Egloshayle Church

Grid reference SX001719

Egloshayle Church, Wadebridge, PL27 6AQ

There are no records of the foundation of Egloshayle Church, though there are theories that it was founded by one of the Celtic saints, perhaps St Petroc or St Helie.  The first mentions of the church are from the twelfth century, when it was in the gift of the Earl of Gloucester.  It later passed first to the Benedictines and then to the See of Exeter, finally becoming part of the new Diocese of Truro in 1876.

_cpf2518 The north and west walls of the church are the oldest parts of the building, probably twelfth century.  The church was largely rebuilt and the tower added by John Lovibond, vicar from about 1461 to 1475, who was also responsible for the bridge at Wadebridge.  The south aisle was a slightly later addition, credited to the generosity of the Kestell family.  The south porch is sixteenth century.  _cpf2520

The short extension to the north transept may also have been begun around this time, but did not reach its present shape until the major restoration was carried out in 1867 under architect Piers St Aubyn.  At this time the current east wall was built, the building was re-roofed and the north porch was converted into the choir vestry.  All the stained glass windows and the slate floor of the Lady Chapel are twentieth century.


The font is Norman, as is the holy water stoop to the east of the south door.  _cpf2531

The pulpit, unusually of Caen stone rather than wood, is fifteenth century with gothic panelling and carved foliage.  The organ is a Willis and dates from 1873.  There is a full peal of eight bells, the oldest four being eighteenth century.  During the early nineteenth century the church had a champion team of ringers who are remembered in well-known folk song.  The oldest of the monuments is in the tower, and commemorates members of the Kestell family. _cpf2521

The large monument on the north wall is to Dame Barbara Molesworth of Pencarrow.  Other monuments of interest are, by the font, to John Consett Peers, a naval officer, and, in the churchyard, to Neville Norway, a merchant who was murdered.


Sir Henry Trelawny, great-grandson of the famous Bishop Trelawny, was perhaps Egloshayle’s most colourful vicar.  He became a non-conformist minister at the age of 21, then four years later changed to the Church of England.  He was still supportive of the growing Methodist movement while he was Egloshayle’s vicar from 1793.  In 1804 he resigned, moved abroad and converted to Roman Catholicism, becoming a Catholic priest after his wife died in 1822.




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