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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Cornwall

by Jo Lewis, 10 November 2017

 

 

Carrick Part 5: Churches of Merther, Fentgollan, & Lamorran

St Cohan's Chapel, Merther

The lost St Cohan's Chapel lay on the outskirts of Merther when heading there from Tresillian. St Coan field is on the right-hand side after the road forks right to Merther and heads towards the village. This was the first chapel of that name, dating to around 1370 and named for St Cohen (Coan) after he was murdered in his hermitage near here during King Athelstan's conquest of Cornwall. The chapel was destroyed around 1750 and by 1860 the last stones had been removed.

St Coan, Merther

The church of St Coan or St Coanus, Merther, lies a little further along the road towards Merther, on the left before the farm. Although there are warning signs, the Grade 2 listed building is still accessible. It was once the main church in the Tregothnan area, until the 1900s witnessed a falling local population and also attendance figures. In 1904 a more conveniently positioned church at Tresillian Bridge was enlarged. St Coan became a mortuary chapel and later fell into ruin.

Merther Lane Wesleyan Chapel

Merther Lane Wesleyan Chapel lies along Merther Lane, on the right-hand side next to a cottage. This small chapel was built in 1842, and there are records of a Sunday school attendance between 1892-1899. Built as a Wesleyan chapel it became Merther Lane Methodist Church at the Methodist union in 1932 and was part of Truro Methodist Circuit. Twentieth century post-war attendances showed a marked decline and the chapel was forced to close in 1975.

St Mary, Fentongollan

The lost church of St Mary, Fentongollan, also lies on Merther Lane, after turning right at the corner turn to St Michael Penkivel (see below). There is a wayside cross opposite the turn. The chapel here was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is marked on 1888 maps as site of St Mary's Chapel and its exact position can be deduced by comparison with modern maps. Some stone gate posts survive, along with a stone wall.

The Church of St Michael Penkivel

The Church of St Michael Penkivel is in the eponymous village (sometimes Penkevil). This Grade 1 listed church lies close to the Tregothnan estate. It was consecrated in 1261; probably consisting only of a nave and chancel. In 1319 a petition was granted by the bishop of Exeter to form a collegiate church by building a chantry for four chaplains. The current church was built in 1862-66 on the site of the old one. It consists of chancel, nave, north and south transepts.

St Moran, Lamorran

St Moran or St Morenna, Lamorran, lies close to the creek. The church was built in the mid-thirteenth century and has never been enlarged. It was dedicated to St Morenna in 1261, underwent unsympathetic restoration in 1845 under William White, and further work in 1853 for Lord Falmouth, Evelyn Boscawen, sixth viscount. The tower is separate from the church and the font of Catacleuse stone may be Norman. The church was temporary closed during 2017 thanks to bats.

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