St Ive church

St Ive

St Ivo, a saint whose origins are disputed, stands next to the busy A390, its tower crowned by triple pinnacles.

The porch bears a fine sundial with a Latin motto – Quotidie morior – translated as I die day by day. A fine thought as one enters the church.

The interior has that slightly lopsided feel of any church which has gained an aisle – unusually to the south – but never added the matching one where the wide north transept still stands.

St Ive: the nave

It benefits from a lack of heavy Victorian glass and light streams in through the plain glass windows. Above, the roof is a fine wagon roof with its original bosses in place and some charming small angels protecting the wallplate.

A wooden pulpit looks distinctly Tudor and has a tester over it. Carved into one panel is a pair of mermaids who seem rather far from the sea but maybe their lived in one of the local rivers. (cf Zennor)

St Ive: east window

The great glory of this church is the east window which is a magnificent piece of Decorated stonework. Thankfully, the Victorians were restrained in their choice of glass, much of it clear, allowing the window to dance in strong sunlight.

The two niches at the base are empty but their carving adds to the lightness of the whole.

There are a number of other things to look out for:

  • The C14 font
  • The slate monument to John Saltren (d 1695) which has had a candle sconce rudely inserted into it
  • The sedilia
  • The small piscina and strange C14 ogee arch in the north transept (which has been simply and effectively converted into a kitchen) with its large squint
  • Some fragments of C14 carving: notably a head of St Christopher

Outside, in the churchyard, are two crosses. One is a mere shaft but the other is nearly 2m of Latin cross.

Across the road from the church is a large Victorian vicarage with outlying chapel which bears study (from afar). If only the church were not quite so close to a main road.

A journey through the landscape and history of Cornwall