Sancreed, St Creden

sancreedChurch town setting and like Gwinear sashed-out with opening wooden sash windows around 1814.  As Gilbert noted in 1820, ‘the large panes of glass have greatly increased the light of the interior’, but the Victorians put things right with guess-work Gothic tracery.

  1. Churchyard cross with crucified Christ – a West Cornwall type.
  2. Rood screen base with carvings which retain their medieval paint, including a spotted goat, a jester, a triple headed king (perhaps representing the Trinity), birds and other beasts.
  3. Unusual pier sections based on a circular profile with four attached shafts.
  4. Sedding’s new chancel roof, part of a costly restoration in 1891.
  5. 15th century granite font of St Ives type with shield-bearing angels at the corners.
  6. Bench ends with shields of usual early 16th century type
  7. Two significant holy wells with chapels in parish at Chapel Downs, a short walk from the church, and probably sharing a dedication with it.  Also Chapel Euny, dedicated to the patron saint of Redruth.
  8. In the new graveyard are the tombs of Elizabeth Forbes and other Newlyn artists.

Sancreed Parish Church really is a gem of a Church. Not only is it a classic isolated rural Cornish Church, with serious problems but it sits next to the house that John Miller used to live and paint from. It has a Stanhope Forbes bronze memorial by Elizabeth to their son. There are Newlyn Arts Schools connections and burials in the churchyard. This is unquestionably a Church of national if not international importance.

Sancreed Parish Church is an ancient medieval church in an isolated rural part of Cornwall. It was originally a Catholic church but post reformation it has been administered as an Anglican church. The church sits in an elevated site within its own churchyard. It is of great landscape value. It has a squat tower to the west, south porch, south aisle, nave, choir and sanctuary with north transept/vestry/organ chamber. The building was restored in the Victorian period which is the last time any major work has been undertaken on it. It is of national importance in artistic terms having strong links with the artists of the Newlyn School, more particularly with Stanhope Forbes memorials, bronzes and burials. Sancreed Parish is the only landlocked parish in west Penwith and comprises three main villages – Newbridge, Drift and Sancreed Churchtown.

Small hamlets make up the remaining habitation areas. Sancreed Churchtown traces its foundation to St Creden or Sancredus, a follower of St Petroc. The church is pre-dated by a holy well and nearby there are many ancient ruins. There are ancient castles, barrows, chapels, dwellings and standing stones in abundance throughout the parish making the area particularly rich in archaeological history, There is a great depth of associated Celtic and early Christian heritage and one is able to see archaeological development and phases of habitation.

The church is granite with an un-buttressed tower. The listing details a date of later C14-early C15 tower with a C15 church. It was largely rebuilt during restoration in 1881-91 by J.D. Sedding (Pevsner 1970). The tower is ashlar with the remaining walls roughly coursed rubble. The roof is dry laid Cornish slate. The listing details that the building was likely cruciform but was extended and remodelled in C15. The church now has two aisles with a multiple roof structure separated by a lead valley. Windows are predominantly perpendicular and there is a Norman doorway reset into the north wall. The font is Norman. Many of the later elements are perpendicular.

The project will involve the following:
1 Stripping of slating, ridges, lead work, gutters, downpipes etc., to the main roof
2 Accessing and stripping of coverings to the tower including flagpole
3 Assessing the condition of the roof structure, ceilings, bearings and internal fabric
4 Assessing condition of the roof structure to the tower, including pinnacles, weather vane and bell frame.
5 Replacing slate roof covering, necessary timbers, lead work, gutters, downpipes and low level gullies
6 Replacing roof to tower, securing pinnacles, weather vane, lead gullies and outlets
7 Repairing damaged glazing (pictorial and plain)
8 Controlled re-pointing using lime mortars.
Total Project Cost: £353,318

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