ST STEPHEN IN ST STEPHEN
SW 95 SW BRANNEL
3/144 Church of St Stephen
Parish church. C12 origin; rebuilt and enlarged through the C15, the north aisle
said to be of 1425, with later C15 additions; the north aisle is dated 1822, at the
time of restoration, and the tower bell-openings dated 1893; C19 restoration.
Squared granite rubble with granite dressings. Slate roofs with ridge tiles and
gable ends with raised coped verges and cross finials.
Plan: Nave and chancel in one; the south doorway to the nave is all that remains of
the C12 church, which was probably lengthened to east with a C15 chancel. North
aisle of 1425, with south aisle and south porch. Later C15 west tower. C20 north
Exterior: The nave has three south windows, all C19, of 2 lights, with cusped ogee
lights and square hood moulds; no plinth.
The chancel east end is on chamfered plinth, not continuous with the aisle plinths.
C15 Perpendicular east window of 4 lights, with cusped lights and Y tracery, 4-
centred arch and hood mould. Recessed stone set above and C19 quatrefoil breather.
The north aisle is on a chamfered plinth, of 8 bays with the C20 vestry at the east
end; this has pitched roof and door, with C19 weathered stack rising from the eaves
of the aisle. The east end has 4-light C15 Perpendicular window as on chancel, with
quatrefoil breather and datestone with initials, JS, RC, and CW 1822. The west end
has 3-light C19 window with cusped lights and squared head, quatrefoil breather
above. To north, there is one C19 3-light Perpendicular window with cusped lights,
4-centred arches and hood moulds. Third bay from west has a 4-centred arched doorway
with moulded surround, hood mould and relieving arch with C19 plank door.
The south aisle is of 3 bays on chamfered plinth. All windows are of C19
reconstruction. To south there are three 3-light windows in Perpendicular style with
4-centred arches and hood mould; second from west a 2-centred arched hollow-chamfered
doorway with hood mould and C19 plank door. The west end has similar 3-light window
without hood mould and with quatrefoil breather above. The east end has 4-light C19
window with Y tracery and 4-centred arch with hood mould.
The south porch has 2-centred arched outer doorway with cast iron gates. Slate
sundial with gnomon set over, with nowy head, dated 1806. The interior of the porch
has granite paved floor, C19 scissors truss roof. Fine C12 inner doorway, of 2
chamfered orders with round arch in banded dark and pale stone, with imposts; there
are roundels carved on the chamfer of each arch with a convex moulded arch over; C19
plank door with fleur de lys strap hinges.
The west tower in 3 stages, without plinth, with moulded string courses and set-back
weathered buttresses, embattled parapet with large crocketted pinnacles. 4-centred
arched west doorway with hollow mouldings, plank double doors with strap hinges of
C19. 3-light west window of C15, with unusual tracery with cusped lights, 4-centred
arch and hood mould. The third stage has 3-light 4-centred arched bell-openings with
cusped lights and pierced slate louvres. Second stage to south a cusped lancet and
plain lancet. Clock at all sides at the third stage, as a memorial to the 1914-18
War. Rectangular stair tower to north with string courses and lancets.
Interior: Plaster removed from all walls except the nave and chancel. Granite paved
floor. The nave and chancel have continuous ceiled roof with moulded ribs, carved
bosses and wall-plate of C19. North aisle has similar wagon roof with C15 carved
wall-plates. 8-bay north arcade with Pevsner A-type piers with 2-centred arches,
hollow-chamfered. The east end of the north aisle is used as an organ chamber and
vestry, with 2-centred arched chamfered aumbry at the east end. Round-arched hollow-
chamfered doorway to north (concealed externally by the C20 vestry). Similar 4-bay
south arcade with convex and concave mouldings to 2-centred arches; no indication of
a former rood loft. Tall chamfered 2-centred arched tower arch with imposts and C19
Gothic screen across and corbelled inner arch. 2-centred arched hollow-chamferd
doorway to the stair tower.
Fittings: Fine late C12 stone font in nave, of Bodmin type, with circular bowl with
carved beasts and demi-figures at the corners, with four outer shafts and one central
shaft. C19 wooden pulpit in the nave incorporating panels of C17 carving. Good C19
Gothic stalls and desks in the chancel with stencilled decorations, matching the
screen to north and south. Pair of C19 sanctuary chairs in south aisle with inset
tiles in the backs. No early monuments.
Sources: Pevsner, N.: Buildings of England: Cornwall 1970.
Listing NGR: SW9449953326