ST. CLETHER PARISH CHURCH

 

St Clether parish has had three churches - the present Holy Well Chapel and, later, two on the present church site.   St Clether (or Clederus) built his hermitage beside a spring in the Inny Valley and erected a 4th century granite altar.   The chapel is the largest holy-well chapel in Cornwall, serving the community as its church until the 12th century, when a church was built on the site of the present building.

Very little is known about St Clether, save the tradition that he was one of the 24 children of a Welsh chieftain named Brychan, all of whom became church founders in Cornwall, Wales or Devon.

By the 19th century the hermitage (chapel) building had become a ruin, but it was rescued by the Rev Sabine Baring-Gould, a famous Victorian archaeologist and the writer of the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers".   He organised its rebuilding in 1895.   Water from St Clether's Holy Well, which originates in a spring with a stone canopy north of the chapel, passes through the chapel itself and then out through the south wall.   Services are occasionally held there and the chapel is a popular destination for walkers, particularly in the summer months, lying half-a-mile west of the church, and accessed by a footpath between steep, grassy banks.

The current church has a 15th century tower, but apart from the tower the building was largely replaced in 1865.   A special feature is the simple Norman font, which has a round bowl and rim, and a shaft with "rope" banding.

 


ST. CLETHER PARISH
Webpage icon ABOUT US
Webpage icon ST. CLETHER PARISH
Webpage icon ST. CLETHER PARISH
Webpage icon UP TO DATE INFORMATION
Webpage icon ST. CLETHER PARISH