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Church of St Michael

A Grade I Listed Building in St. Michael Caerhays, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2445 / 50°14'40"N

Longitude: -4.8571 / 4°51'25"W

OS Eastings: 196382

OS Northings: 42179

OS Grid: SW963421

Mapcode National: GBR ZS.JRFW

Mapcode Global: FRA 08QC.TTQ

Plus Code: 9C2Q64VV+Q4

Entry Name: Church of St Michael

Listing Date: 10 February 1967

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1327073

English Heritage Legacy ID: 71637

Location: St. Michael Caerhays, Cornwall, PL26

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Michael Caerhays

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Caerhays

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Tagged with: Church building

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3/139 Church of St Michael

Parish church. C12 origin; rededicated 1259. C14 and late C15 - early C16 additions
and alterations. Restored 1864, for J.M. Williams of Caerhays Castle, dated in the
east window of the south aisle. Slatestone rubble with granite dressings and quoins.
Slate roofs with crested ridge tiles and gable ends.
Plan: The church was originally of cruciform plan, the nave and chancel in one, with
a north and south transept. The north transept survives, and there is a C12 north
doorway to the nave. The west tower is of C14, altered in C15, with C15 parapet.
Circa late C15 - early C16, a south aisle was added, with a south porch set in the
angle between the aisle and the nave. C19 north vestry, entered from the chancel.
Exterior: At the north side, the nave has a blocked doorway of C12, with chamfered
jambs and moulded imposts, the tympanum carved with a mutilated agnus dei. There is
a single cusped lancet with square hood mould. At the south side there is a single
cusped lancet with square hood mould.
The chancel has a stone rubble plinth at the east end; late C19 Perpendicular east
window of 3 lights, with 4-centred arch, hood mould and relieving arch. To north
there is a single cusped lancet with hood mould.
The north transept has no plinth; there is a C15 3-light north window with cusped
lights and 4-centred arch, splayed reveals. Paired cusped lancets to south with
square hood mould.
The west tower is in 3 stages, on chamfered plinth, with large granite quoins and
weathered string courses; C15 embattled parapet in ashlar. The west doorway has 4-
centred arch, moulded, with plain spandrels and square hood mould; C19 plank door
with strap hinges. C15 3-light Perpendicular west window with cusped lights, 4-
centred arch and hood mould. The third stage has 2-light rectangular bell-openings
with slate louvres. Large C20 buttress to south. Lancets for stair to north. At
second stage to east a lancet with slate louvres.
The south aisle is of 2 bays, on chamfered plinth. The south windows are C15-early
C16 each of 3 lights, the central light taller, plain hollow-chamfered 3-centred
arches, and hollow-chamfered 4-centred arch overall. Similar west window with the
cill level raised and a similar east window of full length.
The south porch is gabled, with scalloped slates to eaves and a terracotta cross
finial. 4-centred arched doorway in slatestone rubble with C19 wooden gates. The
interior of the porch has pitched slate floor. C19 common rafter roof. Square
aumbry to west. 3-centred arched inner doorway, chamfered, with a C19 plank door
with strap hinges.
The north vestry has gable to north with rectangular chamfered single light and 2-
centred arched chamfered doorway with C19 plank door.
Interior: Plastered walls and tiled floors. All roofs are C19 arched-braces with
wall-plates and collars. The tower arch is of two chamfered orders with 4-centred
arch and plain imposts, the wall chamfered to each side. C19 carved wooden screen
across the arch. The nave has a Holy water stoup to south, set on a carved corbel.
The blocked north doorway has a flat granite lintel. The north transept has a tomb
recess to north with chamfered 2-centred arch. To east there is a blocked doorway
with rounded hollow-chamfered arch with pyramid stops, probably formerly leading to a
rood stair; there is a blocked upper opening on the north side of the chancel with
cranked arch. The chancel has a bracket to north, carved as an angel, and C14
piscina to south with crocketed ogee hood. To north there is a slit opening in the
wall, said to have been a confessional. C19 tiled reredos. 2-centred arched
chamfered north doorway to the vestry, with a C19 door with strap hinges. The arch
to the north transept is segmental, plastered. 2-bay south arcade with 4-centred
moulded arches, Pevsner A-type piers with carved capitals, with leaves.
Fittings: C12 font in Pentewan stone in the nave, with circular bowl with carved
leaves, on circular stem with a square base with cushion stops. C19 benches in nave,
transept and south aisle. C19 carved wooden pulpit in the nave, and a C19 carved
screen between the chancel and the south aisle. C19 brass Communion rail. Some
carved bench ends in the north transept are possibly early C19 Gothic. Painted
shield in the nave, probably C19.
The monuments are all in the south aisle. Marble tablet to Frances Bettesworth,
1821, by W.H. Pearce of Truro. Stone monument to Charlotte Trevanion, 1810, with
weeping putti and a crocketed gable over a tomb chest with inscription panels and
shafts to sides with blind cusped panels as pilasters; by E. Coade the younger.
Large marble monument to William Trevanion, 1767, erected 1769; plinth with urns and
fluted drapery, shield of arms at the base. Life-size statue of George Byron
Bettesworth (1785-1808) with sword, cannon and anchor, by an unknown sculptor.
Ledger stone to Isabella Byron, 1752, and a ledger stone to John Trevanion, 1740,
with incised nowy head and good lettering.
Glass: The north window of the north transept has stained glass dated 1861; the east
window of the south aisle has stained glass dated for the restoration of 1864. The 2
lancets in the nave have stained glass showing Suffer Little Children and the
Presentation in the Temple; this appears to be early C19 and of unusual style, in the
manner of William Blake.
Sources: Pevsner, N.: Buildings of England: Cornwall 1970.
Gunnis, R.: Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851.

Listing NGR: SW9638442177

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