Gwithian church

Gwithian 03St Gwithian is a bit of surprise. Tucked into the little village of Gwithian, a stone’s throw from the sandy dunes of the Towans, it appears small but this belies its history.

That redoubtable Victorian architect, Edmund Sedding, almost completely re-built it in 1865-6 removing the south aisle completely and returning to its original single-nave cruciform form. It must have been in a parlous state to require such drastic re-arrangement.

The result is not nearly as bad as one might fear, however for he resisted the temptation to insert a dominating rood screen and left the walls in rough stone. Unusually, for a Cornish church, it has a fine chancel arch.

Gwithian 05Thanks especially to the needlework of local people, the church has a colourful feel.

Sedding indulged his artistic flair by designing a small window for the chancel which is surprisingly light by Victorian standards.

He also re-used some of the arcading from the south aisle to create the arches of the lychgate. Close by stands a ‘Tudor-style’ village hall.

Outside, in the churchyard, stands a medieval cross.

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A journey through the landscape and history of Cornwall