Tuesday 27 August 2019

14th Century St Winnow Church at Lanteglos-by-Fowey With Connections to King Charles II

One of my favourite walks is Hall Walk along the Fowey River. I'll publish a post on this later in the year. I mention it now as we often extend the walk slightly to take in St. Willow church at Lanteglos-by-Fowey.

There is a bit of confusion over the exact name of the saint. He is also sometimes known as St. Wyllow or St. Wylloc. But, whatever, he was an interesting fellow who ended up being decapitated - but more on that another day.

Most of the church is 14th century and this includes the lantern headed cross, with carved figures, shown in the photos above and below.

The wagon roof has survived from the 16th century, other than a few repairs.

A closer look at the detail of the roof.

The font (below) is made from Pentewan stone with a leaf pattern. This is believed to be circa 13th century.

So much to see: the pews are beautifully carved and there are many other interesting features. No wonder the author Daphne du Maurier, who lived locally, chose to get married here. She also featured the church in her first novel The Loving Spirit, though she named it as 'Lanoc church' in her book.

A wonderful old door, imagine the people who may have passed through and the stories they could tell.

Steps leading upwards: the tower is about 70 feet tall with six bells. Their sound is said to have delighted the poet Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. There is a monument to Quiller-Couch seen when on the Hall Walk I mentioned earlier.

The plaque below fascinates me as this was presented to the parish by King Charles II for remaining loyal to the king throughout England's Civil War.

While restoration work was being carried out, traces of another plaque were found underneath, from King Charles I. 

Many of the paths in this area may have been walked by King Charles II. There is one spot in particular where he survived an attempt to kill him. More on this in a future post.


  1. As you may know Mike, I love old churches, so full of stories and history. very strange name for this church, not heard of this saint before. The "barrel roof" is fantastic and you have to admire the work of the craftsmen who constructed these buildings. No elevating platforms or tubular scaffolding. Great post, I enjoyed viewing it and commenting too.

    1. Thank you, David. We tend to visit churches wherever we go. As with this church we are often the only visitors. It's interesting to walk round undisturbed and soak up the atmosphere.

  2. David has said it very well! And as for that roof, amazing! I feel certain that those who built it must have also been boat builders. I never tire of visiting ancient structures and seeing posts like this with such nice detail. Thanks!

  3. Hello Ann. Interesting point about the roof, those who built it could well have been boatbuilders - there are still boatyards nearby. I never tire of visiting churches. Thank you Ann, best wishes.



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