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Church of St Constantine

A Grade I Listed Building in Constantine, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1183 / 50°7'5"N

Longitude: -5.1753 / 5°10'31"W

OS Eastings: 173104

OS Northings: 29074

OS Grid: SW731290

Mapcode National: GBR Z6.8RN7

Mapcode Global: FRA 081P.X72

Plus Code: 9C2P4R9F+8V

Entry Name: Church of St Constantine

Listing Date: 10 July 1957

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1142141

English Heritage Legacy ID: 66062

Location: Constantine, Cornwall, TR11

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Constantine

Built-Up Area: Constantine

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Constantine

Church of England Diocese: Truro

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8/76 Church of St Constantine



Parish church. Circa 1420 to 1480 rebuilding of an earlier church. A series of
restorations and repairs from 1859 to 1901 including the rebuilding of the chancel in
1862 by J.P. St. Aubyn. Granite ashlar. Slate roofs with C19 crested red clay ridge
Plan and Development: Nave and chancel in one. 6-bay south aisle and 7-bay north
aisle with an additional 3-bay aisle on the north side of the north aisle at the east
end, known as the Bosahan Aisle; west tower and north porch.
On the evidence of the reused Norman fragments in the east and west ends of the south
aisle it is clear there was a church in the C12. In the C15 the whole church except
for the chancel was rebuilt. The 5-bay south aisle the length of the nave, and the
south porch were added first in circa 1420, followed by the west tower and the 7-bay
north aisle the full length to the end of the chancel. The south aisle was then
extended by 1 bay eastwards and finally in circa 1480 the 3-bay Bosahan aisle was
added to the east end of the north side of the north aisle when the road screen was
There were a series of C19 and early C20 restorations and repairs starting in 1859
and including the 1862 restoration by J.P. St. Aubyn who rebuilt the chancel and
later in the C19 the church was restored again by E.H. Sedding who stripped off the
internal wall plaster.
Exterior: The whole church is granite ashlar with a chamfered plinth and wall plate
and there are slender buttresses with set-offs all round except for the chancel. The
gable ends have plain granite coping. There are stone crosses over the east gables
of the north aisle and Bosahan aisle.
The south side of the south aisle has 5 granite C15 3-light Perpendicular windows
with the polygonal rood stair turret between the 2 easternmost windows; a large 4-
light east window with intersecting Perpendicular tracery and a hoodmould and a
small 3-light Perpendicular west window. Above this west window of the south aisle a
reused section of circa C12 chevron moulding and another piece in the internal jamb
of the east window. Rainwater head on south side is dated 1879.
The C15 south porch is also buttressed and has truncated shafts over the buttresses
and a moulded plinth course; the porch doorway has a 4-centred arch with its tracery
broken away, panelled polygonal respnds and a canopied image niche above.
The north aisle has three 3-light north windows with C19 limestone Perpendicular
tracery, the west window has granite Perpendicular tracery. The north doorway has a
chamfered 2-centred arch with plain spandrels and pyramid stops, and a reconstructed
shallow porch with unmoulded jambs, a chamfered lintel and a trefoil-headed niche
above. One of the 2 buttresses on the north aisle has a carved head at its top, the
other has a jug-shape.
The additional Bosahan aisle at the east end of the north side of the north aisle has
two 3-light Perpendicular windows with C19 limestone tracery and a 2-centred arch 3-
light window with possibly reused late C14 intersecting cusped tracery in granite.
The north doorway to the right has a chamfered segmental arch and the weathering to
the flanking buttresses is continued above to form a canopy.
The chancel rebuilt in 1862 has a large C19 3-light Perpendicular style east window
and a C19 3-light south window.
The fine west tower is built of granite ashlar in 3 stages with a moulded plinth,
weathered string at each stage and a cornice with a lozenge pattern in it soffit.
The set-back buttresses have carved heads at the top and pinnacles above, but below
the parapets. The large square pinnacles over each corner have panelled sides and
crocketted finials. The top stage has 3-light Perpendicular bell-openings on each
side with pierced slate baffles. The 4-light west window has Perpendicular panel
tracery and the west doorway of elvan has a finely moulded 2-centred arch with a
trailing vine carved between the mouldings and carved head stops at the base of the
jambs; the hoodmould has carved stops and there is a carved head in the voussoir
above. The doorway appears to be earlier than C15. In the north west corner of the
tower there are window slits to the stair.
Interior: The walls have been stripped of plaster. Most of the window rear-arches
are unchamfered granite. All the roofs were replaced in the late C19 (1878 Kellys)
and have arch-braced collars and wind-braces; the principals over the chancel nave
division are coupled to form a ceilure.
The 6-bay south arcade has double hollow-chamfered 2-centred arches and monolithic
Pevsner A type granite piers. The 7-bay north arcade and the 3-bay Bosahan aisle
arcade are similar but have Pevsner B-type piers. The rood screen has been removed
but the arcade spandrels are pierced and the rood stair turret on the south side has
a 2-centred chamfered arch doorway with pyramid stops. The tall tower arch has roll-
moulded responds and angel corbels with shields at the springing of the chamfered and
bead-moulded 2-centred arch. A small chamfered 2-centred arch piscina at the east
end of the north aisle. On the south side of the sanctuary an empty 4-centred arch
effigy niche. The floor of the sanctuary has late C19 encaustic tiles.
Late C19 marble and mosaic reredos, Gothic style altar table and altar rail with
wrought iron stanchions.
The fielded panel box pews appear to be circa mid C19 and are largely intact except
for the north and south sides of the north and south aisles which have C20 oak pews
and at the west end of the nave where the benches are late C19. The choir stalls are
The carved wooden eagle lectern and octagonal pulpit with traceried panels are both
circa early C20 and the square granite font is also early C20. A small section of
the wainscot of the rood screen is preserved in the Bosahan aisle and has unusual
floral carving. A chest in the church has some finely carved early C16 panels of
Renaissance influence. There are 3 bells recast by Thomas Mears of London in 1809.
Monuments: A slate wall monument on the south-side of the chancel to Thomas Perry
died 1734. A small alabaster wall monument in Bosahan aisle with a segmental
pediment and slate tablet to Jane Penticost died 1597. Small brass below to John
Pendarves died 1616. A marble wall monument with an urn to William Nicholls died
1803 by Isbell of Truro and another to John Nicholls died 1788 with a swaged urn.
On the floor of the sanctuary a fine brass to Richard Greyrveys died 1574 and his
wife Jane (Trefusis) with figures of their 16 children, family arms and an
inscription; it is a palimpsest, the back having C14 Flemish work with a knight in
Stained Glass: In the tracery of the west window of the tower there are some
fragments of medieval stained glass. The large stained glass east window is in
memory of Edward Rogers, died 1859. A circa mid C19 stained glass south window of
the chancel. The window in the east end of the north aisle is in memory of Jane Peter
died 1870. The east window of the south aisle has some C20 stained glass. The
westernmost window on the south side of the south aisle is in memory of Jonathan and
Jane Mayne, 1860.
Source; Charles Henderson. A History of the Parish of Constantine in Cornwall.
pages 29 to 39. Kellys Directory, 1919.

Listing NGR: SW7310329074

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