Fowey church

St Fimbarrus musFowey 09t be close to getting a Simon Jenkins star. Pevsner puts it in ‘the first rank of the county’s churches but in most stylistic respects very untypical of Cornwall.’

It is squeezed into an urban setting close to Place, the great house of Fowey, in a slight valley. The location has produced an interesting compromise for the large C16 south porch – with room above – is actually an archway through which a path passes.

The glory of the exterior is the four-stage tower which claims to be the second highest in Cornwall after Probus. This is richly decorated at each level in a distinctly un-Cornish way.

Fowey 11The interior is tall with a single wagon roof which J P St Aubyn managed not to ruin. Curiously, some walls are plastered, others are not.

The pillars are without capitals which gives a perpendicular sense to the space. Unusually, above the columns is a series of clerestory windows which add light. This is a grand church for a borough with aspirations.

The rood screen is C19 and has been positioned slightly west of the original position, leaving the rood stair delivering its brave climbers into fresh air.

Fowey 05There is a wealth of monuments to Rashleighs and Treffrys, presented in various poses: lying, kneeling and standing.

Also look out for:

  • The Norman font of Catacleuse stone which is partly unfinished
  • The early C17 pulpit with its charming lion faces which reminded us Mr Punch faces
  • The bell-ringers painting (and dreadful rhyme)

Definitely worth a visit (if you can face Fowey’s ruinous parking charges).

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