SX 08 NE
4/186 Church of St Materiana
Parish church dedicated to St Materiana. Circa C11 with north doorway of circa 1080
(Sedding) and south doorway of circa 1130 (Sedding). 2 Norman windows on north side
of church and 2 on south. Norman font. Restored in 1870 by J.P. St Aubyn.
Stone rubble including Greenstone, slate, hornblende and felspar. Ashlar stone in
tower. Scantle slate roof to nave, lower rag slate roof to tower and slate roof with
gable ends to north and south transepts.
The Norman church appears to have been of cruciform plan. The north doorway, which
was not accessible at time of survey (1986), was dated by Sedding to 1080 and the
south doorway some 50 years later. The south transept, Sedding suggests was
lengthened in the circa late C12, the transepts originally being of equal length.
The remains of impost mouldings suggest that a crossing tower had originally been
planned although it is uncertain whether the tower was built, the present west tower
being of circa late C14 or early C15. In circa C14 the north porch was added and the
south porch, possibly of the C14 was rebuilt in circa C18. Sometime possibly in the
C14 a small chapel was added on the north side of the chancel and in circa 1500 the
rood screen was erected. In circa later C19 an organ chamber was built between the
north transept and the north chancel chapel, part of the chancel wall was taken down,
an arch erected to carry the chancel roof and the earlier window reset in the newly
erected north wall. The church was restored by J.P. St Aubyn in 1870 when it lost
its roof and pews.
West tower: of 3 stages with battlemented parapet and stair in projection on north
side. 2-centred arch to west door with chamfer and diagonal stops and hoodmould.
C19 door. 3-light west window with cusped heads and 2-light belfry openings with
North porch: circa C14 the outer door with a very hollow chamfer to the almost round
headed arch which has a double roll mould with cavello in between and large pyramid
stops. The inner north door arch (not accessible) has Norman label and impost
mouldings with a plain tympanum (Sedding). The medieval hinges which Sedding
suggests are the only example of Norman ironwork which survives in Britain, have been
reset and reused on the C20 door. North wall of nave has a Norman window; single
lancet with deep splay and a 2-light window. The north transept has a C19 2-light
west window, a 2-light window with cusped heads on the north and a 3-light lancet
window in the east wall.
Chancel: 3-light east window renewed in C19. The south wall has 2 windows, probably
of C19 with a partly blocked Norman window which was altered when a circa C14
canopied recess was inserted in the Chancel. There is evidence of part rebuilding
below the eaves in the south transept which has a circa C14 decorated 2-light window
with a cusped head and two 2-light windows with cusped heads in the east wall. South
wall of nave has a 3-light window with 4-centred arch and a single lancet window with
deeply splayed reveals to the west of the south porch.
The south porch has been rebuilt, possibly in the C18 witha stilted arch, the right
hand jamb with a possibly date scratched - 179. South door with circa early C12
arch, 1 shaft circular and the other octagonal with differing capitals. C19 door and
C19 roof to porch.
Interior : Roof replaced during restoration of 1870; arch braced roof with 2 tiers of
wind braces to nave and lower chancel roofs and 1 tier of wind braces in the roofs of
the north and south transepts. 2-centred tower arch. 4-centred chancel arch
possibly rebuilt in C19 with earlier chevron moulding to crossing tower, partly
remains of impost moulding to crossing tower, partly replaced in 1870s. Rood Screed
circa 1500 with Perpendicular tracery. Canopied recess of circa C14 on south side of
chancel. Font, Norman with 4 carved heads at corners, stout central shaft and 4
octagonal shafts. St Julitta's font at west end of nave, possibly a Norman font bowl
brought from St Jullita's chapel at Tintagel Castle (qv).
Reredos with reused circa C15 carved bench ends from nave and from parish church of
St Teath. Stone bench runs around west and south walls of south transept. Pre-
reformation stone altar in north chancel chapel.
Memorial brass of Joanna Kelly set in west wall of south transept, originally set in
floor at east end of chancel, circa 1430. Roman stone at west end of south transept
inscribed IMP C G VAL LIC LICIN, previously used as coffin rest at lower church stile
(qv. lychgate to south of Church of St Materiana) until 1888.
Canner, A.C. The Ancient Parish Church of Tintagel
The Parish of Tintagel, some historical notes, 1982
Maclean, Sir John Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg.
Minor in the county of Cornwall, 1970
Pevsner, N and Radcliffe, E The Buildings of England, Cornwall, 2nd edition 1970
Sedding, E.H. Norman Architecture in Cornwall, an handbook of Old
Cornish Ecclesiastical Architecture, 1909
Listing NGR: SX0506688451