Withiel, St Clement

Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 5NN

withielGothic pinnacles were added to this architecturally interesting church around 1819 when the church underwent a major makeover after years of neglect.  The old seats had literally rotted away with the damp by this date, but much else remains:

  1. Classic three stage tower with set back buttresses and pinnacles, see rebuilt tower of Cardinham.
  2. South door of early to mid 16th century date resembles doorways at CoteheleHouse and Trecarrel manor and so is an unexpected find in a church setting.
  3. Angel holy water stoup in porch.Late medieval font has anchor of St Clement the patron of the church since 1478.   This dedication may go back to the time of Thomas Welwyn who had served at St Clement Danes before 1392.  Like the church, the baptistery has charming early 19th century baptism board embellishments.
  4. Coat of arms of Prior Vivian of Bodmin in east window of south aisle.  This shows that the south aisle must date to the period 1523-33.  Granite ashlar was then in vogue and this contrasts with the smaller stones used for the earlier tower.  Other coats of arms of Prior Vivian can still be seen at Rialton Priory, the prior’s summer house near Newquay, and at Trelowarren.  In 1820 the church aisles were ceiled and flagged at the sole expense of the Sir Vyell Vyvyan of Trelowarren.
  5. Curious lean-to north aisle possibly begun by the Bevilles who were Lords of Brynn c.1551, but never finished.
  6. Behind the tower a memorial cross records the tragic Ruthern Sunday Schoolouting when three young men drowned on 21st July 1887 at Watergate Bay, Newquay.

St Clement’s, Withiel received a grant from the CHCT to help with the restoration of the organ.  There is a short video of this restoration project on Youtube.  To view click here Video


Comments are closed.