St Winwaloe’s church is lovely, tucked away in a little valley close to the A39, in the rather Anglo-Saxon hinterland from the coast near Bude. There can be few better days on which to see it than on a bright spring day when the well-cared for churchyard was covered in primroses, garlic and bluebells.
The church contains most of the elements that one sees around the county but, being well-restored and in good condition has a charm of its own.
It is in the usual Cornwall lop-sided form with nave, north aisle and south transept. It is fresh and airy. The lack of local moneyed families in the C19 saving it from darkening glass.
It was restored in 1892-8 by G H Fellows Prynne who is one of the less prolific architects in Cornwall. He introduced angels in the chancel and planned the screens. He also removed the pews and recycled some of the woodwork into the chancel furniture.
He also gathered up other fragments. There is a large wall painting remarkably similar to that in Breage as it is the warning to Sabbath-breakers. A panel from the original rood screen, featuring a variety of saints is also attached to the north wall.
There are also:
- A large square C13 font
- Some fragments of medieval glass inserted into windows of plain glass
- A Jacobean pulpit
- A fine C16 chest imported from Dorset
- A variety of C17 and C18 slate memorials and a C17 Penfound memorial
Of special note is the little gildhouse, the only one of its kind in Cornwall, although other churches have vestries and associated buildings which have served much the same purpose down the ages.
The house is at one side of the churchyard and was originally used as a parish room but was then effectively turned into a poorhouse in the C17, then schoolhouse. It was restored initially in 1919 by E H Sedding and then again in the C21 when it won a Europa Nostra Award.
Of special note is the excellent guidebook by J G Edwards who also wrote a small leaflet about the lawlessness of the area in the C14.