Lawhitton church


St Michael’s sits in a small village on the borders of the Tamar valley.

It looks odd at first sight for the tower sits alongside the south aisle. At one time it was at the end of a transept. The reason for the layout is unclear as there appears to be room for the tower to have been in its usual  westerly position.

The church was restored by JD Sedding in 1860-75 and he has made a competent job of it although we could do without some of the Victorian glass with sanctimonious saints lowering their eyes to the ground.

lawhitton-05There is a nave and south aisle only. For some reason, Sedding gave it a hammerbeam roof with angels more suited to a ship’s figurehead. Was he hankering after an East Anglian church?

The font is a joy, in the Altarnun shape with faces at the corners. There is also a fine C16 pulpit.

The eats end of the south aisle is a bit of a mess. Cluttered together is a fine wheel-headed cross head, a putti who has got tired of holding drapes, a few flowers stands, a Henry (hoover) and a few spare tables. Sadly this collection all fronts the fine Coade stone monument to Richard Coffin (d1796).

lawhitton-09On the wall of the south aisle is a decayed slate monument to R Bennet which contains some fine slate lettering and tendrils.

Outside we spotted a grave to two Barriball sisters. Fanny died  in 1870 aged 22 after a ‘lingering illness’. She was followed by her sister Emma two years later (aged 27).

The stone has an epitaph ‘The Lord doth order all things well’ which is hard to believe given the sad circumstances. Their verse is rather touching:

lawhitton-03They had grown up together
Mind answering to mind
Clinging to one another
Like two frail plants entwined

And death who still doth gather
The flowers that please him best
Took one and then the other
To their eternal rest.

A journey through the landscape and history of Cornwall