The church of St Germoe claims to have more lichen – the sign of clean air – on its exterior than any other church. It does well in a woolly sort of way and is delightful. Although done over by the Victorians, like all Cornish churches we have seen so far, it does not have the heaviness of some.
The exterior of the chancel roof boasts a light 19thC bellcote or fleche which is unusual in Cornwall but which lightens the roofline.
Architectural authors rave about the quality of the C14 Decorated porch which has a small crucifix above its gable. on either side, just above head height, are two kneeler stones – the stones at the top of the wall/bottom of the gable – which feature ‘the Germoe monkeys’. Whether they were representative of evil spirits driven out of church, or simply mischief and mayhem, is not clear.
The interior consists of a nave and north aisle with an original south transept which gives it a slightly lopsided feel. When EH Sedding restored the church in the C19 he introduced new roofs to mark the transition from nave to chancel and installed a rood beam with wooden screen over the top. This helps to define the change of space without interrupting the eye at eye-height.
To the east end of the churchyard is St Germoe’s seat, a curious structure which is probably a re-working of something from inside the church – perhaps a sedilia – to create a small C18 folly complete with a carved head of a king.
St Germoe’s well, where the saint is said to have preached, is close by.