Welcome to Cornwall Historic Churches Trust
CHURCH OF THE MONTH
On the flat plateau of the Lizard peninsula, the iconic church of St. Grade stands isolated on higher ground and can be seen for many miles when approaching from the east and from the sea where it serves as a landmark for seafarers. It is sometimes referred to as St. Grada and Holy Cross in reference to a fragment of the holy cross donated by a knight returning from the crusades in recognition of being saved from a storm.
After a two hundred metre walk down the access byway, the first view is of the imposing 14m circa 1400 tower which contains a single bell. The C13 and C14 nave and chancel were rebuilt in 1862 incorporating remains of what had been a larger cruciform church which had fallen into disrepair. Although today’s simpler church, consisting of chancel and nave, with a shallow projection to accommodate the organ, vestry and fireplace, is stylistically early Decorated, the old church dated from the early English period from which remain two relics. The fine grained leucogranite font is a beautiful example of thirteenth century workmanship. On the north wall outside the church is a crude door rebuilt into the wall after the restoration. This would have served as the ‘Devil’s door’ to be opened during baptisms to let evil spirits escape.
On the floor at the east end of the nave, there is an imprint of an enchanting brass, dated 1522, commemorating James Erysey and his wife Margaret, and below them their five sons and five daughters. Originally located in the Erisey chapel in the south transept, it was reset in Delabole stone and relocated when the church was rebuilt.
The church friends are currently seeking £300,000 to replace the roof which requires urgent attention or the church will be lost. For details of the Restoration Appeal https://www.friendsofstruanandstgrade.co.uk
To enable us to offer the invaluable assistance for the preservation of our Cornish heritage, we need every church in the Duchy to support and work with us so that we can be there for all in times of need.
To support more projects, we need more funds and your community can help. If each of our 218 parishes could fundraise just £100 a year for CHCT we would have in excess of £20,000 additional funding to offer annually. Find out more here.
Next CHCT Event
Rather than hold a summer party to raise sorely needed funds this year, the CHCT has come up with an idea to raise some cash, to spread the word about our work, and to recruit new members. Summer 21 parties have started and the names of those who have attended are being put in a hat for the Prize Draw for Lunch on the Quarter Deck for two kindly sponsored by the Nare Hotel. Please remember all attendees names to be emailed to Caroline Tetley for inclusion in the draw . The draw will take place at our Annual Meeting. Full details of how to take part and assist this initiative can be downloaded here. An invitation that you can use for your event can be downloaded here (A5 size) or here (A4 size).
We have taken the difficult decision to postpone the next Friends Outing until 2022 and to postpone the Annual Meeting to 23rd September. Full details soon.
Next Community Event
We do not have any details of community fundraising events at the moment but will post them here as soon as they come in.
Savills have sponsored the Christmas Party since its inception in 2006 and continued their support despite us having to cancel the event in 2020, like all others, due to Covid. Our heartfelt thanks to them and also to all those who responded to the "non-invitation" with donations totalling in excess of £4,000. Thank you one and all.
A huge thank you to all the communities who raised funds for us last year. Your support really does make a difference and together we can help to keep Cornish churches & chapels open for future generations.
See recent fundraising results here.
EXPLORE CORNISH CHURCHES
Over the years, CHCT has been encouraging individual parishes to write a local history of their church. This is a short, informative piece and is written by the local parish with the help of our historian and archivist.
Is your local church missing from the archive? Full details of how to send us your information are included in the archive here.
Over the past three years, thanks to Joanna Mattingly, we have been privileged to be addressed by renowned experts on different stages of church architectural development. To date we have worked through the Romanesque, Early English and Decorated periods. In 2021 we hope to move on to Perpendicular period. We have records of the lecture notes from each talk which you can view here.
The annual driveabouts are created by Carole Vivian as a way of discovering 3-4 churches in a day. She writes about the history of the buildings and features to look out for and directs you from one church to another with suggestions for good places to stop for lunch en route. Trails from previous years are available for a donation of £5. Find out more here.