Poughill, St Olaf King & Martyr

poughillIn a pretty village of cob and thatch cottages, the 1520s church house opposite the church stands out because it is built of stone.  Like North Petherwin, this is a well-documented church with churchwardens’ accounts from 1525.

  1. Two wall paintings of St Christopher face each other across the church.  The north wall one had crown added when both were restored/repainted.  St Olaf, king of Norway was patron of this church.  The church had at least five guilds in the 1520s including St Christopher and St Olaf.  There were also guilds of Christ, St Christopher and St Apollonia and Our Lady.  Candles lit here to St George, St Katherine and Saints Mark and Anthony (the choice of the young men of Poughill).
  2. Ornate ceilure marking the position of the rood or crucifix which stood on the rood beam or rood loft (on top of the screen) below.  The boards for this cost 20 pennies in 1538.  The rood screen marked the division of the chancel from the nave and was also made in this year; the stairs costing 7s. 5d or the price of a good milking cow.
  3. Bench ends – a really good selection from the Passion of Christ including chained mouth of Hell, St Luke’s bull, and the pious Pelican,.
  4. Late medieval oak south door and 1532 and later lychgate.
  5. Granite pillar grafted onto limestone pillar in south chapel.  North aisle built first, then south chapel and aisle, and new north chapel of St Olaf.
  6. Roof bosses with three Tudor male heads of c.1537, perhaps by John Cholwill.

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