Tremaine, St Winwaloe

This is surely the place to scotch the idea that all Cornish churches are simple; Tremaine, and possibly St John near Saltash, are the only candidates!

Tremaine retains its simple plan of chancel and nave with a west tower added in the early 16th century.  At the same time, the east window was replaced with the present domestic-style cusped window.  These works were probably done after 1506 when Tremaine got its own cemetery.  Previously its people were buried 4 miles away at Egloskerry.  Offering to a statue of St Winwoloe, the patron saint here, in pennies and wax had to be given to Launceston St Stephens in return for this privilege.

  1. Norman tympanum and window on north side of church.
  2. Norman font with round bowl and cable moulding suggesting that this was more than just a chapel at one time.  Fonts represented the right to conduct baptisms, normally the duty of a parish church.
  3. Continuous early 16th century wagon roof of chancel and nave with roof bosses.  Chancel arches became redundant when rood screens became the norm, and were physically removed.   Only Towednack in West Cornwall certainly retains its chancel arch showing just how far Cornwall’s medieval churches were rebuilt or remodelled in the Tudor period.
  4. Simple rood steps cut in the thickness of the wall.

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