Lanteglos by Fowey church

LanteglosbF 13St Wyllow is remote. Almost within site of Fowey, it happens to be on the ‘wrong’ side of the river and up a steep hill from the small riverside community.

Simon Jenkins gives it two stars, mainly for its setting, carved bench ends and sensitive EH Sedding restoration. To us, this seems generous but the church is not without its grandeur and delights.

Inside, the church has a wide nave and two full length side aisles. Probably because of the width of the nave, the whole assembly leans comfortingly outwards.  The windows make it light and make it feel spacious.

LanteglosbF 07The chief delight, according to Jenkins, is the C15 bench ends which were much re-arranged by Sedding in 1904-06. We did not find them as fascinating as he did although the carving is obviously fine.

Some of the re-arrangement seemed far from harmonious with the choir pews almost re-creating box pews. The whole was further confused by the importation of some armorial panelling from the Mohun family’s box pews at Boconnoc, which are installed at the west end of the south aisle.

Of more interest, inside, was Thomas de Mohun’s C15 tomb-chest in the south aisle. This contained a a large brass with some vestiges of wall-painting on the wall above.

LanteglosbF 02The font is fine C13 of Purbeck stone.

It is impossible to get into the church without spotting a magnificent lantern cross which stands right outside the porch. It is not quite up to that at St Mawgan in Pydar but close to it. For us, this was the highlight of the visit.

Its faces contain images of Mary and child, the Crucifixion, St Paul and St Peter. It is presumably late C14 or early C15.

Close by is a shorter, Latin cross. This was discovered in the mud of a nearby creek and moved here in 1908.

Perhaps we are harsh but we felt that Jenkins’ extra star was over-generous. It is a lovely church in a fine setting and has a fine cross: but one star should suffice.


A journey through the landscape and history of Cornwall