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Trevalga Church

External view showing 3 stage tower and at the eastern the Bolitho window
Internal view of Trevalga, on the left side you can see the font 3 pews down, and Norman arch through which is the organ
The Pulpit, which shows scenes of St Petroc's life, was carved in Exeter along with the Sanctuary chair and desk, and were given by his wife in memory of Richard Bolitho Stephens former lord of the Manor
The east window is in memory of the Bolitho family
Opposite the main doorway is the Font in front of the walled up north door and is of the Norman period. It is made of Greenstone
Map showing location of Trevalga church

Trevalga (St Petroc,s) situated halfway between Boscastle and Tintagel and hidden away behind the hamlet, which is a Manor and was held by the King in 1086 is now held in trust. Gerald Curgenven left it in trust so that the Village and Parish would remain unspoilt for future generations. The church sits nicely against the rising hills on one side and thrusts its self forward towards majestic views across to the sea and beyond.

The origin of the church is Norman. It consists  of a chancel, nave and chapel which is separated from the nave by the Norman arch. This is where the organ is now sited. If you look by the arch you will see a Haglioscope (a peephole to let
the people in the side chapel see the Altar), and a small Piscina (a stone basin for rinsing the Chalice).
At one time there was a singer's gallery at the west end but it was taken down when J.P St Aubyn restored the church. The church was re-roofed and the south wall rebuilt in 1874. The cost was £300. The tower is 13th Century and reworked in the 15th Century. At one time it had three bells but now it only has one. The west window is also in memory of the Bolitho family.  The other memorials in the church relate to Samuel Roscarrock (1640) of Trehane, the Rickard family (1790-1842) of Trehane and James May, Rector (1832). The first recorded Rector was Richard in 1173 and the last Rector left in 1943. A list can be seen at the church (see panel below left).
The church has a chalice, which dates from 1582, and a Paton dated 1723.
Walk down the steps to the porch and on the right there is a wheel headed Wayside Cross, opposite there is a chest tomb of Thomas and Elizabeth Rickard - note how Elizabeth's age is carved. Walk to the left and on the bank is a headstone for Joan - the daughter of Theophelous Pethick. A little way along is the headstone of Mark and Joan Boddy, also of William Laskey - late Rector of Trevalga who died aged 48 leaving a wife and 14 children! By the east boundary of the churchyard are 3 headstones of William Blewett and Jenefer, Anne Hocken and Anne Bersey.
Along the North side of the churchyard there is a headstone for John Mitchell lying against the tomb of Ann Wade. These are some of the many interesting stones to watch out for.


This piece of oak, all carved from one piece of timber, was part of the rood screen erected in  St Petroc's church Trevalga.

  This piece of oak, all carved from one piece of timber, was part of the rood screen erected in  St Petroc's church Trevalga. Unfortunately decay and rot set in, and by the 19th century was removed during renovations. This is a surviving part, at the top is an angel, without her face. Do note the attention to detail underlining the value medieval society put upon their places of worship. To see a full rood screen please visit churches at Blisland and little Petherick, near Padstow both screens date from the 18th century.
This Item has been kindly loaned by the Parochial Church council.

In the churchyard by the steps down to the porch on the south side is a wheel headed wayside cross which could be as early as the 8th century. It used to stand by the churchpath but was moved to the churchyard in 1808 by John Trehane Symonds, the then rector.

In the porch is a piece of the old chancel screen, (now on display at the Visitors Centre Boscastle), also a list recording all the Rectors, can be seen (see text to the left ).

Click image to enlarge

Note the Norman arch through this you can see the Organ and to the right the Haglioscope. Notice also the Lectern from which the Bible is read, it being typical of many found in the shape of an eagle. The eagle is the symbol of St John the Evangelist whose words in the Book of Revelations "soared up into the presence of Christ". In mediaeval times it was believed that the eagle renewed itself by flying into the sun.

Reredos behind the Altar is 16th century Dutch (Flemish) carving depicting  the Visitation, the Annunciation and the Crucifixtion.

The Oak Alter table was given by Christina Anne Pope the Nice and God-Daughter in memory of Henry  William D'Aeth Fleet - Paymaster for many years a regular attendant at this church.

Click image to enlarge

In the Porch a list of Rectors who have served at the church.
In the Porch a list of Rectors who have served at the church. Just inside on the south wall as you enter the Nave you can see a clearer list.

A stone basin for rinsing the Chalice
On the south wall are the remains of a small piscina (a stone basin for rinsing the Chalice).

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Extracts taken from 'CHURCH TRAILS IN CORNWALL' packs produced by North Cornwall Heritage Coast & Countryside. Original text by Jeremy Dowling