St Michael Caerhays church

Caerhays 12St Michael’s stands beside the road in a  little hamlet overlooking the Caerhays valley. It is not large: merely a nave with half a south aisle which was probably a chapel for the Trevanion family from the neighbouring ‘castle’.

The narrow nave and lack of large side aisles should make it rather authentic but its actually feels slightly claustrophobic.

Caerhays 02The church was much repaired and re-ordered by William Willimott, an enthusiastic rector, in the middle of the C19, an accomplished carver. The result is as though he tried to squeeze in as many people as possible into slightly heavy pews of a dark wood.

The  choir, in particular, is so arranged that there could only have been a couple of people each side and the two priests would have sat with their backs to the congregation.

Caerhays 05The Trevanion aisle, more of a chapel, is lighter than the nave and contains monuments to the family including a statue of George Bettesworth, a Napoleonic-era sailor, and a fine stone monument to Charlotte Trevanion d1810 with two very bored-looking putti. It is hard not to sympathise with them since they are rather squashed into a corner.

  • Norman font
  • C15 corbel with an angel’s face
  • Agnus Dei over the external north door
  • A touching memorial to another rector who died in 1938 aged 80. His wife died the following day
  • The buttress to a buttress to a buttress to the tower

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A journey through the landscape and history of Cornwall