Part 1…A Sunday morning drive in Cornwall didn’t disappoint…

As we approached St, Michaels and All Angels, Church of England, we were awe of its beauty.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Michaelstow, Cornwall:

“Michaelstow is an attractive village and parish located about three miles south of Camelford in North Cornwall. The name means ‘St Michael’s Holy Place,’ and the parish church is dedicated to ‘St Michael and All Angels.’ The River Camel runs along the eastern edge of the parish. Helsbury Castle, an ancient, circular Iron Age hill fort, lies half a mile to the north on Michaelstow Beacon.”

Yesterday morning, we were entirely out of photos. We haven’t been out as much as we would have liked with all the rainy days lately. Although it was dark and dreary with rain on the horizon, we decided to get out anyway.

A sign identifying this particular Church of England.

The goal was to explore a few nearby villages taking as many photos as possible before the rain started again. Today, we’re experiencing the same kind of weather with rain expected at any moment.

As I write here now, Tom is watching yesterday’s Minnesota Viking game online. For some reason, this morning, the WiFi signal was too weak to allow him to stream the game. Finally, he’s been able to get it to work. 

The baptismal font.

The only reason we could think of this difficulty was the Monday morning surge in the use of the internet and the clouds affecting the satellite signal. In our travels, he experiences the same issues resulting in watching the game being frustrating and time-consuming.

I postponed starting today’s post to avoid using the WiFi, perhaps providing him with a better signal. But, this rarely provides much improvement when writing on this template doesn’t use much bandwidth (until I load photos).

Ornate wood carvings at the ends of the pews. 

Tom had seen an exciting photo online of a historic church in the nearby village of Michaelstow and searched for directions online. But it didn’t take more than a few seconds upon entering the tiny village of Michaelstow to see the impressive church’s historical tower, a true reflection of English history.

St. Michael and All Angels, Church of England, were truly breathtaking. Unfortunately, we can’t find the exact date the church was built at any of the few online mentions of this particular church. We suspect it may have been in the 13th century, but we did find the following information from this site.

Pipe organ.

“Michaelstow (Cornish: Logmighal (village) and Cornish: Pluwvighal in Trygordh (parish)is a civil parish and village in north Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The village is about three miles (5 km) south of Camelford. The hamlets of Fentonadle, Trevenning, and Treveighan are in the parish.

The civil parish of Michaelstow is in the deanery of Trigg Minor and Hundred of Lesnewth. It is named after ‘St Michael’s holy place,’ and the parish church is dedicated to St Michael and All Angels. There is a fine tall Cornish cross in the churchyard. Its original location is unknown; until it was removed in 1883, it formed part of a series of steps up to the churchyard. Three more crosses are at Trevenning. The River Camel runs along its eastern edge, and the surrounding parishes are Lanteglos-by-Camelford to the north, St Breward to the east, St Tudy to the south, and St Teath to the west.

A side alter.

Helsbury Castle (Cornish: Kastel Bre Henlys, a castle on the hill of the old court’), an Iron Age hill fort, stands on Michaelstow Beacon half a mile north of the village.”

Upon arrival at the church, we checked the vestibule to find the front door locked. As we wandered about the property, we found a side door opened (referred to as the transept) and entered.  

The pipe organ is located at the end of this aisle.

Although it was Sunday morning, we didn’t see any visitors or parishioners. Nonetheless, we entered, finding the interior not only historical but exciting in several ways.

No, it wasn’t an elaborate decor as we often see in historic churches, but it had several features that caught our eye, which inspired us to take photos to share here today. We weren’t disappointed and soon forgot about the cloudy day.
Stained glass windows at the alter.
We wandered through the cemetery, reading headstones and searching for any relevant historical facts and dates.  In many countries, especially in small towns and villages, we’ve found ourselves wandering through cemeteries, searching for the unique and the unusual.

As for the church’s build date, Tom found this information this morning to explain it further. Click here for more details:

MICHAELSTOW MICHAELSTOW SX 07 NE 6/113 Church of St Michael – 17.12.62 GV I“Parish church. Possibly C13 origins enlarged in C15. They were restored in 1826, in 1870-1889 by Messrs Hine and Odgers, and 1982. Stone rubble with granite quoins and molded granite plinth and strings to west tower. Slate roofs, nave, and chancel in one. Plan: Nave and chancel possibly with C13 origins with four-bay north aisle and 5-bay south aisle added in C15. Circa C15 south porch and west tower. Exterior: Unbuttressed west tower of 3 stages with rectangular stair turret on the north. Battlemented parapets with crocketed pinnacles surmounted by crosses. Molded stilted arch to the west door. C19 3 light west window and 2-light belfry openings with slate louvers. C19 tracery in the south aisle, simple 3-light Perpendicular tracery in chancel window, and circa C15 3-light Perpendicular window with cusped heads at the east end of the north aisle. Piscina on the exterior of the north wall of the chancel. 3 C15 Perpendicular windows in the north aisle and blocked 4-centred molded arch to the north door. South porch has a 2-centered hollow-chamfered arch with a sundial of 1684, C15 wagon roof, and molded basket arch of Catacleuse stone with hollow chamfer and carved with floral motifs. Interior: Plaster walls. Unceiled C15 wagon roofs in nave and north and south aisles with carved ribs and wall plate partly restored. Particularly high-quality carving in the north aisle with evidence of pendants at the east end. C19 roof to chancel. 5-bay arcade to south aisle and 4-bay arcade to north aisle with granite type A (Pevsner) piers, molded bases, molded 4-centered arches, and carved capitals of Caen stone and Polyphant stone. Piscina and credence in the chancel, circa C15 font and Royal Arms dated 1727, painted on timber board. Circa C15 bench ends rescued from Church of St Tudius, St Tudy. Other benches 1882. 2 commandment boards dated 1803 and signed Henry Hocken and Wm Symons, Churchwardens. Bell dated 1550. C16 and C17 memorials. Maclean, Sir John Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor in the County of Cornwall 1879 Pevsner, N, and Radcliffe, E The Buildings of England, Cornwall 2nd edition, 1970 Church guide.”

The side view of the historic church in Michaelstow, Cornwall.
We’re looking forward to tomorrow’s post when we happened upon a fantastic social experience during Sunday’s explorations.  More will follow!

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, September 16, 2018:

Kudus are usually early morning visitors, although we’ll occasionally see them during the day and evening. For more photos, please click here.