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This is one of Cornwall’s largest and architecturally most intriguing churches. It retains an open feel partly because the pews were removed altogether at one time and when replaced in the 1970s wide alleyways were left, as they would have been in medieval times, to allow for processions to pass easily. Much of the church dates from the 15th century, but the remarkable multi-coloured pillars are 13th-century. They are not made of local stone and may have come from Brittany. Parts of the church were rebuilt after the spire was struck by lightning in 1770. Most unusually the church has three rood stairs (only one was needed). This may be because the relative positions of the nave and chancel shifted over time. The 15th-century font has angels at the corners, and is unusual in having prominent letters carved into it: AM for Ave Maria and IHS for Jesus. St Keverne’s bench-ends have been restored, but are still full of interest, with many symbols of Jesus’s Crucifixion. The tower and spire are very prominent, and are still a daymark for sailors; offshore are the rocks called the Manacles, a notorious shipping hazard. Many sailors have come to grief in these waters over the centuries, as the number of memorials in the church and the churchyard attests.

St Keverne
St Keverne

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