Callington Church, Cornwall

Callington Church, Cornwall

Callington Church is dedicated to St Mary, and is described by Pevsner as ‘an ambitious building’. It is a medieval church, said to be built by Sir Nicholas Assheton, and stands in the centre of Callington. The font here is similar to the one at Altarnun. The church has an imposing exterior. It is built almost entirely of large blocks of granite, and is battlemented throughout.

Callington Church was dedicated to 'The Blessed Virgin Mary' on 31st August 1438, but would appear to be on the site of an earlier church. In 1436, Bishop Lacy had been petitioned on burial rights, the petitioners stating that from 'time immemorial there had been a parochial chapel of St Mary at Calyngton, where all sacraments and sacramentals were duly administered, and praying that they '(the inhabitants)' may be allowed a cemetery because of the expense and inconvenience of conveying their dead to South Hill, a distance of three miles'.

In the 19th century it was closed for a period whilst it was extensively renovated; it reopened for divine service on 12th May 1859.

Architecture

The inside of the nave is spacious with high arcades with the original clerestory.

The tower is of three stages and contains six bells and a clock.

The font is typical Norman decorated with head at each corner.

There are a number of tombs, two of note, the first is that of Sir Nicholas Assheton, who had been a judge and whose portrait is in the chancel floor. The second is of a knight, the first Lord Willoughby de Broke, who was on Bosworth Field at the birth of the Tudor dynasty in 1485, and was a Marshal in the army of Henry VII. He had been steward of the Duchy of Cornwall and died in 1502.

 

Cornwall Churches