St Levan church

St Levan 05The little church of St Levan seems one of the most remote in Cornwall, being all alone beyond Porthcurno, if that were possible. And yet it has a serenity of its own and well justifies the star which Simon Jenkins gives it for its setting.

The interior echoes the simplicity of the exterior, the low arcading adding to the sense of warmth.

St Levan 25The bottom half of the rood screen has been preserved in situ and is carved with some delightful images including seahorses and weird dragon creatures with human faces. The bench ends, probably C16, are also a delight with faces where one might expect the symbols of the passion.

Look out for the monuments to: Mrs Cade, the mother of Rowena, the redoubtable creator of the Minack Theatre which is under a window inside; Peter (later Lord) Shore the Labour politician and Sir Charles Groves, the writer of the famous Dictionary of Music. They chose a great place to end their days.

St Levan 02A fine wheel-headed cross stands proud in the churchyard and another adorns the north-east gate to the churchyard. Two large loaf-shaped stones are the St Levan stone said to have been split asunder by the saint (see the top picture).

A short walk away, there is the little holy well said to have been created by the saint himself.