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Minster Church

View of Minster particularly fine with its yellow daffodils. The western face of the tower has an inscribed sissor shape - no one knows why
Cotton family memorial dated 1656. note the kneeling figures, typical of the period, and the text beneath
Minster view of inside. You can just see the Cotton memorial through the first Arch by the window
Font with its diagonal criss cross lines. Its well worth standing here and reflecting on what St Aubyn removed
Map Showing Location of Minster Church

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 different from 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

St. Merthiana
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.

 decay and in 1869 the roof collapsed. In 1871 it reopened having undergone a transformation
 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 name Minster (Latin: monasteritim) suggest that at one time a monastery stood here.

"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