Laneast, St Sidwell & St Gulval

laneastThis fine Cornish church at the head of a wooded valley only got its own cemetery in 1436.  Previously it was one of many chapels belonging to St Stephen by Launceston.

  1. Late medieval stained glass includes part of a crucifixion in the east window and in the south chancel window St Christopher and the Christ child keep company with St Etheldreda of Ely.  She is identified by her crown and abbess’s crosier.  The presence of an East Anglian princess here could be due to pilgrimage links with East Anglia or a sense of sisterhood among female royal saints.
  2. Roof boss of crowned female head assumed to be St Sidwell, patron of the church, in the chancel.  Good wagon roofs as in many Cornish churches.
  3. Prayer desk with rose and arms of Prior of Launceston – a cockerel – on one side, and a Lily vase (for the Annunciation) with a lindworm or dragon over it on the other side.  The W with a line through it above the prior’s arms may stand for William Hopkyn, prior of Launceston c.1491-1507.  A similar prayer desk at Coldridge in Devon is dated 1511.
  4. Rood screen with tracery.
  5. Bench ends of similar style to prayer desk with symbols of the Passion including dice etc.  Original backs survive.  Passion symbols were copied in stained glass in the 19th century.
  6. Memorial to John Couch Adams, discoverer of Neptune in 1846, who was born in parish.

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