Holy Trinity, Tresillian, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 4AX.
NGR SW 870465
Holy Trinity was originally built as a mission church for Merther Parish in 1878, when the population centre was moving to the settlement round Tresillian Bridge. The West Briton reported “that Lord Falmouth had granted a site for a mission chapel at Tresillian, towards the erection of which £200 had already been raised.” According to Kelly’s Directory it seated 84 people, cost £300, and was served by the Vicar of Probus. Local tradition has it that it was built on the site of the original blacksmith’s shop.
It was extensively rebuilt and dedicated as Holy Trinity and completed in 1904. The work included the addition of the Chancel, together with the South aisle, Vestry, North Porch, and the erection of the bellcote or campanile (the appearance of which gave rise to it being referred to locally as the Three Eyes church). The walls are of Ladock stone, with dressed Newham stone quoins. The Architect was Mr D.Caroe of London, who was a major figure in the Arts and Crafts movement and it was built by Dart & Francis of Crediton.
The building is grade 2 listed, and is described as being in the Arts & Craft Gothic Style. It is sited, fronting the A390, immediately east of Tresillian Bridge, adjacent to the former Sunday School (now used as the Church Hall) and forms part of the hamlet round the Bridge.
Apart from the Church as an interesting example of a late Arts & Crafts movement building, it has no special architectural features. The significant items are limited to a number of church furnishings, removed from the old Merther Church, which are worth seeing*. The details of the 1904 rebuilding are taken from a copy of The Building News of 6th May 1904.
There has been an interesting debate on the architectural significance of Holy Trinity. The 1878 dating is supported by the contemporary account in the West Briton. Whilst Pevsner & Betjeman both speculated as to the architect, (Seddings & Street respectively) there is no evidence for either being associated with Holy Trinity. In any case, this earlier structure was fully incorporated in that of the 1904 rebuilding, and the only externally visible part remaining of the 1878 chapel is the north elevation of the nave.
* Including the Jacobean pulpit, the Norman font, a 15th century statue of St Anthony, and the piscina. These are described in some detail in Merther Church – History Notes on the Holy Trinity website.