Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
St. Michael Caerhays
National Grid Reference:
SW 96382 42179


ST MICHAEL CAERHAYS SW 94 SE 3/139 Church of St Michael 10.2.67 GV I

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


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Gunnis, R, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, (1953)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire: The Cotswolds, (1970)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 15 Nov 2002
Reference: IOE01/04645/08
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr John Weller. Source Historic England Archive
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