St Dominic, St Dominick

Grid Ref SX399678
St Dominic, Saltash, PL12 6SQ

St-DominicksmallThe parish of St. Dominic is reputed to have been named after St. Dominica, who with her brother St. Indract, sailed up the river Tamar from Ireland and landed near what is now Halton Quay to found a religious settlement nearby.

The Church of St. Dominica was dedicated in 1259. For a number of years the name of the Patron Saint was confused with St. Dominic the Founder of the Dominican Friars. By a Special Decree, in 1963 his name was added as a second Patron. The present Parish of St. Dominic and Landulph and St. Mellion-with-Pillaton was formed during 1987.

The 13th century walls of the original Church are of shillet and freestone. The top stage of the tower and all the other walls are of granite and were erected in the late 15th or early 16th century. There is a gabled south porch with inner doorway. The tower was originally very short and is a good example of medieval defensive architecture; the later top stage overhangs the rest. The plan is rectangular with three ‘halls’ or gables at the east end. The building is presently Grade 1 listed.

St-Dominick_int_small-2Inside the Church the pillars are of granite.  The barrel-vaulted ceilings have moulded ribs and plaster panels; there are 96 carved bosses and particularly fine wall plates. The chancel roof was painted blue with gold stencils early in the 20th century. At the West end of the nave there is a plain arch with granite facing?; this leads into the tower, with a four centred arch and door in the West End.  The bell ringing chamber is on the ground floor and the belfry has a ring of six bells. Extensive restoration took place in the 19th century including tiling of the floors of the nave and chancel.

There are several stained glass windows in the Church, the oldest believed to be in the tower above the West Door showing  St. Dominica and St. Indract, the latter holding a Tamar salmon. All the other stained glass windows have been installed between 1890 and 1963. The wooden reredos below the East window was installed about 20 years ago, and depicts a central cross with tongues of flame going out to the sides.  The most significant monument is at the east end of the south aisle, a chest tomb in slate with stone dressings on stone pilasters, depicting two recumbent stone effigies of Sir Anthony Rous and his son who both died in the 1620s. Between this monument and the Chancel is the box pipe organ which has two manuals and has a fine casing with painted figures of saints facing the aisle.

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