St Mewan church

St Mewan 02St Mewan is tucked away on the outskirts of St Austell with a school close by. Its chief feature is its late C15 two-stage tower which looks abnormally squat, not helped by a C19 pyramidal roof and lack of bell openings.

The original intention was to build the third stage, which would make it a truly massive structure, out of proportion to the church, but the money ran out.

St Mewan 05Inside, there is little to mark the church out. A simple nave, south aisle and north transept arrangement has a C19 roof with a south-facing skylight which brings light to the transition between nave and chancel similar to that at Mylor.

G E Street oversaw the C19 restoration in 1851 with some later work in 1890-1


Look out for:

  • The C13 piscina
  • The C14 font

St Mewan 06The carved bench ends in the choir, probably C19, are quite fun with a kneeling angel holding up the gospel that St Matthew is writing and St Mewan praying at what looks like a seaweed covered rock.

Outside, a C19 epitaph to William Andrew on the wall of the church reads:

Here lies my Body in this Grave
It is my Lot thou must it have
Both Rich and Rich (sic) to dust must fall
And Rise again when Christ doth call
The Times uncertain, Watch and Pray
To be Prepard (sic) against that day
And keep a Conscience clear before
To Reign with Christ for evermore.

I suppose, if you had carved your way to the third line, you would not want to start again from scratch: just go ahead and hope no one spotted the mistake.


A journey through the landscape and history of Cornwall