Lanreath, St Marnarch

lanreth1Village church next to Court Barton manor house. A wonderful collection of art and wood carving from 16th and 17th centuries including:

Best painted rood screen in Cornwall of early 16thcentury date.  Surviving panels restored more than once, but unusually high quality – like Flemish paintings with landscape backdrops – not usual stock figures.  Thirteen survive starting with an exquisite Risen Christ dressed in green, holding an orb.  He has a beard but no moustache – a fashion feature found on painted Cornish screens.  Next comes King Henry VI with his white hart, a saint in waiting whose hopes were dashed when King Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn.  On the south chapel door is a Visitation (SS Mary and Elizabeth), and St Ursula.  Then Four doctors of the Church – Pope Gregory, St Jerome, St Ambrose and St Augustine and finally four female saints: St Apollonia, St Sitha (patroness of domestic servants so shown with her bunch of keys), St Dorothy and St Barbara, see Poundstock.


  1. Unusual Elizabethan pulpit, several painted wooden panels, early 17th century choir stalls with arms of Grylls and strawberry borders.
  2. Wooden tomb of Charles Grylls and his wife of Court Barton, 1623.  Painted like stone – a rarity.
  3. Wagon roofs with unusual flat bosses in chancel (like St Neot).
  4. Norman font with Palmette design of popular Fowey and South Devon-type.  Treasured like title deeds, many Norman fonts survive.
  5. More unusual is the incomplete Norman altar stone, much smaller than present day altars.
  6. Lanreath was last resting place of its saint Manac according to the travelling monk, William of Worcester in 1478.  Manac is depicted as a bishop in St Neot windows, see also Cardinham.

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