Sancreed church

St Sancredus stands at the centre of the village of Sancreed, off the beaten track in Penwith. It was under a massive restoration programme when we visited, shrouded in scaffolding both inside and out, but it was possible to tell that it is an impressive church with a C14 unbuttressed tower and C15 south porch.

JD Sedding was responsible for the C19 ‘thoughtful’ restoration to which will probably be added the C21 one which involved the removal of all the plaster.

It consists of a nave and one of those large north transepts, leading up to a rather lovely 1940s east window with sensitive glass.

The chancel ceiling is unusual, consisting of a series of wooden coloured panels.

A fragment of original painted rood screen with lively carving of figures, still exists.

Somewhere under the plastic we are told that we would find a St Ives style font and a 1916 monument to William Stanhope Forbes, carved by his artists father. We found neither. There was only so much licence we could take while the builders were filling the space with noise and dust.

Outside, in the churchyard, there are two very important’ wheel-headed crosses. One bears a figure and is inscribed ‘Runho’, the other has a Christ crucified. We spotted at least one more and the fragment of a fourth on the gatepost.

One author praises the ‘significant’ mounting block but it is hard to see why such a common item stands out.

A short distance away to the south is the saint’s well and accompanying chapel which are adorned with votive offerings.

We will return.

A journey through the landscape and history of Cornwall

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