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Church of St Symphorian

A Grade II* Listed Building in Boscastle, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.6865 / 50°41'11"N

Longitude: -4.6971 / 4°41'49"W

OS Eastings: 209575

OS Northings: 90893

OS Grid: SX095908

Mapcode National: GBR N3.6598

Mapcode Global: FRA 1718.9X2

Plus Code: 9C2QM8P3+H5

Entry Name: Church of St Symphorian

Listing Date: 17 December 1962

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1143467

English Heritage Legacy ID: 68710

Location: Forrabury and Minster, Cornwall, PL35

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Forrabury and Minster

Built-Up Area: Boscastle

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Forrabury

Church of England Diocese: Truro

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Listing Text


7/48 Church of St Symphorian
Parish church. Norman origins with possibly C12 masonry surviving in the south wall
of the nave and possibly in the south transept. C12 font, early C16 south porch,
tower possibly with circa C15 base rebuilt above plinth in circa 1760. Church
heavily restored in 1866-67 by J. P. St Aubyn.
Slate stone rubble. Slate roof with nave and chancel in one.
The heavy C19 restoration hinders accurate chronological analysis of the plan.
Maclean's extensive description of the church prior to restoration records a
cruciform plan with Norman nave, chancel and south transept and Early English north
transept. In circa C15 the west tower was probably erected. In circa early C16 the
south porch was possibly rebuilt, probably contemporary with the furnishing of the
church including elaborate carved bench ends, described by Maclean. The tower was
largely rebuilt in 1760 and in 1842 a severe gale blew the roof off the church. The
1866 restoration by J. P. St Aubyn involved considerable rebuilding ; the north
transept was largely rebuilt and extended to the west to form a 3-bay north aisle;
vestry was added to the east of the south transept and the church was refenestrated,
re-roofed and refurnished.
West tower of two stages with upper stage rebuilt in circa 1760. 3-light west window
in place of west door with C19 tracery in 2-centred arched openings; belfry openings
with slate louvers on south and east sides; crude battlemented parapet. The north
aisle is lit by C19 2-light Perpendicular windows with 2-centred arched openings.
Part of the north wall of the chancel has been rebuilt in the C20 ; C19 Perpendicular
tracery in 3-light east window and 2-light rectangular window with C19 tracery on
south side of chancel. South transept and nave have C19 tracery in one, two and
three light Perpendicular windows. Gabled early C16 south porch roofed with two
large granite slabs which include the coping; moulded 2-centred arched opening with
pyramid stops. Depressed 2-centred moulded greenstone arch to south door.
Interior ; C19 scissor braced roof to nave and north aisle and plastered C19 waggon
roof to chancel. 3-bay arcade with squat columns and large square capitals and
depressed 2-centred arcade arches with chamfer. Round arch to south transept. C19
furnishings replace the elaborate carved bench ends and rood-screen described by
Maclean prior to restoration. The remains of circa C15 or early C16 bench ends have
been reset to form the altar, credence table and pulpit. Panelling, altar rails and
screen in chancel circa 1911. C17 altar table is north aisle. Circa C12 greenstone
font with round bowl and shaft ; the unlined bowl is ornamented with incised lines
which Sedding suggests are modern but record previous ornamentation.
Several memorials including those to Johan, wife of John Tubb (1644) and their son
John (1647) and to William Cole at alia (1839). Number of C17 and C18 ledger stones
fixed and lying against exterior of church including one to Katherin Gaurd (1675)
with verse.
The Church of Forrabury together with lauds, tithes and fisheries was granted by
Richard I to Hartland Abbey. The church is commemorated in Rev. R. S. Hawker's poem
'The Silent Tower of Bottreaux'.
The stripfields on Forrabury Common directly to the north of the church are probably
post medieval covering 80 acres. They are probably the best preserved in the county
with 40 of the 60 strips remaining and they are one of the only two examples of
walled agricultural terraces in Southern Britian.
The church of St Symphorian is an especially impressive landmark.
Maclean, Sir John Parochical and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor in the
County of Cornwall. 1879. Volume I.
Pevsner, N and Radcliffe E. The Buildings of England, Cornwall 2nd edition 1970.
Sedding, E. H. Norman Architecture in Cornwall, a handbook of Old Cornish
Ecclesiastical Architecture, 1909.
Church Guide
Sites and Monuments Register, Truro, Cornwall.

Listing NGR: SX0957590893

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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