St John church

St John 05We were looking forward to seeing the church at St John which Pevsner describes as ‘one of the simplest and earliest-feeling churches in Cornwall’ consisting of merely a nave, chancel and south porch.

It is barely marked on the map as the Ordnance Survey clearly does not credit it with a tower. Aerial appearances can be deceptive for it looks as though it has got a very small one. It is well hidden amongst the trees.

Sadly, it seems that the ceiling is collapsing and work is therefore taking place to repair it. One of the benefits of not having stained glass in a church is that one can actually take photographs of interiors if you are tall enough to reach. It helps that so many Cornish churches appear to be built ‘underground’.

St John 04Looking through the window, our hopes of some tiny, low numinous space were dashed for there are obvious signs of C19 restoration and even a modern radiator. A date of 1851 carved into the exterior of the east window suggests when changes were made.

We will reserve judgement until we have seen the interior. It is just good that something is being done to keep the church in repair.

St John 01We will leave you with an inscription on a lovely early C18 slate table tomb:

Fourscore years I lived and almost four
So long on me Death had no power
Yet now at length my thred (sic) is spun
Which ended well and well begun
See now ye mortals at how is our fate
To fade as flowers some soon some late.

A journey through the landscape and history of Cornwall