Minster set remarkably within the folds of the valley becomes ablaze at springtime with yellow daffodils giving way to white aconites and aromatic wild garlic, can be approached on foot via the Valency Valley or by car by taking the first lane to Home Farm.
Minster is unusual
as its tower has a saddleback roof instead of battlements and its setting
the group of 7 churches as it stands below road level.
The original church was Norman and erected by William de Bottreaux, Lord of the manor in 1150. Little remains of the original church. In 1507 restoration was undertaken, adding the south aisle and rebuilding the porch and upper part of the tower. By the 19th century the church fell into
There has been a religious foundation on this site since about the year 500 AD when Madryn, a Welsh princess settled in this valley to give healing by prayer and water. St Merthiana - as she is now known - died here and is said to be buried in the chancel of the church. She also became the patron of the daughter church of St Materiana at Tintagel.
by J.P St Aubyn.
This restoration saw much of the interior removed.
The barrel vault roof with its carved images, box pews, beautifully carved bench ends and singers
gallery in the west end were burnt, sold or given away.
A couple of bench ends were saved and used to form part
of the altar at Forrabury (St Symphorian) - so
some idea of the quality of the carvings
destroyed can still be seen.
"The Minster of the trees! A lonely dell
Deep with grey oaks, and 'mid their quiet shade
Grey with moss of years, yon antique cell!
Sad are those walls: The cloister lowly laid
Where passing monks at solemn evening made
Their chanted orisons: and as the breeze
Came up the vale, by rock and tree delay'd,
They heard the awful voices of many seas
Blend with the passing hymn - thou Minster of the Trees"
Rev. R S. Hawker's description of Minster Church.
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Extracts taken from 'CHURCH TRAILS IN CORNWALL' pack produced by North Cornwall Heritage Coast & Countryside. Original text by Jeremy Dowling