Blisland church

Blisland 25St Protus and St Hyacinth is justly famous, being described by Pevsner as ‘one of the loveliest churches in Cornwall’ and the rood screen being ‘once seen its numinous luminosity is indelibly etched in the memory’.

Simon Jenkins awards it three stars for the ‘re-creation of a Pre-Reformation interior’. That all depends whether you like, or want, such a thing.

Blisland 07In many ways, the church is very uneven. Like Crantock, there are three co-terminal chancels hidden away behind a large rood screen, with a short and very simple wagon-roofed nave. Unlike Crantock, however, there is a south aisle, here charmingly chaotic, which makes the interior rather less austere. This has the benefit of an enormous and light west window which makes the nave bright and airy.

The tower is almost over the north transept and a southern transept, formerly a private chapel, is locked away as the vestry.

The whole ensemble is mostly famous for the work of FC Eden. He restored the church, with a degree of sensitivity. He also installed the neo-Gothic rood screen (1894-6) with its Puginesque artwork. In so doing, he undid the work of the Reformation which had opened up the chancel to lay people three hundred years before, and once more hid the mysteries behind screens.

We enjoyed our visit, not least the setting, for the church is to one side of a lovely green around which stand some interesting granite buildings which creates a strangely Anglo-Saxon feel to the village.

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