St Moran, Lamorran, St Michael Penkivel, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 4HT
The church of St Moran stands in its picturesque churchyard, in the tiny hamlet of Lamorran, on the Fal. It is listed Grade II*; cruciform in plan, built of local killas stone with granite facings and coped gables, under a Delabole slate roof. Nothing is known of its 5th century Irish patron saint, St Moran, (otherwise Morenna).
Dedicated by Bishop Bronscombe on 12th August 1261 (the day before St Michael Penkivel). This was probably a rededication after demolition of a Norman church, of which a single piece of a Norman arch-ring about 6” by 4” set low-down in the east wall of the south transept survives. It was heavily restored in 1845 and 1853 under the aegis of the Clerk of Works at Tregothnan, Joseph Read, subsequently architect of Melbourne University.
Surviving features from these restorations suggest an earlier period of re-building; medieval stone work in the doorways, a 15th century flat headed window in the east wall of the south transept; and Perpendicular windows in the south and west gables; and the 15th century porch.
The detached belltower on the edge of the churchyard to the west is a curious structure on two floors. Detached towers are unusual. The lower stage is entered from the road below, though the upper stage, formerly containing three good bells, is entered from the churchyard.
One bell survives, the original third inscribed “William Bone, Gent, Pennington Bell Maker”. The other two having been recast and rehung at St Michael Penkivel and Tresillian.
The interior of the church dates from 1853, with simple 19th century Georgian style oak pews, choir stalls & pulpit.
The Norman font is a simple example of the Bodmin type, namely a bowl supported by one central and four angle shafts, of fine grey Catacleuse stone.
Michael Swift, the Diocesan Stained Glass adviser observed in 2010 that the windows contain some particularly interesting stained glass, mostly Victorian, (but reusing some surviving Medieval glass) four of the which were inserted in the decade following the 1853 restoration. He describes them as a fascinating cross section of the evolution of Victorian stained glass, and as a salutary reminder of the impact of the stained glass revival in the Victorian age. Lamorran is fortunate in the quality of its windows.
The one remaining memorial is the fine slate monument to John Verman, Lord of the Manor of Lamorran and Patron of the living, who died in 1658.
The churchyard, is in Spring carpeted with primroses, violets and wild geranium; in Autumn with cyclamen hederfolia; a truly peaceful place of rest. And resting there are three well renowned gardeners – the Honourable & Reverend John Townshend Boscawen, Rector; David Trehane, horticulturist and gardener; and the Reverend Dr Douglas Ellory Pett, parson, gardener and garden historian. Lastly, there is the Churchyard cross, standing almost opposite the porch.