GWENNAP CHURCHTOWN, Gwennap
SW 74 SW
4/112 Church of Saint Wenappa
Parish church. C15 in 3 phases but incorporating some earlier walling of circa C13-C14. Restored and extended at intervals between 1862 and 1882-91. Roughly coursed granite moorstone and granite ashlar walls with granite dressings. Triple span of roofs, with central nave taller, porches and vestry, all with
dry Delabole slate and coped gable ends. Plan: South aisle, possibly originally nave, circa C13-C14, extended to north by new nave and south porch circa early C15, then with north aisle and porch, later all 3 extended to east, finally in the C19, vestry added to north of east end, north porch rebuilt,
gable ends partially rebuilt, re-roofed, and new window mullions and tracery inserted. Site slopes up to south and presumably prevented plan development
in that direction. All windows, except nave west window which is entirely C19, are C15 Perpendicular with C19 Perpendicular style mullions and tracery. West end has group of 3 gable ends with central taller nave gable mostly rebuilt C19 with C19 Perpendicular style 3-light window. North aisle gable end, left with C19 rebuilt gable has 4-light window. South aisle gable end, with 3-light window, except for Cl9 rebuilt gable is circa C13-C14 moorstone walling with
widened window opening C15, and contemporary with adjoining south wall. North wall is C15 with original plinth and coved wallplate cornice. Later C15 ashlar walling to east. Weathered diagonal buttress to north-west corner and buttresses between windows. 3 windows to left (east) of porch and 2 to right, with 5-lights to each C19, Perpendicular style. Vestry to far left is of
granite ashlar with central 2-light window to north gable and doorway with shouldered head to west wall. Porch has central C19 doorway and diagonal
corner buttresses. Inner chamfered doorway with 4-centred arch is circa late C15. East wall has 3 gable ends with gables rebuilt in the C19, with north
aisle gable end almost entirely rebuilt. Otherwise C15 plinth, walling and
outer frames of windows. 3-light window to south aisle and 4-light windows to nave and north aisle. Chimney serving vestry over north-east corner. South
wall, west, has symmetrical arrangement of circa C13-C14 roughly coursed
moorstone walling with central south doorway with porch and 2 windows to each side. Windows enlarged, C15, and mullions and tracery replaced, C19. Porch doorway is circa early C15 with convex moulded jambs (similar to earlier piers inside church) and 4-centred arch. Inner doorway is circa late C15 with wide chamfer and stepped stops. Slate sundial over porch doorway. Circa late C15 granite ashlar extension to right (east) with stair turret linking the
earliest surviving part to the last medieval phase. Windows to this part are larger but similar to others.
Interior has fine C15 granite arcades (the second tallest in Cornwall) of 5
bays between nave and aisles and 2 bays between chancel and aisles. All standard A (Pevsner) piers, except respond and 2 piers to west of south arcade and east respond of north arcade, which are granite monoliths, like the other piers, but moulded as if round piers with 4 engaged shafts. (Compare Church of Saint Filius, Philleigh). Arches are 4-centred over moulded or moulded and
carved capitals. Granite winder stair to south of former rood position in
south wall and circa C13-C14 trefoil-headed piscina to west of stair. Nave
roof, C19, is arch-braced with wind braces. Aisles have limewashed plaster barrel vaults. Some memorial windows with coloured glass. To north wall east
of doorway: window to Frederick Tabb 1856-1926, physician and surgeon,
depicting Jesus healing the sick; nativity window to Major Richard Ford of
Pengreep, 1884-1918, who died in France, and window to Elizabeth Tabb, died
1893, of Jesus before Pontius Pilate. East window of north aisle to B.M. Williams, died 1867, showing David and Goliath. Chancel window to William Williams, died 1870 aged 78.
Fittings: Norman font base to east end of north aisle, originally with large round shaft and 4 corner shafts; C19 polished marble font to the Reverend John Rogers, father of Canon Saltern Rogers, Vicar of Gwennap 1856-1893; reredos
with blind arcade flanked by painted panels of The Ten Commandments; screen,
with open Decorated style tracery, between chancel and north aisle; pine pews with shaped ends and coloured tiled walks between.
Monuments: West wall (nave) has marble urn within vertical oval to Henry Beauchamp, only son and heir of Joseph Beauchamp, and slate tablet with shaped pediment (over north door) and angels and vine carving by Northey Burnard in
1829 when aged 15. North wall has monument to James Whitburn, mine agent and marble monument with angel wings to William Henry Tregoning, died 1875 aged 59. South wall has several marble-monuments to the Williams family including one to Caroline Elizabeth Williams, died 1849 aged 24, of carved figure with urn on pedestal; to William Williams, died 1846 aged 26, with standard, and to Charles Edward Williams died 1842 aged 26; and marble aedicule with carved sargophogus over tree to Benjamin Sampson Esq. of Tullimaar, died 1840 aged 70. To east
end of south aisle is slate slab to James Pearrowe of St Burian, died 1691.
Listing NGR: SW7388640108