Boyton church


The church of the Holy Name stands on a ridge above the valley of the river Tamar. Its unusual dedication suggests a C15 foundation but there was a church here earlier, owned by Tavistock Abbey before the Conquest.

It has a sturdy tower with a large footprint. Inside, it has a nave and south aisle with no sign of any north transept.

JP St Aubyn ‘restored’ the church in 1876-7. He made a good job of incorporating the remains of the former C15 rood screen and clearly resisted the obvious temptation to install a new screen or to separate the chancel from the nave.

Boyton: the nave

The Norman font is a wonderful irregular bowl of granite and is said to be the second oldest in Cornwall.

The greatest joy is the roof bosses. St Aubyn did not sweep away the wagon roof and install a wind-braced roof as he did in so many other churches. Here, he retained the wagon roofs and re-installed some charming bosses and other carved woodwork.

We were promised a peacock which we could not identify but we did find a dragon and the face of a man which looked as though it was made of clay rather than wood.

Also, look closely at the east window which incorporates fragments of medieval glass.

A historical note: it was near here that one Agnes Prest lived. She denied the doctrine of transubstantiation, was tried, condemned and burned in 1557.

A journey through the landscape and history of Cornwall