St. Maw instructs his disciples

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Mawgan (or Mawgan-in-Pydar), St. Mawgan's Church

I first encountered St. Mawgan (technically Mawgan-in-Pydar, Pydar being one of the old "hundreds" of Cornwall, county divisions dating back to Saxon times) back in February 2006, when Jane and I tried the Falcon Inn, recommended by friends.  We liked the Falcon but, even more, we were taken with the charming village of St. Mawgan.  Since then I have been back on many occasions, most particularly in 2016 and 2017, when I was there with the camera, photographing village, church and Cornish Crosses.  I have also done a couple of good coastal round walks from there.  When visiting the church, do look carefully around the churchyard for the several Cornish Crosses - in addition to those in the churchyard, there is another in the grounds of Lanherne Convent church.  The Church of St. Mawgan stands below Lanherne House, at the top of a sloping churchyard, and is approached through a slate roofed stone lych gate.  The church dates from the 13th century with additions in the 15th and 16th centuries and restoration in 1861 by William Butterfield.  It is a substantial church, consisting of nave and chancel, north and south transepts and aisles to nave and chancel.  The three-stage tower is unusual in that it is not, as is normal, at the west end but rather to the south of the south transept.  It has a stair turret to its north-east corner.  The south chancel aisle is of local Catacleuse stone.  All ceilings are of the later 19th century, the ribs of the chancel ceiling being decorated in delicate polychrome.  The font is 12th century, of the Bodmin type with a circular bowl on four columns of Devon marble.  The rood screen remains in place but crosses just the nave with no sign of rood or rood stairs.  A parclose screen, like the rood screen, is by Butterfield.  The altar table in the south chancel aisle has open cusped panels.  In a corner by the chancel is a shield topped by a bishop's mitre. In the floor at the east end of the chancel aisle are 15th and 16th century brasses of the Arundell family of Lanherne.  Late 19th century stained glass is by Clayton and Bell;  that of the early 20th century by Percy Bacon.  There are some good monuments of the 17th and 18th centuries.  An excellent collection of bench ends appears to be of the Tudor period. 


St. Mawgan church & Lych Gate
Bishop's Arms
The Rood Screen

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Mawgan-in-Meneage, St. Mawgan's Church

On a sunny Saturday in late February I headed down to the Lizard peninsula to take a close look at a couple of churches, that of St. Mawgan in Mawgan-in-Meneage and that of St. Martin-in-Meneage.  The Daffodil Festival had been held over for an extra week at St. Mawgan;  delightful as it was I had hope for a clear un-daffodilled view of the interior of the church, so I shall have to visit again at a later date.  At St. Martin I had a pleasant surprise:  I know that, remotely situated, the church would be locked and I was just planning on exterior photos.  However, while I was eating my soup and sandwich before leaving, who should arrive but a lady churchwarden, so I was able to take my photographs inside as well.  (See separate entry)  St.Mawgan's church is in a fairly isolated position away from the main part of the village.  The extensive graveyard, raised as ir is, it suggests a lann and includes an impressive raised chest tomb.  The three-stage tower is of the 15th century but the body of the church is mostly 13th century and consists of nave, north aisle and north and south transepts, the latter linked to the chancel by a squint.  There are Cornish wagon roofs to porch, nave, north transept and north aisle, the latter richly carved.  There are two fonts in the south transept, one circular, the other hexagonal.  In the south transept is a fine recessed tomb with the marble figures of Sir Roger Carminow and his wife.  There are several good monuments to members of the Vyell family.  In the north aisle the wagon roof is supported by angels and has a variety of carved bosses.  The lectern is a delight, of red and green serpentine, found only on the Lizard.  Stained glass is late Victorian. 



Porch Angel Roof Support
Mawgan-in-Meneage Carminowe Monument
Serpentine Lectern

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Mellion, Landrake, Landulph & Botus Fleming

In late August 2017 I had another expedition to the south-east, this time primarily to St. Mellion - but not to the famous golf course.  I was there to visit four churches, St.Mellion, Landrake, Landulph and Botus Fleming.  The first two were open, the latter two closed, so it was a half successful expedition.  At Landulph and Botus Fleming I merely took exterior photographs, including a nice porch sundial.   At Landulph, I found an interesting farmhouse and barn named, if the letterbox is to be believed, Four Shilling Park.   At Botus Fleming there was alos a crude wall memorial to "M Brown 1734".  St. Mellion church is largely of the 14th century and consists of Nave, Aisle, South Transept housing the Coryton Chapel and a three-stage tower.  The Coryton Chapel has many fine and elaborate monuments, including a brass of 1551.  The Corytons are local landowners at Pentillie.  The pulpit is Jacobean.  The font cover is topped by a brass eagle.  The nave has a wagon roof with carved bosses.  Landrake church, with its 100 foot tower, on top of a hill can be seen from miles.  Inside I found wagon roofs, a Norman font like that at Altarnun, and a brass of 1509 to Edward Cowtney, Lord of Wootton in Landrake.   The nave ceiling has carved and coloured bosses similar to those at St. Nectan's.  At Botus Fleming there is a rustic sundial on the porch and, on a wall near it a crude memorial to "M Brown 1734". 




St. Mellion church
Landrake church ceiling boss
Landulph church
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Merryn

This is really quite an impressive church for a small village.  I visited it on a warm, sunny Saturday in July 2016, on a day when I also managed to visit the churches at St. Issey and St. Ervan and even managed to include Prynnhenge, the remarkable small garden of the remarkable self-proclaimed bard, Ed Prynn.  Oddly, the church is not in St. Merryn itself but in Treveglos, a quarter mile east of the village.  Parts are norman or medieval but the greater part of the church dates from the 15th century.  Although long, the roofline is relatively low so the massive tower rather dwarfs it.  As in so many Cornish churches, there are stocks in the porch.  As you enter, you face an elaborate, but smaller than often, Royal coat of arms.  Above you are wagon roofs. As you can see from the photo on the right, the decorated font is of the local blue Cataclews stone, as are the piers dividing the aisle from the nave.  There is a nicely carved, though not old, pew in the choir.  In the chancel is a colourful and elaborate reredos.  A window in the chapel carries an engraved memorial to Group Captain Bertram Barthold.  Opposite the church is the Cornish Arms, part of the Rick Stein Empire which dominates nearby Padstow.
On B3276 Padstow to Newquay road.  There is a church car park.
The font is of local blue Cataclews stone
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Mewan

This is not a church of any great significance.  I include it only because it is not far from another church which I have included in my descriptions, that at St. Stephen--in-Brannel, a few miles west of St. Austell.  St. Mewan is just to the north of the A390 road from St. Austell to Grampound and Truro, on a minor road that leads to Trewoon.  I visited St. Sterphen and St. Mewan on a dull, drizzly Friday in mid-June 2019.  Normally, my church visits are on a Saturday but St. Stephen's regular opening day is Friday, so I thought I had little choice;  as it turned out, St. Stephen's was closed then but I was able to arrange with very helpful priest, Emma Childs, for a visit on Saturday the following week.  The church stands within a raised lann, within it a small graveyard, a tall WWII memorial, ans a seat, si,ilar to one I have seen in Saltash, acting as a WWI memorial.  The first thing to notice about St. Mewan is its tower.  This was originally intended to be impressively tall but, in the event. was not continued above the second stage though, unusually, it is topped by a low pyramidal roof.  The body of the church was begun in the 12th century and was originally intended to be cruciform but was extensively rebuilt, and then restored, in the 19th century.  Original parts include part of the nave wall and the chancel windows.  The octagonal font is late 14th century,  but stands on a Norman base;  a tiny early font stands near it.  In the chancel, the piscina is 13th century.  Unexpected are the litany desks in the quire , their ends topped with figures of Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  The pulpit, presumably Victorian, has carved decoration.  Stained glass is of the late 19th century.   The reredos behind the altar carries four small shields, which I could not identify.  What, at first glance, appears to be royal arms, is in fact a memorial to Sr Francis Layland-Barratt and dates from the mid 20th century.


Leyland-Barratt Arms
St.Mewan Church on its raised lann
St. Mewan Litany Desk

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Michael Caerhays

It seems quite odd that St. Michaels Caerhays Church should be all of a mile (by road) from Caerhays Castle, on whose estate it stands.  However, the part Norman church long predates the early 19th century 'Castle', a Gothick mansion, overlooking the sea, begun in 1808 by John Nash for John Bettesworth-Trevanion.  The church consists of three-stage crenellated tower, nave, truncated south aisle and north transept.  Pevsner thinks the 16th century south aisle was probably built as a chantry chapel for the Trevanions of Caerhays Castle in the early 16th century.  St. Michael was restored in 1864 and again in 1883 by the ubiquitous J P St. Aubyn.  Almost all the stained glass windows were designed by Revd. William Willimott, rector here from 1852 to 1878.  He also designed the attractive mosaic reredos, the parclose screens and probably the commandment tablets.  The circular font, decorated with foliage, is Norman.  The pulpit is simple Victorian dark oak n a light stone plinth.  Monuments are a 1769 one of William Trevanion and of Charlotte Trevanion of 1810, which Pevsner finds the most attractive item in the church.  A life-size statue in naval uniform is of Captain George Bettesworth, related to the Bettesworth-Trevanions of Caerhays Castle, who died in 1808.  There are a couple of attractive early bench ends;  I wonder what happened to the rest?   



Bettesworth Statue
St. Michael's Church, Caerhays
Caerhays Bench End

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Nectans

I visited St. Nectan's Chapel, not far from Boconnoc,  in early July 2017, essentialy in search of a Cornish Cross that I had spotted on OS 107.  It is a couple of miles east of Lostwithiel, tucked away up a dead end lane, south of the A390 road to Liskeard.  I visited in search of a Cornish Cross but found much more of interest.  In fact there are two crosses, one in the churchyard, to the right as you enter, the other is built into a stile at the south east corner of the churchyard.  Oddly, assuming the second is really a Cornish Cross, it is square in shape.  The chapel itself is odd, having a truncated tower, topped by a small bellcote, damaged in the Civil War in the Battle of Braddock.  The porch has a wagon roof with carved wooden bosses.  Inside is a simple font and a piscina carrying two primitive faces.  The great surprise is that all along the junction of wall and ceiling is a series of (I presume) wooden bosses, carved and painted and depicting the oddest things.  They include a hand, a foot, dice, a ladder and a bag of money.  A little surprisingly Pevsner, who is usually very comprehensive, makes no mention of these bosses;  could they be later than 1952?  They are, however,  mentioned on Historic England's web site, described as "instruments of the Passion in shields on arcade plate". 




Cornish Cross
St. Nectan's Church
Ceiling Boss

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Penkevil, St. Michael Penkevil
I visited St. Michael Penkevil church in early April 2017.  I had twice previously passed it, but not stopped to investigate, after visiting the garden at Tregothnan, which you leave past the church.  Though on a public road the church is part of the Boscawen family's private estate, reached by a turning by Tresillian Church..  The Boscawens, now Lords Falmouth, originate from West Penwith, near Lamorna, where the ancestral home still nears the name of Boscawen Farm.  The churchyard is raised high above the road, causing one to wonder whether this might have been a pre-Christian site.  Unusually the church, its stair-turretted tower and porch are all buttressed, making it appear older than its 19th century rebuilding.  Again unusually, there is no lych gate.  Inside the porch is part of an old font.  Inside the church are a carved font, a fine partly marble pulpit and an eagle lectern.  There are two flamboyantly detailed reredoses, that in the south transept dating from around 1300.  There are some monuments to members of the Boscawen family including one to Admiral Boscawen, designed by Robert Adam and sculpted by Rysbrack.  Brasses include John Trembras, rector of the parish, died 1515, and others of the 15th to 17th centuries. There are attractive cottages to the south-east of the church, and the former village pump stands on the green. 
St. Michael Penkevil
From A390 St. Austell to Truro, go L at beginning of Tresillian, by church
Revd Canon Dr Lynda Barley, Canon Pastor of Truro Cathedral and Priest-in-charge of Tresillian and St Michael Penkivel, points out to me the appropriateness of adjacent memorials in St. Michael Penkevil.  A window in the south wall contains a modern depiction of the Widow of Nain story in the gospels, about the son raised from the dead by Jesus. It is deliberately adjacent to the memorial to Lord Falmouth’s older brother who was killed in the second world war.
THE NAME: Here is an oddity.  It may be spelled Penkevil but was once Penkivel and is mostly still pronounced that way.
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



The Three Churches of St. Minver Parish
On a hot late August Sunday we did a walk to take a look at the three churches in St. Minver Parish on the Camel estuary.  This is Jane's home territory;  she was raised in Trebetherick and Rock in the parish.  We parked above Daymer Bay, walked across St. Enodoc golf course to St. Enodoc church and the Jesus Well, down through Rock to the Camel estuary for pasties at the Rock Inn, across the beach to St. Michael Porthilly, through pasture land to St. Menefreda's in St. Minver, and by Roserrow golf course back to Daymer Bay.  You could do this by car for the churches, or as an eight mile walk, using OS Explorer sheet 106.  Refreshments in Rock;  Fourways Inn in St. Minver was poor (2013 believed much improved);  the clubhouse at Roserrow (now The Point at Polzeath) serves excellent good value food.

St. Enodoc church
The Jesus Well
St. Michael Porthilly
St. Menefreda's
Stranded within a golf course above Daymer Bay, the tiny church stands on a site holy since the 6th century.  The church, with its stubby twisted spire, had to be dug out from sand-dunes in 1863;  its steep churchyard is now protected by tall tamarisks.  Poet Laureate John Betjeman is buried here.  The lych gate retains its coffin rest. The Well is also stranded in the golf course.  Legend has it that St. Enodoc baptised converts here in the 6th century, when he had a monastic cell on the site of the church.  Why it is called the Jesus Well is another question. I guess this is one of the places that tin-trader Joseph of Arimathea is supposed to have brought the young Jesus.  Location makes this charming little 14th century church, above a sandy beach on the Camel estuary. It once belonged to Bodmin Priory to which the adjacent farmhouses belonged. Notable inside are the wagon roof, Norman font and slate memorial to the Rounseualls.  Outside, near the entrance, is a 6th century Celtic cross. This church is in St. Minver Highlands and is mostly 15th century.  Features include carved oak bench ends, a slate memorial to the Stone family and a board carrying a 'letter' from Charles I. 
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Minver, St. Menefreda's
Although I have driven through St. Minver many a time on the way to Rock I visited St.Menefreda's church in the little village of St. Minver near Rock for the first time in June 2016.  The first thing that strikes you as you approach the village is the spire of the church.  That is unusual enough for Cornwall but the nature of the spire is even more unusual, described by Pevsner as "octagonal with plain broaches at the corners and tall narrow gabled dormers in the sides between".  The appoach to the lych gate is along an attractive terrace of cottages (photo right).  On a bank beyond the porch is a very simple Cornish Cross.  The church consists of nave and two aisles, the north one quite narrow.  The rood screen, oddly, is set into the tower arch.  The floor is of coloured tiles.  There are fine mid 16th century carved bench ends, 16th century communions rails, and an octagonal 15th century font with tracery panels.  There is some rich stained glass and a nice 1517 brass to Roger Opy.  A board dated 1783  has painted figures of bellringers and a rhyme about them.  There are some attractive cottages in the village, particularly on the road to Rock and the one down to the Old Vicarage.  The Fourways Inn is a pleasant pub with an ambitious menu of mainly local produce but doesn't appear to do lunchtime bar food.
More St. Menefreda's in St. Minver
Pretty cottages on the approach to the Lych Gate
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Minver, more St. Menefreda's in St. Minver

I had last been in St. Minver to visit St.Menefreda's Church in November 2016.  In early July 2019, as I was visiting tiny St. Michael's Church at Porthilly, I decided to take another look at St. Menefreda's Church.  I was very glad I did as I had quite forgotten about the fine collection of early carved bench ends there and the handsome pew back made of seven bench ends.  However, perhaps the most noteworthy feature of this church is the spire, unusually for Cornwall a broach spire and with a touch of a lean to it, though nothing like the lean and twist of St. Mary and All Saints in Chesterfield in Derbyshire.   I hope the photo below gives an idea of how the spire looks, though my close proximity to it meant that the crookedness was somewhat exaggerated.  On this visit I was particularly struck by the carved medieval bench ends, by my count 44 of them.  One is topped by what may be an eagle of perhaps a mythical bird.  Against the west wall is a highly ornamental Norman capital, found in 1927.  The letter from King Charles II is remarkably well preserved on its wooden board.  There are wall-mounted marble memorials to members of the Sandys family.  Another is to John Darrell of Trewornan.  Rood stairs are long gone but there remains the rood loft opening but not the corresponding stair opening. 




Cornish Cross in Churchyard
St. Menefreda's Crooked Spire
Carved Bench End

Back to St. Minver
Return to Holy Sites

Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Anietus Church at St. Neot

St. Neot is a charming village on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor, well worth visiting for itself and its church.  The origins of St. Anietus - his name was later corrupted to St. Neot - are not known.  He may have been either Cornish or Saxon and some claim his remains may be found at St. Neot's, Huntingdonshire.  Whatever the truth of that, his church, on the edge of Bodmin Moor, should not be missed.  It stands on a small eminence above the London Inn, its two churchyard gates of wrought iron.  By the south porch stand four Cornish Crosses, including the tall shaft of what must have been one of the finest.  Inside, barrel vaulted roofs have carved bosses and all is light and airy.  It would be a fine church without its glass;  with the glass it is unmissable.  Dating from around 1530, much is original, that which was restored in 1830 was well done.  Scenes from the bible include the Creation, the Flood and the Last Supper.  Noah's Ark, rather appropriately for maritime Cornwall, appears as a three-masted sailing ship!  There is also a window of heraldic shields and others to the glory of the local gentry.  This is surely the finest medieval glass to be found in Cornwall and, save for Fairford in Gloucestershire, may well be the finest in any parish church in Britain.  St. Neor Flower Festival 2017.
St. Anietus Church
St. Neot is just ten minutes from Golitha Falls
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Neot Church Flower Festival 2017

We are very fond of St. Neot village and especially of its church with its superb stained glass.  So when we learned that there was to be a flower festival in the church at the end of August 2017 we jumped at the chance of going.  There was a small charge (for charity) to enter the church but it was well worth it for the superb and imaginative arrangements, including a circular flower carpet.  Refreshments included some surprisingly good Cornish Pasties.  We walked round the rest of the village, too, including what most people will have missed, the now well-established Comumity Garden in the valley below the village.  The statue of St. Neot is there, with a fawn and a fish, his symbols.

Colourful phone box
St. Neot Statue
Church Flowers

Return to St.Neot Church
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Content



St. Newlyn East

This is one of the many churches in Cornwall built on an older religious site, a raised area known as a lann.  The church is best approached from the south, through a lych gate and along a path lined with old tombstones.  As you enter the prominent south porch you notice two things.  Above the doorway is a small and colourful statue, presumably St. Newlina.  To the left of the doorway to the body of the church is another door, looking as if it leads to (presumably now non-existent) stairs.  As with so many Cornish churches, St. Newlina's is of Norman origins and some Norman work remains.  The present church is mostly of the 13th to 16th centuries but had a major make-over by J D Sedding in 1883.  Seddings work includes some fine carved woodwork and new roofs over the nave, chancel and south aisle, using the original ceiling bosses.  The roof of the north transept is original.  The rood screen is also the work of Seddings and includes an elaborate rood loft which he incorporated traceried panels from the original screen in his parclose screen.  The font is Norman, of the Bodmin type, angel faces at each corner but the columns replaced with columns of serpentine from The Lizard.  16th century bench ends capped with heraldic lions and leopards, a device found in a few other Cornish churches.  Pevsner reports a much eroded Lantern Head Cornish Cross near the font;  I failed to spot it.  The Royal Arms are of Charles I and are of brightly painted and gilded plasterwork.  Some nice kneelers include a musical one with trombone, a heavy horse, and a strange Cornish Coat of Arms with the 15 bezants, a crown, two white feathers two Cornish Choughs and the Dutch name "Homout". 




Newlyn East Church
Double Bench End
Highly decorated Chancel Ceiling

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Content




St. Teath, St. Tetha's Church

This is one of the many churches in Cornwall built on an older religious site, a raised area known as a lann.  The church is best approached from the south, through a lych gate and along a path lined with old tombstones.  As you enter the prominent south porch you notice two things.  Above the doorway is a small and colourful statue, presumably St. Newlina.  To the left of the doorway to the body of the church is another door, looking as if it leads to (presumably now non-existent) stairs.  As with so many Cornish churches, St. Newlina's is of Norman origins and some Norman work remains.  The present church is mostly of the 13th to 16th centuries but had a major make-over by J D Sedding in 1883.  Seddings work includes some fine carved woodwork and new roofs over the nave, chancel and south aisle, using the original ceiling bosses.  The roof of the north transept is original.  The rood screen is also the work of Seddings and includes an elaborate rood loft which he incorporated traceried panels from the original screen in his parclose screen.  The font is Norman, of the Bodmin type, angel faces at each corner but the columns replaced with columns of serpentine from The Lizard.  16th century bench ends capped with heraldic lions and leopards, a device found in a few other Cornish churches.  Pevsner reports a much eroded Lantern Head Cornish Cross near the font;  I failed to spot it.  The Royal Arms are of Charles I and are of brightly painted and gilded plasterwork.  Some nice kneelers include a musical one with trombone, a heavy horse, and a strange Cornish Coat of Arms with the 15 bezants, a crown, two white feathers two Cornish Choughs and the Dutch name "Homout". 




Newlyn East Church
Double Bench End
Highly decorated Chancel Ceiling

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Content



Stithians

I visited Stithians in early September 2017 and was fortunate in having a warm and sunny day which gave me the chance to take some good photographs.  I had not previously been in Stithians village though I had been to Stithians Lake on several occasions, including one when Jane and I walked the full circuit of the lake, and a couple of occasions when I had stopped there to eat my sandwiches.  The only particularly interesting part of the village is the very northern end where the church is.  I had gone there primarily for the Cornish Crosses, one in the churchyard, another in the grounds of the Old Rectory opposite.   The church itself is of no special interest.  Of standard constructions it has tower, nave and two aisles.  Monuments include a handsome wall one to William Trewin.  There is a conventional octagonal font with an interesting and elaborate wooden cover.  The unusual altar cloth features a map of the parish.  Stithians is probably best known for its annual agricultural show.  Stithians Lake, a reservoir, is home to minor water sports including wind-surfing, canoeing and paddle boarding;  a cafe is open there in season. 



Unusual Memorial
Stithians Church
Old Rectory Cornish Cross

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Content



St. Stephen-in-Brannel

St. Stephen, more of a small town than a village is, perhaps most notable for having a major dealer, Hawkins who are Cornwall's largest Peugeot dealers.  It is also notable for being the former centre of the chinastone industry, related to the china clau industry further north.  Indeed, back in 2016 I spent an interesting day exploring the chinastone mills, set in hilly woodland.  On the same day, I tried to visit the church but it was closed and I had to content myself with photographing its Cornish Crosses.  Brief research told me that the church is open on Fridays so I made the trip there on a Friday in mid-June 2019.  Unfotunately it turned out to be closed but an email to priest Emma Childs secured me an appointment to meet helpful churchwarden in the church.  The basis of the present church is 15th century but it is evident from the fine 12th century south doorway that the church's origins were Norman.  Major restorations, as with so many Cornish churches took place in the mid and late 19th century.  The plan is of chancel and north and south aisles.  The interior is spacious.  Stained glass includes a charming east window by George Cooper Abbs with scenes from local agriculture and the china clay industry.  Choir stalls and prayer desks are 19th century Gothic with with stencilled decoration, reflecting the designs of screens to north and south.  The font is late Norman of the Bodmin type, figures at the corners, between them trees of life and animals.  The communion rail is early 17th century.  In the churchyard is a Cornish Cross, plus the base of what may have been another.   





St. Stephen Church
Stained Glass Window
Hitchens Memorial

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Content



Stratton near Bude, St. Andrews Church

Of the three churches that I visited on a Saturday towards the end of January 2019, St. Andrew's in Stratton, set on a hilltop away from the centre of town, was, to my surprise, by far the most interesting.  But first, may I quote Pevsner on Stratton village.  "A medieval settlement that became a substantial market town and administrative centre, flourishing until the end of the 19th century when the arrival of the railway in 1898 fuelled the rapid rise of Bude as a seaside resort.  Stratton's gentle decline in the 20th century has ensured the survival of its charming, coherent character, its narrow little streets (some one way) climbing up the hill to the church.  The Church of St. Andrew stands on the top side of a triangle which, from the names, appears one to have contained a couple of pubs.  Despite Stratton's now relatively diminutive size, St. Andrew's is the mother church of Bude.  Unusually, one the materials used in its construction was honey-coloured Ham Hill stone, imported from Stoke sub Hamdon in Somerset.  Roofs throughout are of the Cornish Wagon type.  The north aisle dates from the 14th century but was largely rebuilt in the 19th century at which time much restoration was carried out.  The screen is perhaps the most striking feature, extending the full width of the church and the work of E H Sedding, completed in 1913;  its rood and rood stair are still in place.  There is a fine collection of bench ends, though Pevsner thinks little of them.  The font is simple and circular with an elaborate, presumably Victorian, cover.  The pulpit is 17th century with panels consisting of simple arches.  There is a good collection of stained glass including work by Morris & Co and Burne-Jones.  A pictorial altar cloth is (I think) of the three wise men (or is it of the three kings?);  behind is wooden panelling, above a five-arched reredos.  Pevsner says that the large Royal Arms is of Charles I but looks to me to be of George I. 




The "Clink" Door
Stratton St.Andrew Rood Screen
Bench End

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Content



Launcells near Strattton, St. Swithin,
I visited Launcells, tucked away apparently in the middle of nowhere, when on my way to Tamar Lakes for a walk there and on the Bude Canal.  Launcells, as a settlement, is almost non-existent, just the church, a farm and a cottage.  The church of St. Swithin, dating mostly from the 15th and 16th centuries, is set on a bank above one of the arms of the little River Neet.  By the river is St. Swithin's holy well.  Typically Cornish, the church has a nave, one aisle and tower of granite, one aisle of Polyphant stone.  The tower has four crocketed pinnacles.  Inside are three high wagon roofs with carved timbers.  There is a Victorian Gothick reredos below the east window.  Some flooring is of Barnstaple encaustic tiles, decorated with lions and, of all things, what appear to be pelicans.  But the woodwork is what takes the eye, even more so than in most Cornish churches.  In the north aisle are a Georgian pulpit, tester and box pews.  The south aisle has Jacobean screens, perhaps part of a former family pew - and a monument of an armoured Sir John Chamond.  Pride of place goes to the superb Tudor bench ends, each panel an allegory for a bible story.  A spade represents Christ the gardener.  Two footprints on a rock represent the Ascension.  Launcells is signed from the Stratton to Holsworthy road.  Ample parking but a warning not to take the vicar's space.
The church is usually open from about 10 a.m.
Launcells church, on a bank above the river
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Teath, St. Tetha's Church

St. Tetha's Church lies almost directly across the road from the excellent White Hart Inn in St. Teath.  To the right is the entrance to the graveyard, by its gate a tall Cornish Cross.  To the left teps lead up to a handsome lych gate.  The church lies to the left of the path, a stair turret on the north face of its tower.  I had driven through St. Teath on a number of occasions, most particularly when heading for the general area of Trebarwith and Trewarmet, on one occasion when preparing an item on Prince of Wales Engine House, on others when dong round walks from Jeffrey's Pit, one taking in Delabole Quarry, another including well known Trebarwith Strand.  On this occasion my expedition was first to revisit St. Tudy  to have a detailed look around its church, then to explore St. Teath.  This is a slightly difficult village;  a narrow road winds through it with little in the way of pavement and there is little parking unless you can justify using the White Hart Inn's vast car park.  The obvious focus of the village is the church but there are also some attractive cottages up lanes to the south of the church.  Opposite the pub a small square is dominated by a clock tower;  behind it is the church on a raised circular site, probably of pre-historic significance.  The church is dedicated to St. Tetha, though tobe one of the twenty four daughters of Welsh King Brychan.  The church consists of nave, two aisles and a three stage tower.  Inside are handsome roofs with carved bosses, a carved pulpit bearing a coat of arms, carved choir stall fronts, some good bench ends and a font that appears to be of blue Catacleuse stone.  A former church hall, on the edge of the churchyard, now operates as a snooker hall.




Sundial on Porch
St. Teath Church
Priest Figure

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Tudy
St. Tudy is a most attractive village which Jane and I first encountered in July 2006 when the village held an open gardens day.  There were some superb gardens shown, some of them out of the village proper, and we particularly enjoyed those at Brideswell, Cavalier Cottage and Garlands House.  On this occasion, in mid-September 2016, earlier in the day I had visited St. Teath and St. Kew;  later I spent time in St. Mabyn.  On one fringe of St. Tudy churchyard is a building which has had many uses;  it's present name derives from its days as the village lock-up - The Clink.  I have to admit to not being very keen on St. Tudy church which, after the attractiveness of the village, is really something of a disappointment.  In the churchyard there is no ancient Cornish Cross and inside the church, unlike most Cornish churches, there are no carved bench ends.  The porch, with its carved roof bosses, promises more than the interior can fulfill, although there are more carved roof bosses in the south aisle.  On the positive side, there is a good Norman font, an elaborate Stockton memorial, some fine slate memorials and a hog-back stone tomb cover, it's shape sugesting a possible Viking origin.  However I have to conclude that, in this instance, it is definitely the village which scores over the church.     More images of St. Tudy Church
St. Tudy church in the village centre

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More Images of St. Tudy



St. Tudy Nicholl Memorial
Ceiling Boss
Resurgam Hatchment

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Veep

I had always wanted to visit this strangely named place and to look around its church.  I took the opportunity to do so on a sunny Saturday in mid-December 2017, on my way to revisit Lanteglos-by-Fowey and Lansallos.  I also called in briefly to Polruan to find a Cornish Cross halfway up the hill on Fore Stree t.  I have no explanation for the name St. Veep since the church is dedicated not to Veep but to Saints Ciricus and Juletta.  Originally founded by Montacute Priory in 1269, nothing remains of that original church.  The present church was founded in 1336 though only the tower is likely to be of that period.  St. Veep stands within a circular lann and consists of crenellated tower, nave and south aisle.  The first ting to strike you when entering is the elaborate porch roof with carved wall plates and decorative ceiling bosses.  One might then expect elaborate Cornish ceilings inside but one is disappointed.  What is notable. and unusual, is the tower screen;  its upper sections are panelled and decorated rather as if they were sixteenth century windows.  There is a good slate floor, some of it of grave slabs.  Pews are good and some have older, medieval, bench ends grafted on to them.  The altar is of marble with consecration crosses.  The 17th century pulpit has intricate carvings, including cross keys and a swan.  Monuments include two worn late 16th century slates commemorating the Courtenay brothers.    More St. Veep
St. Veep church
Ancient bench ends in St. Veep church

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More St. Veep Church

On the late July Saturday when I re-visited St. Winnow church I also took the opportunity to re-visit that in St. Veep.  On this occasion first I lingered in the porch and admired the finely carved decoration of the wall-plate, to be found inside the church as well..  Inside I noted the heavily moulded capitals of the arcade pillars.  Somehow, on my previous visit to St. Veep, I managed to miss the fact that there is a squint between the north chancel aisle and the chancel.  This time I had no trouble finding it but I was more than a little puzzled that a couple of jugs had been placed in it;  surely the point of a squint was for the people to be able to peer through to see the priest.  A most unusual thsat I spotted this time is that there are two royal coats of arms on the walls - that of Charles I and that of George I.  Another thing that surprised me was the colourfully painted altar slab.  I also noticed a slate memorial to Sir Nicholas Courteney, surely of the Devon family.  I was also quite taken by the unusual font, somewhat hour-glass shaped and with carved decoration on each of its faces. 



Charles I Royal Arms
Decorated Font
George I Royal Arms

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




St. Wenn and Withiel
I visited the little villages of St. Wenn and Withiel in late September 2016.  Neither has pub, shop or post office though St. Wenn does have a primary school.  I have to say that, apart from Withiel's colourful organ and St. Wenn's lych gate, the churches are probably Cornwall's least interesting.  The most striking feature at Withiel is that the church sits up on a great mound, suggesting pre-historic occupation.  Oddly St. Wenn's church sits below the summit of the hill.  Withiel has carved roof bosses and an eye-catching colourful organ.  St. Wenn has a good medieval font. 
The lych gate at St. Wenn
South Aisle of Withiel Church
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




St. Wenn Revisited

Pevsner's current entry for St. Wenna's church is quite brief, less than half a page.  One might therefore expect a church of little interest.  I didn't find that to be the case but instead found plenty to enjoy.  There is a large free village car park a couple of hundred yards north-east of the church;  best to use this and approach the church by road, passing the school on your left and then taking a small gate into the churchyard.  The tower is less prominent than it once was.  Originally of three stages, the top stage was lost in a partial collapse in 1825.  On your way round to the south porch, pause on the south side of the tower to admire some of its detail, including the finely detailed west window over the striking (unused) west doorway.  Do note the sundial, not in its usual place over the doorway of the porch but on the west face of the tower;  dated 1855, it bears the inscription "Ye know not when."  A lot has happened to the church since it was built.  The chancel was rebuilt in 1825 and a major restoration was completed in 1889 by J P St. Aubyn (who else?).   Compared to Cornwall's grander churches the scale here is relatively intimate.  At the east end, the chancel has 19th century decoration, including a reredos of the Last Supper.  Glass in the east window is by Powell & Sons and is a striking grisaille with the figure of the Good Shepherd at its centre.  The font is possibly of the 12th century, of the Bodmin type with zig-zag decoration, standing on a plain central shaft and supported by four narrow shafts, each topped by a carved head.  Rather surprisingly, some fine decorative panels, bearing the Lord's Prayer and the Creed, are hidden away in the vestry.  The Lady Chapel is maintained as a Children's Corner and there are a couple of attractive modern hangings. 





Good Shepherd Window
Lord's Prayer & Creed Tiling
1855 Sundial on Tower Wall
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Winnow
I was first in St. Winnow with Jane in May 2004.  Later I returned in the course of a round walk from Lerryn that took in St. Winnow and the Ethy Estate.  On neither occasion did I venture inside the church.  However, I was back there in late July 2018 on a sunny Saturday when the church was being decked out for a wedding.  The setting is a delight;  the churchyard runs down to the banks of the Fowey River, a little north of its confluence with the River Lerryn.  Although there are no ancient Cornish Crosses in the churchyard, there is a good collection of more recent elaborate crosses, commemorating members of the Vivian family.  Inside there are very Cornish wagon roofs to the porch, nave and south aisle;  the latter has an elaborately carved wall-plate.  There is some nice colourful tiling to the chancel floor.  The altar table is Jacobean, the pulpit is of later that century.  Perhaps the most important feature of the interior is the medieval rood screen, a relatively rare survival, restored in 1907.  In the south-east window there is important 15th century stained glass.  The east window is of the same period.  The font, with an encircling inscription, carries smiling angels holding hands.  For me, despite all this magnificence, the highlight was the superb collection of 16th century carved bench ends, some of Cornwall's best.     More St. Winnow



St.Winnow Church
Pulpit
Rood and Chancel Ceiling

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




More St. Winnow
I revisited St. Winnow in late July 2019, on a day when I also took another look at the church at St. Veep.  Once again I was especially struck by the superb collection of bench ends, so I add a couple of photos of some of the most interesting, as well as one of the lovely font.   Bench end motifs include a man drinking from a flagon, a wheel over a jug and a sailing ship.  




Decorated Font
Bench End
Bench End
Bench End
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




South Hill, St. Sampson's Church

An unusual dedication, this;  there are only two St. Sampson's in Cornwall, the other at Golant, north of Fowey, overlooking the Fowey River.   South Hill lies about a mile south-east of Linkinhorne on the road to Callington.  It consists of little more than a couple of farms, a few cottages and the church.  After entering the churchyard through an ordinary but attractive iron gate (no lych gate here) look to your left to see a tall stone of no little significance, a Romano-British pillar, its Latin inscription reading"Cumregni/Fili Mauci" translating as "Cumregnus, son of Maucus."  An early church by Cornish standards, St. Sampson's was re-dedicated in 1333.  The usual Victorian restoration was by J D Sedding in 1872.  The church consists of a buttressed three-stage tower with carved heads on its west door, a porch, south aisle and nave.  The porch dates from the 15th century and has a wagon roof with attractive carved bosses.  Inside, the church feels lofty and spacious.  Chancel and south aisle also have wagon roofs.  There are good stained glass windows and a couple of less common plain etched glass; the stained glass east window in the chancel, of the Decorated period, is particularly fine.  The archway to the north transept (the Manaton Chapel) ia quite striking.  The Norman font is of the St. Austell type, with corner faces, trees o0f life and animal carving.  There is some nice tile work on the chancel floor. 




South Hill Inscribed Stone
Angel Carrying Shield with Cross
South Hill Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



South Petherwin and Lawhitton

At the beginning of January 2018 I made another trip to the Launceston area, this time primarily to visit the village of South Petherwin and to take a good look at its church.  On the way I made a detour to Lawhitton, to the south-east of Launceston.  It was a bit of a wasted journey as the church was firmly locked.  However I did note one unusual feature;  attached to the east side of the three-stage tower was a stair turret, itself in an unexpected three stages of square turret.  Next, in South Petherwin, I found car parking for the church and village hall.  The latter is quite entertaining, built of corrugated iron, painted green, and with a nice name plaque, probably designed by local children.  The church is quite impressive, standing high on a raised enclosure, not uncommon in Cornwall and possibly of pre-Christian origin.  Mosat unusually, the entrance to the church is by a north porch.  The first thing you notice, before entering, is a short massive pillar to the right of the porch;  Pevsner explains this as a relic of the Norman church that stood here previously.  Several things took my eye inside.  Wooden ceilings are barrel-vaulted with ribs and carved bosses.  The octagonal Jacobean (1631) pulpit is carved with fine linen-fold panelling.  The lectern has somewhat similar panelling.  Elaborate bench-ends carry figures of angels.  The altar table is decorated with panels of embroidered flowers.  An octagonal Norman font stands on a central column, surrounded by narrower columns.  A chair in the chancel appears to be of early date.  A wall monument to Ambrosius Manaton de Trecarrel is somewhat degraded but appears to date from 1651.  There are rood stairs but both openings are blocked by later wooden doors.


S. Petherwin pulpit
South Petherwin ribbed ceiling
Lawhitton Church

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Stithians
I visited Stithians in early September 2017 and was fortunate in having a warm and sunny day which gave me the chance to take some good photographs.  I had not previously been in Stithians village though I had been to Stithians Lake on several occasions, including one when Jane and I walked the full circuit of the lake, and a couple of occasions when I had stopped there to eat my sandwiches.  The only particularly interesting part of the village is the very northern end where the church is.  I was there primarily for the Cornish Crosses, one in the churchyard, another in the grounds of the Old Rectory opposite.   The church itself is of no special interest.  Of standard constructions it has tower, nave and two aisles.  Monuments include a handsome wall one to William Trewin.  There is a conventional octagonal font with an interesting and elaborate wooden cover.  The unusual altar cloth features a map of the parish.  Stithians is probably best known for its annual agricultural show.  Stithians Lake, a reservoir, is home to minor water sports including wind-surfing, canoeing and paddle boarding;  a cafe is open there in season. 




A Memorial
Stithians Church and War Memorial
Rectory Garden Cornish Cross
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Talland, St. Tallanus Church
I shall be visiting Talland September/October 2019, when the church has reopened to the public.







Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents





Temple Church (St. Catherine's) on Bodmin Moor

In late March 2006 I had just finished a tiring Copper Trail walk on Bodmin Moor.  Heading home on the A30 highway, an impulse made me detour briefly to drive through Temple village.  Once it was on an ancient route across Bodmin Moor but it has long been a backwater.  I revisted in early April, after another walk, this time on East Moor.  In the 12th century it was a place of some significance, boasting a small settlement and church built by the crusading Knights Templar (what on earth were they doing in Cornwall!).  The Templars held the right to conduct marriages without licence or banns.  As a result dubious marriages were made and the church acquired such a reputation that locals would say of a woman of ill repute "send her to Temple Moors", the ultimate ostracism.  After Parliament passed the Marriage Act in 1753, the church saw little use and became ruinous.  Sadly, rather than restoration, the Victorians pulled it down and built a new church.  I say sadly because it would be wonderful to have a round Templar church in Cornwall.  The saving grace is that stone from the old church was re-used and stones bearing degraded figures and crosses have been incorporated into wall of the outbuilding to the south side of the church.   
More images of Temple Church
Sgned from A30, 4 miles west of Bolventor
Temple church in a sheltered hollow below the village
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




More Images of Temple Church (St. Catherine's) on Bodmin Moor
I revisited Temple Church in early August 2019.    This time I was delighted to find it open so I was able to take some interior photos.  The church is essentially very simple and its best feature is its stained glass much of which relates to the founders of the church, the Kights Templar and their successors here, the Knights Hospitaller. 


Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Tintagel, St. Materiana 
The two best things about Tintagel are the climb to the top of the 'Island' in search of King Arthur and the parish church of St. Materiana, both well away from the tawdry bustle of the tourist-trap village.  Its siting is odd, stranded on a clifftop to the west of the town;  a whole early settlement must have gone missing here.  Inside, a simple Norman granite font stands on a most unusual plinth of small upright slates set in a checker pattern, almost as if architect Sir Edwin Lutyens had designed it as part of one of his unusual garden paths.  Wood work in the church is unusual;  the reredos appears to be made of old bench ends which carry carvings of the Passion and of local coats of arms.  From the clifftop beyond the church you get a view of The Island on which Tintagel Castle stands.  As you walk or drive along Church Hill on the way to St. Materiana's church, you pass Tintagel Vicarage, the tiny Fontevrault Chapel, converted from a barn, in its gatehouse, a dovecot in its garden.  If you do drive, there are parking spaces close to the church.  You can approach Tintagel Castle along the cliff from the church.   More images of St. Materiana, Tintagel

For Tintagel village, do read my current review

St. Materiana's church in the late evening sun

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Reviews Content




More Images of St. Materiana, Tintagel

In mid-August 2019 Jane and I revisited Tintagel, partly for a view of the new bridge linking mainland and island, partly for me to take some new photographs in /st. Materiana's Church.  The following are my choice of the new images. 


Screen & Chancel, St. Materiana
Panel made uip of old Bench Ends
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Reviews Content


Towednack near St. Ives, St. Winwaloe's Church
I really only went to see the little church at Towednack because it was used as the location for the wedding of Francis and Elizabeth in the BBC Poldark series.  I discovered that it is well worth seeing in its own right.  Hidden up a narrow lane, off a narrow country road, roughly between Trendrine Hill and Rosewall Hill, it is a delight with one unique feature for Cornwall:  its stumpy two-stage tower carries no pinnacles.  The present church seems to date from 12th to 16th centuries but the site, a raised one, is almost certainly far earlier than that and might even be a pre-Christian one.  The Winwaloe connection is an interesting one.  Apparently he was a 6th century Breton hermit, and is also known by two diminutives, Winnow and Wednack, so there may well be connections with St. Winnow near Fowey, Gunwalloe Church Cove and Landewednack Church Cove on the Lizard and Poundstock Church near Bude.  Inside is simple and charming, wagon-roofed, the aisle divided from the nave by a fine arcade.  The chancel arch, of around 1400 is said to be unique in Cornwall.  Two unusual features are a rough granite altar, bearing five carved crosses, and the font, the bowl of which is dated 1720, the base being an upturned Norman font.  Outside the porch are remains of two Cornish crosses;  in the graveyard is a primitive table tomb.  I was delighted to see this lovely little church and can understand why it was used for Poldark.
 Towednack's charming little church
The Tinners Way passes through Towednack         More notes and  images
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More Notes and Images of St. Winwaloe's Church, Towednack

The very first time I saw St. Winwaloe's Church in Towednack was when I was walking a round trail from St. Ives to Lands End and back.  This took me out on a lowland route known as the Zennor Churchway and back over the central spine of West Penwith hills on a high level route known as The Old St. Ives Road.  On that occasion I crossed a stile out of a field and found myself alongside a small church with a truncated two-stage tower.  This was the church of St. Winwaloe.  I didn't go in and it was not until January 2017 that I inspected the inside of the church briefly.  Two and a half years passed then at the end of August 2019 I had an outing way down west with the specific intention of taking a much closer look at St. Winwaloe's.  The very first thing that you notice is a gatepost at the start of the lane to the church with the words "This roadway was constructed and presented to the Parish of Towednack by Sir Edward Hain, Lord of the Manor, 16 November 1914."  Walk up the short lane and you come to an open area to the south of the church with a toilet and ample room for parking.  On this 2019 visit I noticed a few things that I must have missed the first time round.  Although there are none of the carved ends to the benches that you see in so many Cornish churches, there are a couple of bench ends - displayed on a wall.  These are the bench ends which were stolen in 1987 but eventually recovered and returned.  I also saw a couple of original panels, surprisingly colourful, once part of a rood screen.  One is now incorporated in the pulpit steps which are unusually carpeted.  Another surprise was to see the Norman font, not in use as such but providing, inverted, the base for the present font. 


The Stolen Bench Ends Towednack's Colourful Chancel Ceiling Font (or two!)

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Trebetherick, St. Enodoc Church, 
Technically a Chapel of Ease, the history of the little church of St. Enodoc is shrouded somewhat in mystery.  Cornwall Calling says it was built around 1430 but Simon Jenkins in his authoritative England's Thousand Best Churches refers to its Norman interior.  Its history, however, goes back much further than that.  It is probably on the site of the cell of St. Gwinnodock who, during the 6th century, is said to have baptised converts in the Jesus Well on the other side of St. Enodoc golf course which surrounds the church.  Architecturally it is an odd church.  The south door leads into an aisle.  Beyond is the nave with a north transept to which the tower, with its strange, slightly twisted broach spire, is attached.  The late poet laureate, Sir John Betjeman, who had a second home nearby and who loved the church, is buried in its churchyard, as is his mother. 
Standing on sand dunes, the church was almost lost at one time.  In the 19th century encroaching sand buried it up to roof level and the only way the vicar could get in was through a skylight in the roof.  To maintain his living he would hold one service a year.  Happily in 1863 the then vicar, Rev. Hart Smith, organised its excavation and restoration.  Even more happily, that restoration maintained its character.  It is safe now, protected by a Cornish hedge planted with tamarisk.
St. Enodoc, the church in the sand
Accessible only on foot across the golf course.
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Tregony, St. Cuby's Church

I had a busy last Saturday of March 2018, visiting three churches in the  direction of Truro:  St. Cuby, Tregony;  St. Cornelius, Cornelly; and St. Keyne at Kenwyn on the northern outskirts of Truro.  Tregony village, a nice place with most amenities including Post Office, shop and pub, is a long one street village on a steep hill from the infant River Fal up to the church at the very top of the hill.  I had been inside Tregony church previously but, on this occasion I was there primarily for the inscribed stone built into the south-west corner of the south aisle.  The inscription apparently reads "Nonnita ercilini rigati .....tris fili ercilini", but is very difficult to decipher.  From the lych gate, an avenue of tombstones leads to the porch with its vaulted roof and door with elaborate ironwork.  Inside are nave and south aisle.  The royal coat of arms, unusually, is of James II.  The font is late Norman, with heads at each corner, as at Bodmin.  The hexagonal pulpit incorporates medieval bench ends, part of the reason there are no old ends on the present benches.  A wall monument of 1644 commemorates Hugh Pomeroy.  The organ casing incorporates a screen with paintings of saints.  Attractive kneelers include one of roses, one of an RNLI lifeboat and one of sheep in a field. 



The painted organ screen
Tregony Church
Bodmin type font

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Reviews Content




Tregaminion

I first encountered the little church of Tregaminion, in the middle of nowhere about 2 miles from Fowey, while walking the Saints way from Fowey to Padstow in early summer 2006.  I visited it again, in early September 2018, at the beginning of a day seeing St. Andrew's Church in Tywardreath and St. Fimbarrus Church in Fowey.  The church was built in 1815 as a Chapel of Ease to St. Andrew's at Tywardreath.  It was closed each time.  Notable features, visible from the outside, are a small bellcote and the old arms of the Rashleighs, unearthed when the church was being built.  To the right of the church, on a bank, is quite a tall Cornish Cross.  To the left, also on a bank, is a short Cornish Cross. 




Tregaminion Tall Cornish Cross
Tregaminion Church
Tregaminion Short Cornish Cross
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Content



Tremaine, St. Winwaloe's Church
At the very end of August 2019 I revisited St. Winwaloe's in Towednack, west of St. Ives;  by coincidence, my first visit in the following September was to another St. Winwaloe's, this one just outside Tremaine, to the north of the road from Davidstow to Launceston.  This is an unusual little church.  Standing quarter of a mile to the north-west of Tremaine village it also stands on a lann, a raised, probably Celtic, site.  It is a small, simple two-cell church, its nave and chancel totalling only 45 feet overall.  Its stubby three-stage tower is buttressed and topped by crocketed pinnacles.  The north wall dates from Norman times and has a small blocked doorway up a couple of steps.  The church was partly rebuilt at the turn of the 13th century and windows were replaced at the turn of the 15th century.  The interior has a charming simplicity.  The 15th century wagon roof is ceiled and plastered with moulded ribs, a carved wall-plate and a variety of carved bosses.  Windows vary;  a simple two light window, a Gothick three-light window in the chancel.  In the north wall a narrow flight of steps may have led to a former rood loft.  The Norman font is circular with cable moulding.  The chancel has dark marble paving and the simple altar is of dark stone. 



St. Winwaloe's Simple Wagon-roofed Nave
The Church on its Lann
Simple Two-light Window
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Content



Tresillian, Holy Trinity Church

Situated as it is on one angle of a double bend, Holy Trinity Church in Tresillian, on the road from St. Austell to Truro, is very easy to miss.  However, if you can find somewhere to park, this small church is well worth a visit.  You will, however, need to go to "A Church near you" to make arrangements for a visit, as Holy Trinity is firmly locked normally.  I did make such arrangements and was pleased that I did so.  Viewed from the road (best from the Truro direction) Holy Trinity is not unattractive its nave topped by a triple bell-cote.  Also from the road, do note the small Cornish Wayside Cross head below its (approximately) west front.  Holy Trinity dates from 1904 and is by W D Carὅe in an Arts and Crafts style.  While the exterior is perfectly pleasant, it is not outstanding, particularly as it mcan be difficult to see for traffic.  What is important is the collection of fittings inside which were brought from the abandoned church at Merther, a couple of miles to the SSW of Tresillian.   These include the 12th century octagonal-shafted Pentewan stone FONT;  the 17th century polygonal Jacobean oak PULPIT with carved panels;  the 15th century figure of ST. ANTHONY carved in Catacleuse stone;  the wheel-head CORNISH CROSS which stands at the roadside in front of the church;  and, of the trio of bells, prominent in the bell-cote above the end of the church, two are from Merther, the third from the detached bell-tower at Lamorran.   More images of Holy Trinity, Tresillian




Holy Trinity Church, Tresillian
The Cornish Cross
The Bellcote
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Content



More Images of Tresillian, Holy Trinity Church



Tresillian, Jacobean Pulpit
St. Anthony Figure
Tresillian, Old Holy Water Stoup
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Content



Treslothan. St. John's Church
When I walked from Beacon to Clowance on the Land's End Trail, I was really surprised by Treslothan hamlet.  All very grey and Victorian gothic but all most beautifully maintained.  This was the estate village of nearby Pendarves House and survived intact when the Georgian home of the Pendarves family was demolished in 1955.  All built in the 1840s by architect George Whitwick, the church, houses and former school are all of the same silvery grey granite and surround a war memorial.  Contrast the number of names on the memorial with the smallness of the village;  these must all have been workers on the large but dispersed Pendarves estate.  Next to the church is the Pendarves Mausoleum.   Buried in the churchyard is self-taught Camborne born poet John Harris.  On a corner by woods is the former village well. From here a footpath heads roughly south, first passing the former village school, now a private home, then continuing through fields and woods to the road from Troon to Carwynnen.  If you are visiting Carwynnen Quoit, re-erected in 2014 by the Sustainable Trust, this is as good a route to take as any, turning right on the road towards Carwynnen for a short distance, then right through a gate into a field.  Immediately inside the gate is a good storyboard;  the quoit is across the field.




Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Trethevy, St. Piran's Church
I plan to visit this church during early October 2019.






Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Trevalga, Saint Petroc

I was first in Trevalga when walking the Cornish Coast Path;  that particular walk was a round one from Boscastle along the coast to Trevalga, returning inland.  I was much taken with the village and by its history but only did a brief walk around on that occasion.  However, on a fine Saturday in July 2018 I had been to visit the churches of Minster and Forrabury and, having some time in hand, decided to take a good look at St. Petroc's, Trevalga which I had not previously been inside, despite having visited to photograph the Cornish Cross in the churchyard.  The church's origins are probably in Norman times but much of the fabric is of the 13th to 15th century.  The chancel and transept still have their original medieval roofs but the nave roof was part of an 1875 restoration by J P St. Aubyn (who else!).  The altarpiece is a 16th century carved Flemish triptych;  it is flanked by 17th century panelling with re-used medieval bench ends below (Pevsner).  Two windows of 1893 are by Clayton and Bell.  A small wall monument to Samuel Roscarrock dates from 1640.  In the graveyard, a wheel-headed Cornish Cross stands near the porch;  not far away a small slate memorial of 2016 commemorates Beth Lugg, Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd. 





Trevalga Church
Cornish Cross in churchyard
Shepherd Bench End

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Reviews Content



Truro Cathedral

I should be ashamed of myself that, except for my friend Robert's marriage to Hayley, I had never been inside the Cathedral in Truro until I visited in early March 2018.  Truro's new cathedral, architect J L Pearson, also responsible for St. John's in Devoran, was begun in 1880 on the site of St. Mary's church.  Very sensibly - and sensitively - Pearson did not pull down St. Mary's Church on the site but instead incorporated part of the old church as a south aisle.  Nicely, Pearson retained the wagon roof of St. Mary's, complete with modern bosses, a very Cornish feature to keep.  The style is an elaborate form of Early English Gothic and the west front, overlooking a cobbled square, is impressive.  The exterior of the cathedral is if Cornish Carnsew with Bath stone for the detailing.  The interior is of St. Stephen's granite, again with Bath stone dressing.  Pevsner describes Truro Cathedral as Pearson's masterpiece and I certainly would not dispute that.  As always in great buildings, whether homes or churches, look up:  this cathedral soars.  Among the things to look out for are:  in the south aisle, the Boer War Memorial, the Newlyn Harbour stained glass, the Wesley Window showing both John and Charles at Gwennap Pit, and a 14th century Pieta of Caen granite.  In the south transept the Delabole slate floor commemorates the visit in 1994 of the Queen and the rose window remembers Bishop Benson whose brass is in the chapel next to the Baptistry, where a marble font has an elaborate wooden cover.    Above the altar, an ornate triptych was designed by the architect's son, Frank.  Behind the High Altar is a superb reredos of Christ first crucified, then glorified.  In the North Quire Aisle not a large terracotta frieze of The Way of The Cross.  In the North Transept a grand monument commemorate John and Phillipa Robartes.  There is superb stained glass in the North Transept Rose Window and in the West Rose Window.  In the North Aisle do not miss John Miller's painting Cornubia, Land of The Saints or the superb Eagle Lectern. On leaving, across the square, I was delighted to notice for the first time a Cornish Cross, not a modern one but a genuine early one, albeit it somewhat degraded. 




Old St. Mary's Church
Cathedral West Front
Caen Stone Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Tuckingmill, All Saints Church

I had hoped to visit All Saints in Tuckingmill on the same day that I was at Penponds and Treslothan.  Unfortunately it was firmly locked.  For the moment, the best I can do is use an exterior photo and take my information from Pevsner.  This is an early Victorian church, completed by John Hayward of Exeter in 1846.  Externally, Pevsner admired it but I find it not very prepossessing, too dark and massive.  Unusually, the tower, instead of attaching to the west end of the nave, is attached to the south aisle.  The five-stage tower, with its low pitched roof and stair-turret, is perhaps the most striking exterior feature.  The interior is both unusual and striking, the walls white-painted but un-plastered. The roof is arch-braced.  The chancel arch is semi circular slender set-in shafts and dog-tooth moulding.  The font is early Norman and came from a former chapel at Menadarva, a small settlement north-west of Camborne.  Stained glass in the chancel, described by Pevsner as "bright and dazzling," is from around 1847 by Joseph Bell. 




All Saints, from the south.  Note the short stair turret.
All Saints, from the norh-west

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Tywardreath

I made three church visits on a dull Saturday at the beginning of September.  First call was at Tregaminion Church - closed but I got photos of the two Cornish Crosses - my second was to Tywardreath's parish church and my final visit was to the church of St. Fimbarrus in Fowey.  There was once a Priory here but no sign of it remains although there is still a Priory Lane and Prior's Cottages.  Tywardreath's church is easy for parking, there is room right below the west gate and the War Memorial at the western end of Church Street.  Before entering the church it is worth first going to the east gate, outside which is a tiny Memorial Square.  Enter by that east gate and you pass another War Memorial on your way to the south porch.   But, before entering, look to the left of the porch where there is some old masonry on a grassy patch.  The octagonal upright to the front of the grass is said to have been the stone post that marked the route across the bay in the days when the sea came right up to Tywardreath, as described in Daphne du Maurier's "House on the Strand", a literal translation from the Cornish Tywardreath.  St. Andrew's Church looms large in the attractive village.  The tower is 14th and 15th century;  the body of the church was rebuilt in the 1880s.  The lofty, spacious interior is attractive.  Oak Cornish Wagon roofs have boarded panels and carved - but not painted - bosses.  Furnishings are impressive.  An octagonal font is 15th century and has shields within quatrefoils within circles.  The attractive pulpit is made from 16th century bench ends and parts of the former rood screen, all varied and quite distinctive.  There are some fine bench ends on the pews of the North Transept.  The High Altar is of Caen stone with 14th century consecration crosses.  There are a slightly cumbersome looking parclose screens.  A slate memorial of 1534 remembers Thomas Colyns, last prior of the lost priory.  On the walls are several memorials to members of the local Rashleigh family, most associated with their harbour at Charlestown.  A partial slate memorial of 1632 remembers Jane Rashleigh. 




Tywardreath Carved Pulpit
Tywardreath Church from the east
Tywardreath W.I. Banner

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Content



Veryan, St. Symphorian

I revisited Veryan early in July 2017.  I had been there many times before, most particularly when doing a round walk from Portloe, heading first to Veryan, then by Carne Beacon to Carne Beach and on back to Portloe by the high and relatively difficult Nare Head, where you have not one but two fair climbs.  I had also been there especially to photograph the most unusual and attractive round houses and to visit the lovely Trist House garden (I think it still opens but it may be best to ring the Salmons on 01872 501422 to check).  On this occasion I was there for the well and for St. Symphorian's church.  But first I enjoyed coffee and a bacon roll in Elerkey House, opposite the excellent New Inn.  The well was erected by the Rev. Samuel Trist (of Trist House) in 1910.  The church, tucked into a hill-side, is approached along an avenue of hydrangeas.  It consists of nave, aisle and three-stage pinnacled tower.  In the sloping graveyard above are two sealed mausoleums.  Inside is a font with four columns and heads at each corner;  an attractive carved wooden pulpit;  a wooden roof supported by wooden beams with carved bosses;  two charming sections of the former rood screen;  on a window sill is a model of  four masted sailing ship.  In the churchyard a a charming sun dial.  
Veryan is signed from A3078 Tregony to St. Mawes road
Hydrangea-lined path to the church

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Wadebridge, St. Petroc's Church, Egloshayle
Considering that I live in Wadebridge, I am a little disappointed in myself that in sixteen years I have only been inside St. Petroc's church when there have been exhibitions on, such as wreaths and photos of old Wadebridge and Egloshayle.  At last, in December 2018, I have rectified that.  At the very beginning of the month, Jane, Meg the collie and i crossed Anneka's bridge and walked across the cricket field to Egloshayle Road and on to the church.  Jane and Meg stayed in the porch while I went inside to take photos, though first I photographed the two Cornish Crosses, one on each side of the porch.  The porch has a timber roof, with carved bosses:  not an exceptional collection.  The tower dates from 1477 and was built at the orders of the Rev. John Lovibond, vicar of the time and the man responsible for getting the impressive 17 arch (now only 13 are visible) bridge built over the river to link the then major settlement, Egloshayle, with the infant Wadebridge, now the main settlement.  Before entering, do look at the elaborate west door:  the door surrounds are made of blue Catacleuse stone, bearing serpents and angel labels and, on the left, three hearts banded by a ribbon bearing the word "Loveybond."  Of the 12th to 14th century church some stonework remains.  Inside there are nave and south aisle, the latter with a carved wagon roof and a fine collection of stained glass.  A full north aisle was never completed, just the present transept.  A major restoration was carried out by J P St. Aubyn in 1867.  By the south door is a Norman holy water stoup.  The Norman font is of the Purbeck type.  The impressive octagonal pulpit is of Caen stone.  Two-light windows in the nave are by William Morris's company.  Impressive monuments are mostly to the local Molesworth family, still at nearby Pencarrow.  Note the eaborate holy water stoup just inide the church, to the left of the door.




Caen Stone Pulpit
Egloshayle, St. Petroc's Church
Holy Water Stoup

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Warleggan

I visited Warleggan's church on the same day in late July as I visited that at St. Winnow.  The locations could not be more different.  St. Winnow overlooks the Fowey River and looks across the river to dense woodland.  Warleggan's church is well inland and is not far from the southern extremity of Bodmin Moor.  The first time I was in Warleggan was in June 2006 when Jane and I attended an "Open Gardens" day.  The next time I was on my own and on foot.  I was following Stage Four of Mark Camp's Circular Copper Trail and parked at the southern end of Colliford Lake followed a route over Carburrow Tor and by way of Whitewalls, Wheal Whisper, Wooda Bridge and Warleggan on the way to Mount. I also remember another walk in the area on which I arrived at Warleggan up a remarkably steep and rocky so-called byway up from Barleysplatt Wood.  On this occasion, however, in late July 2018 I was in Warleggan solely for the church.  I had been there before but only for the Cornish Cross and had not then been in the church.  St. Bartholemew's stands on a mound at the top of a hill and parking is possible there.  It is a small low church with a Cornish Cross near the porch.  The battlemented tower once had a spire but that fell in 1818.  The nave and chancel are 13th century and an added south aisle is 15th century.  Granite piers are carved with designs from nature, one of a man with a spear, one of a bear, a third of a hare and leverets.  The 14th century font has an octagonal stone bowl.  On the north wall the royal coat of arms is of good plasterwork.  An alms box is 18th century.  A slate monument of 1618 is to Richard Bere.  Stained glass is late Victorian.  The altar has three simple carved wood panels, a similar  reredos above.  The simple wooden pulpit stands on a granite base.  On the organ casing are wooden panels forming war memorials. 



Warleggan Church on its Mound
Cornish Cross by Porch
Very Simple Pulpit

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Wendron, St. Wendrona's  
Almost nothing is known of Wendron's patron Saint Wendrona.  Her church, typically Cornish of local granite, is mostly of the 14th and 15th centuries and stands on what may be a pagan mound.  Both tower and south porch are adorned with handsome pinnacles.   Inside there are some unexpected carvings - crude angels on the capitals of the north transept and the double headed eagle of Richard, Earl of Cornwall and 'King of the Romans', by the pulpit.  Unexpectedly the rood stairs are still in place.  The lych gate by the road is unusual and fascinating;  it is of two storeys, the upper entered either from the churchyard or by steps from the road.  Its coffin rest is still in place. 

St. Wendrona's Church
The Lych Gate



St. Wendrona's Cornish Crosses

4-Hole Cross in Churchyard

Crude Cross Heads in Church
Cross In Graveyard

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Whitstone, St. Anne's Church

I had originally intended, on the June Saturday when I visited North Tamerton Church, to take a close look at St. Anne's church in Whitstone.  Unfortunately it was closed but, when photographing the church, I noticed on an exterior south wall an attractively carved slate, dated 1712, commemorating Thomas Edgcumbe.  Set below the church, on its south side, is the restored St. Anne's Well.  The well house is in good condition, probably restored in the late 18th century, and is in water.  I could find no convenient allocated parking so I backed down the lane to the lych gate and parked there.  Although unable to gain entry this time, I believe there may be a local keyholder and I shall check for that next time I visit Whitstone.  Notes from Pevsner:  15th century roofs over nave and chancel.  Encaustic floor tiles.  A chair incorporates 16th century bench ends.  A circular Norman font has a leaf frieze.  Stained glass is late 19th century.  The lych gate dates from 1882.   

Revisit:  I returned to Whitstone in July 2018 and found a keyholder - just before he left for the day.  I was glad that I did:  the interior of St. Anne's church held unexpected treasures, not mentioned in Peter Beacham's revised 2014 Pevsner.  The first thing I noticed was the fascinating porch:  a Cornish wagon roof has one boss of a carved face and the granite door surround is quite striking.  The interior has much to commend it, too,  Nave and two aisles have differing roofs, the north aisle being a much lower Cornish wagon roof.  The chancel is approached through an elaborate screen, topped by a rood. Inside the chancel a three light window is contained within a massive surround, as if this were once an entrance.  The chancel ceiling is of the wagon type with multiple bosses.  There is a priest's chair and an unusual litany desk with attached chair.  The carved oak pulpit appears to carry mason's symbols.  The altar has three arches with elaborate carving and lettering.  But the most striking feature of all may be very recent as it gets no mention in Pevsner.  This is the series of thirteen "Stations of the Cross" paintings in elaborate frames that line the walls.  All in all a fascinating church which I was really pleased to visit.


St. Anne's Church, Whitstone                              More Whitstone images
St. Anne's Well

Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



More Whitstone Images

Carved oak pulpit
Rood beneath elaborate ceiling with bosses
Stations of the Cross

Back to Whitstone church
Return to Holy Sites

Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents




Withiel Revisited

The most unusual thing about St. Clement's church is that, as you approach it from the east, it stands high above you on a site that was probably a pre-Christian lann site.  The tower is striking:  in three stages, it is crowned by tall crocketed pinnacles;  a stair turret hides on the north-east side.  The earliest part of the present church is the 13th century tall, narrow north door, long out of use.  Nave and chancel appear to be 14th century.  A north chancel, of the same period, was probably originally a chantry for the Brevill family.  A south aisle was added in the early 16th century;  it bears the arms of Prior Vivian of Bodmin.  You enter through a porch carrying a sundial below a small elaborate cross.  The porch is entered through a four-centre arch and has a wagon roof with a couple of carved bosses. Above the door to the body of the church is a tympanum with a carved shield;  to the right of the door is a holy water stoup.  Inside, the south aisle arcade has a carved wagon roof, the nave and chancel have plain wagon roofs.  Unlike nearby St. Wenn, which has lost its bench pews, St. Clement's still has its.  Several features about St. Clement's stand out:  the font, believed to date from 1476, has an octagonal bowl with carved panels and the stem, too, is elaborately carved.  Behind the font are painted gothic panels carrying the ten commandments and other texts.  The organ is as colourful as any I have seen, painted vivid blue and gold.  Windows have fragments of stained glass, including a fragment with the arms of Prior Vyvyan.  A  slate headstone dated 1811, remembers Henry Vyvyan.  In the churchyard, 19th century gates are of cast iron. 





Withiel Pulpit
Withiel Porch Roof Boss
Withiel Font Shaft

Back to Withiel original entry
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Zennor, St. Senara
When I parked in Zennor for a walk to find Zennor and Mulfra Quoits in September 2006, I first investigated the church which is full of interest.  From outside you see a pinnacled tower, nave, aisle and chapel, all medieval.  By the entrance gate is an old cross head;  two more adorn the grave of Admiral Borlase near the lych gate, where an old statue tops a modern pillar.  By the south wall is an inscribed stone, above it a memorial to John Davey, apparently the last Cornish speaker, though it seems only as an academic exercise.  Inside are typical Cornish wagon roofs, two fonts - one Norman - a statue of an unknown saint and the famous 'Mermaid seat'.  Victorian restoration means that walls and pews are plain.  Two legends.  Senara, married to a Breton king, was accused of infidelity, put in a barrel, thrown into the sea, fed by angels, gave birth to a son, Budoc, and washed up in Ireland.  On her way home she founded this church.  The 'Mermaid seat' has a bench end on which is carved a mermaid holding a comb and mirror.  Legend has it that the mermaid entranced Matthew Trewhella and lured him to Pendour Cove where he drowned. It is said that on quiet nights the two can be heard singing beneath the waves.  In the churchyard are several Cornish Crosses and one lantern cross.
St. Senara's church, Zennor
Just of B3306 St. Ives to St. Just-in-Penwith
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


**********************************************************************************

Other Sites

Come-to-Good, Quaker Meeting House  

Cornwall has always been fertile ground for what the Church of England likes to call nonconformism.  Some of John Wesley's greatest successes were in Cornwall where mining communities turned out in their thousands to hear him preach (see Gwennap Pit).  A hundred years before Wesley an even simpler creed had taken hold in Cornwall, led by the important Falmouth ship-owning Fox family, appropriately since the founder of the Quakers was George Fox, though he was from Leicestershire.  There are several Quaker Meeting Houses in Cornwall.  One of the most charming is to be found just off the road to Trelissick Garden.  Technically called Feock Meeting House - Feock is a pleasing small waterside village a mile or two further on - it actually stands in the almost non-existent settlement of Come-to-Good (a nice biblical ring to that).  It was derelict when Jane first knew it, but has now been re-thatched and restored and is again a place of worship.  The exterior is as charming as the best of meeting houses and features thatch, whitewash and leaded windows.  The interior is simplicity itself and, even when empty, has a touching tranquillity.  You can see other places associated with the Foxes - why not visit their gardens at Glendurgan and Trebah, both within half an hour of here.
Come-to-Good Meeting House
Only photographable in winter;  summer view obscured by trees
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Busveal,
Gwennap Pit

John Wesley first came to Cornwall in 1743 and one of the first areas he visited was the copper belt to the south of Camborne and Redruth.  One of the first places he preached was the busy complex of mines at Gwennap, an area he returned to time and again over the years.  When Wesley came to the area in September the weather was particularly stormy and, for protection from the wind and so the crowd could hear him, he preached in a natural amphitheatre created by a mine-shaft collapse.  He returned there 17 times, preaching to crowds claimed to be as large as 30,000.  In 1806 local mine captains rebuilt the pit with its present 13 concentric rings of turfed seating.  In 1836 Busveal chapel was built close by.  In the 1980s sculptor Guy Sanders created the series of commemorative panels.  A small visitor centre is open from Whitsun to September.  A service is held every Whit Monday.  Gwennap Pit is not an easy place to find but the effort is worth it for the special atmosphere.  From A30 at Scorrier east of Redruth take B3298 south, turn right into St. Day centre, then west.  Not far from Gwennap Pit is Carharrack Museum of Cornish Methodism in Carharrack's Methodist Church.  It has a small collection of Wesleyana and artefacts of Cornish Methodist history and is open by appointment only with Mr Barrie S May -  01209 820381. 
 Gwennap Pit
At Busveal near St. Day.   See also Wesley's Cottage
Click here for information on other preaching pits
Return to Holy Sites

Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Holywell, The Two Holy Wells  
When a village is named Holywell you would certainly expect to find one holy well but Holywell has two.  One is in a cave at the northern end of the superb beach and is accessible only at lowish tide.  The cave is just before the mussel covered rocks.  Don't go straight in but climb the rocks on the left-hand side;  beware, they are very slippery.  You then come to the calcified rock steps, water running down and leaving small cool pools.  The spring is at the top of the steps.  If unsure of the location, ask Mike in the NT car park.  The other is by the bottom pond on the golf course and is easily accessed by a path though Trevornick Holiday Park.  This one was only rediscovered in 1916 and restored in 1936.  The ground within the gothic enclosure is very wet.  Experts argue about which site was the holy well that attracted medieval pilgrims.  My guess is the golf course one as the coastline will have receded and the spring in the cave might only have become visible relatively late on. 
Holywell Bay, the calcified steps of the spring in the cave
Holywell, the restored holy well on the golf course
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Menacuddle Holy Well, near St. Austell
As so often with Cornish names, you can take your choice of what this one means.  A. L. Rowse, who was born just a couple of miles away, was sure Menacuddle means Rock Well, Craig Wetherhill opts for Hillside Thicket, and Cheryl Straffon goes for St. Guidel's Well.  It would be nice to think it was the latter so that it could truly be a holy well.  Whatever it means, it seems to be a fact that the well house was built in the 14th or 15th century, was incorporated in a pleasure ground by Charles Rashleigh in 1820 and was restored by Admiral Sir Charles Sawle in 1921 and given to St. Austell as a memorial to his only son, lost in action at Ypres in 1914.  It is thought that a chapel (sometimes referred to as a baptistry) stood next to the well house, in which a spring still rises.  I made a walk of it, parking at Wheal Martyn and walking a clay trail to the edge of St. Austell.  If you are coming by car, you leave St. Austell on B3274 towards Bodmin, pass under the railway viaduct and take the first little turning on the left;  beware, it's difficult to get out again.  It is a peaceful spot, the well house reached by a small footbridge over the White River (or St. Austell River) which rises in the clay fields and has a lovely soft blue-green colour.  A 'Druid's Seat' on the opposite bank was presumably made for Sir Charles Rashleigh.
The Well House across the blue-green White River
On B3274 to Bugle, just north of St.Austell
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Sancreeed - Cornish Crosses and a Holy Well and Chapel
In July 2006 I had called in at Sancreed, on my way to walk on Carnyorth Common, in search of a stone circle and some boundary stones, planning just to see a couple of much admired Cornish crosses that I had read about.  In the event I stayed much longer than expected as I learned there was a nearby holy well and chapel remains and then I discovered there were bronze age remains on Sancreed Beacon.  The church is attractive and clearly mainly of the 14th or 15th centuries. I wasn't able to get in but, if the interior has anything as good as the carved bosses on the porch roof timbers, it should be worth seeing - I hope to return on another occasion to see the inside. 
The Cornish crosses are amongst the very best, with surprisingly clear detail for their thousand year age.  There are also cross heads embedded in the churchyard walls.  Just up the road, through what looks like a garden gate on the left, is a holy well, steps leading down to it, a 'prayer' tree to its left, relics of those for whom prayers are offered hanging from it, and ruins of a chapel to its right.  All that spoils the peace is a rather ugly modern pastiche of a Cornish cross.  If you continue up the hill, on your right you find Sancreed Beacon with bronze age remains and impressive views.
From Penzance, turn right at the end of Drift village
Saint Credan's Church
October 2014: The church has been placed on English Heritage's 'Buildings at Risk' register, needing urgent repairs to the roof and fabric.  The major cross in the churchyard, in danger of toppling, has also been added to the register. 
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Trewint,
Wesley's Cottage  

One of the most hallowed Methodist sites in Cornwall, Wesley stayed here on several occasions.  But there is much more to the story than that.  The cottage was owned by stonemason Digory Isbell.  In his absence, his wife Elizabeth gave food and drink to two strangers who, after eating, knelt and prayed 'without benefit of a book'.  They were two of Wesley's advance agents.  Digory was impressed by the story of the strangers and when Wesley returned to Cornwall a year or so later, he was made welcome and blessed the cottage and its owners.  Later Digory, having read a passage in his bible about the Shunamite woman who built a 'Prophet's Chamber' for a man of God, built an extension to his own house - a chapel with a bedroom over - for Wesley and his preachers. Trewint became a flourishing centre of Methodism but, as other chapels were built in Cornwall, the rooms in Trewint fell into disuse and became derelict.  Happily, in 1950 they were restored and opened to the public.  Wesley Day celebrations are held in May each year in what is believed to be the world's smallest Methodist preaching place.  Digory and Elizabeth Isbell are both buried in the churchyard at nearby Altarnun.  Local legend has it that if you run round the iron railings surrounding their tombstone twelve times, then put your fingers in your ears, you will hear the bells of heaven.
Museum entrance is the black middle door
Off A30, 6 miles west of Launceston.  See also Gwennap Pit
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


*****************************************************************************************


Cornish Saints
Constantine, St. Constantine's Church and Well

I found St. Constantine's Well in 2004, on Trevose Golf Course, but had to wait till 2007 to find his church.  Research came up with conflicting stories, placing the saint variously in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, though all agreed on the 6th century.  I prefer the 'Britannia Early British Kingdoms' version, supported by references in the annals of the scholar monk Gildas.  Constantine, cousin of King Arthur, survived the battle of Camlaan and succeeded his father Cado as King of Dumnonia (Devon and Cornwall).  Out hunting, his quarry took refuge in St. Petroc's monastery at Padstow.  Impressed by the power of sanctuary Constantine became Christian.  He helped found Petroc's monastery at Bodmin, founded others at Cornwall's two Constantines then joined St. David in Wales.  He was killed by Irish pirates in Kintyre (Scotland) in AD 576 (or 598).  His Cornwall feast day is 9th March.  The well remains are nicely housed under a roof but the church is a sad affair. The well site is obvious.  The church is to the north of it and a path is signed up a dune.  What little remains of the church can only be seen by climbing the thorn and bramble covered dune.  This must be a candidate for the care of Cornwall Heritage Trust, which does so good a job.  For now, it would be nice if the golf club could maintain the site a little.
Follow the path across the golf course towards Trevose Head
St. Constantine's Well beneath its modern protective roof
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Padstow, St. Petroc - Father of the Cornish Church
Visiting the garden of Prideaux Place in Padstow in July 2008, we were surprised to find, close by the deer park, a newly excavated well.  We were surprised, too, that we had missed the report of it in the Western Morning News in July 2007.  A plaque by it gives a brief description.  The well was unearthed by local amateur archaeologist Jonathan Clemes while searching for a secret tunnel.   The hope is that it may have been St. Petroc's original holy well.  Petroc, considered by many to be the Father of the Cornish Church, is said by some to have been native Cornish, by others to have been of a Welsh royal family.  Around 600 AD, after an expedition to Ireland, he landed, with sixty followers, at Trebetherick on the east bank of the River Camel.  In what is now Padstow (St. Petroc's holy place) he settled at the abbey of Lanwethinock, before moving to Bodmin to take over St. Guron's cell there and expand it to priory status, a status it maintained until the late middle ages.  Petroc's monastic lands extended as far as Portreath and Tintagel, later forming much of the hundred of Pydar.  Petroc died at Padstow.  His relics are kept in a casket, made in 1170 at Henry II's behest, in St. Petroc's church in Bodmin.  For the chequered history of the casket look at my entry for  St.Petroc's church.
Is this St. Petroc's Holy Well?
You will have to pay the inexpensive garden entry fee to see the well
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



Perran Sands, St. Piran - Patron Saint of Cornish Tin Miners

St. Piran is patron saint of Cornish tin miners.  It is thought that he was born in Ireland in around AD480, schooled in South Wales and returned to Ireland to found Clonmacnoise monastery, where he was known as Ciaran.  He was then captured by heathen Irish who tied him to a millstone and threw him over cliffs during a storm. The storm abated and Piran floated across the sea to Cornwall where he built a hermitage on the vast Penhale sand dunes.  He died at his hermitage.  St. Piran's Oratory, claimed to be his original chapel although it may date from the 7th or 8th century, was excavated in the 1830s but lost again under the sand.  At one time it was hidden under concrete but was later re-excavated.  Now a stone and plaque mark its position, about equidistant from a modern cross and the remains of a later St. Piran's church.  The oratory was in use until around 1150 when overwhelmed by dunes.  The new church was built further inland but abandoned in 1804.  An old granite Cornish cross stands by its ruins, subject of an archaeological dig in September 2005.  The present church is at Perranzabuloe.  A mile away is Piran Round.  Only the name has a connection;  this is actually the remains of an iron-age farmstead.  St. Piran's flag is said to represent white tin flowing from black stone in Piran's hearth.
UPDATE 2014:  The oratory has been re-excavated in 2014 - see below
Stone and tablet marked the Oratory location 
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Piran's Church - The September 2005 Archaeological Dig

When St.Piran's original oratory, built on the ever-shifting Penhale Sands not far from Perranporth, was overwhelmed by the dunes, the villagers decided to build a new church further inland.  There is some doubt about its date but it is believed that it was probably built in the late 10th or early 11th century.  Commemorating one of Cornwall's three most important saints - the others are Michael and Petroc - it became a place of pilgrimage.
The early medieval church was itself threatened by the encroaching sand.  It was finally abandoned in 1804.  Roof, doors and windows were removed to be used in the contruction of a new chuch in Perranzabuloe village.  It was then left to the mercy of the elements and the sands eventually swallowed it.  A dig was carried out in 1922, uncovering the chancel but this was then left to deteriorate again. 
In September 2005 the admirable St. Piran Trust organised a serious dig as part of their ongoing Piran Project scheme to conserve the remaining sites associated with St. Piran.  Under the aegis of Dick Cole of Cornwall's Historic Environment Service, the nave and base of the tower were uncovered before time and money ran out.  It is hoped the project can continue in 2006/7, that explanatory boards will be erected (2007 - one has) and that the Oratory will be uncovered again (see below). 
Looking east from the base of the tower
Approached by a line of stone markers, NNW from the road
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Piran's Oratory -The 2014 Archaeological Dig
This is one of Cornwall's most important historic Christian sites and although the Oratory remains are not thought to be of St. Piran's original building they are probably of its 7th or 8th century replacement and therefore one of the oldest holy buildings in Britain.  While the location is well known there is some dispute about the name of the dunes here, part of a system stretching much of the way from Holywell Bay to Perranporth.  The OS104 map calls it Penhale Sands;  Cornwall Council and the St.Piran Trust call it Gear Sands;  I prefer Perran Sands.  The building was discovered in the 19th century, when shifting sand partly exposed it, and was excavated in 1834 amd 1843.  After re-excavation in 1910 a shell of concrete block was constructed around the building to conserve it.  In 1980 it was re-buried under sand and a stone marker and story board erected.  At last, in 2014, the Oratory is being excavated again, with plans to consolidate it and leaving it on public view, like nearby St. Piran's Church.  The main bodies involved in the excavation are Cornwall's Archaeological Unit and the St. Piran Trust, a very local charitable trust led by the formidable Eileen Carter who has campaigned tirelessly, first for St. Piran's Church, now for the Oratory.  Each year there is a procession to the site on St. Piran's Day 5th March. 
The Oratory excavated down to floor level
Photo taken November 2014.  Note the altar
The Oratory storyboard is at SW 76874/56402 
A 9 mile Round Walk includes the St. Piran's Oratory and Church
Update November 2014:  At the beginning of November 2014 I took a walk across Penhale Sands to see what progress had been made at the Oratory in the past 8 months.  At the time I was disappointed to discover that the site was still surrounded with security fencing and the remains were hidden by black plastic, held down by sandbags.  However, I got in touch with Cornwall Council archaeologist James Gossip who tells me that work should recommence very soon and that completion is hoped for Spring 2015.  The high winter water table poses considerable problems as I noticed in March 2014 when a small lake closely abutted the site.  However, by Spring 2015 it is hoped that partial remains of all four walls will be exposed and there will be access to the site and a new storyboard.  I look forward greatly to the project's completion.
Update Late November 2014:  I was back at the Oratory on Thursday 20 November.  To my delight work had continued apace since earlier in the month.  Excavation had got right down to floor level, walls were standing up to 10 feet in height and the altar had been reconstructed.  You will notice in the photograph that there is material against the west wall;  I wonder whether this may even be original buttressing as Celtic buildings of the period tended to need support.  Open days were held on Saturday and Sunday 22nd and 23rd November with a service on the Sunday.  More information on the dig and its results should be published on the Piran Trust website in due course.
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Euny's Well
All the references I have found on the web describe this site as having two wells but I would have thought it was a spring on one side of the path, the holy well on the other side.  There are also some remains of a chapel scattered about and the inevitable votive offerings on a nearby tree.  I assume the saint in question was the St. Uny of Lelant, rather than the St. Euny of far away Redruth (or are they the same?). It must be possible that this was the original water source for nearby Carn Euny iron age courtyard village.  Most interesting way to reach the site is on the footpath that leads from Chapel Carn Brea to Carn Euny, a nice spread of periods in a couple of miles.
Take the path from the foot of Chapel Carn Brea towards Carn Euny
Steps down to St. Euny's well
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Levan, St. Levan's Well and Baptistry in West Penwith
St. Levan is believed to have been of an Irish royal house which spread first into Wales and subsequently into Cornwall where Padern carved himself a Dukedom in the 4th century.  Levan - originally Selevan - was of the house of Padern and was born in the 6th century, maybe at Boslevan near St. Buryan.  Moving to Bodellan by Porthcurno, he founded a cell on the cliffs above Porth Chapel and later a church where the present St. Levan church stands. He is reputed to have been a keen fisherman, this commemorated by a sculpture in the church.  After visiting St. Levan church in July 2008, I left the churchyard by the lower lych gate and walked down to Porth Chapel.  Still standing on the cliff above the beach are the remains of St. Levan's Baptistry and his Holy Well.  The water from the well is apparently still used for baptisms in St. Levan church.  Originally there is said to have been a small chapel further down the cliff and in 1931 Reverend Valentine and Dr. Favell unearthed fify or so stone steps leading down to where it stood.  The steps are now in use by beachgoers.  This is a delightful spot, easily approached from the village.  If you approach by the coast path you will find it  harder going but well worth it for the superb coastal views.
St. Levan's Baptistry and Well above Porth Chapel
Walk down from St. Levan church where there is a car park
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Clether,
St. Clederus Chapel and Holy Well  
By happy coincidence I chose Saturday 5th May 2007 to take a walk from St. Clether to seek out the chapel and holy well of St. Clederus and a couple of  Cornish crosses.  When I parked by the church, from which a path leads to the chapel, I saw a notice announcing that it was St. Clederus day and that celebrations would be held at the chapel.  At the chapel I met Vanda Inman (her website) who had dressed the well and chapel.  I am grateful to her helpful booklet for the following information.  Clederus was one of 24 children of Welsh King Brychan;  others founded churches at St. Endellion, St. Minver and Morwenstow (and many others).  Unusually, Clederus actually settled at what became St. Clether.  Chapel and well were both rebuilt in the 15th and 19th centuries, accounting for their remarkable condition, but the chapel stands on its original footings and the altar is thought to be original.  The well is at the north-east corner but then flows under the altar to rise again in the south wall.  An impressive and highly atmospheric place in the lovely peaceful valley of the River Inny.   Not far away I found two Cornish crosses, both near Basill Manor, a tall one below a stone leat, the other a truncated one on a hedge in a field, close to the road but hidden from it..
More images of St. Clederus Chapel
St. Clederus' holy well, lightly dressed for the day
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents



St. Clederus Chapel, more images


1913 donation request
St. Clederus Chapel Altar
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents

Dupath Well
Dupath Well (the Cornish "Fenton Hynsladron" means "Spring by the Robber's Path") is dedicated to St. Ethelred.  The Well House is  Grade I listed and built of local granite.  It has a steeply pitched granite roof, at whose corners are heavily weathered pinnacles.  A small bell turret has a highly elaborate canopy. A circular trough collects the spring water.  Dupath Well House was probably built in about 1510 by the Augustinian canons of nearby St Germans priory.  It is typical of the late 15th and early 16th centuries and its 'Celtic' style has much in common with well houses and chapels in Brittany and Ireland.  At one time the spring water was believed to cure whooping cough, and it is thought to also have been used for baptisms.  Legend has it that two Saxons – Colan (Cornish for heart or courage) and Gottlieb (Saxon for God's Love) – fought a duel there for a lady’s hand.  Colan was killed outright and Gottlieb fatally wounded, though some versions say he died later of "impatience".  The lady remained unmarried.  On my way to Dupath Well I stopped in West Harrowbarrow.  Here was once Western Shaft of Harrowbarrow Mine producing, amongst other minerals, silver.  There are substantial remains of the old mine buildings, including two engine houses, one now part of a private house.
Dupath Holy Well House
Former Mine Buildings at West Harrowbarrow
Return to Holy Sites
Return to Home Page for Cornwall Reviews Contents


CORNWALL REVIEWS INDEX and SITE CONTENTS
Introductory Guide
What's New?
Oliver's Cornwall Walking Pages
Homes
Gardens