Left (Top) The west side of St. Illogan Parish Church
Right (Top) Internal view of the church looking towards the East Window
3. The pulpit
11. The old sundial
14. The stone font
Published November 2015
Compilers/contributors: Rev W E W Wycliffe-Jones, Rev Peter Tremelling, Gill Meteyard, David Mathieson, Pamela Tompsett, Joe Thomas, Sigrid Rutishauser-James, with added photos D Piper, R Wood, R Boast, A Webb, B Healey.
ST ILLOGAN PARISH CHURCH GUIDE & HISTORICAL NOTES
The first parish church on this site, dedicated to St. Illogan, was noted from the 13th century and the first recorded rector, Walter de Austolo, was inducted in 1284. (See more detailed historical notes here).
Sadly, no authentic pictures of this have been discovered to date. In the 19th century the church was considered too small and the present building was consecrated in 1846, leaving the bell tower (picture 10) and Basset vault and monument (picture 1) on the old site.
Our Feast Day (usually the day of the Saint to whom the Church is dedicated) is associated with St Luke’s Day (18 October), which has led many to believe that the Parish Church is dedicated to this Saint. The Feast Day of St Illogan may have been one of those moved after the Reformation to reduce the number of holidays each year, in which case it was natural to transfer it to the Feast of St Luke, as the name of the evangelist somewhat resembled that of the old Celtic Saint.
After Walter de Austolo, the next records show that in 1490 John Treskeulard, a Cornishman who died at Hook in Hampshire, bequeathed 20 shillings to the Parish Church of St Loganus in Cornwall where he was born and bred. In 1507 John Nans L.L.D., Rector of this Parish left ‘a cope for the use of St Illogan, of the value of 100 shillings’. In 1532 another Rector, Owen Watson, left £16 ‘to the fabric of his mansion (Rectory House) of St Illuganus’. Such a chain of references seems to prove that our Church was dedicated to St Illogan and the evidence from Wales and Brittany suggests that he was one of the many Celtic missionaries who brought the Gospel to these parts.
THE OLD CHURCH
The earliest reliable reference to a church in Illogan, dated 1235, refers to the Ecclesia of Eglosalau. All that remains today of the church on that site is the tower, some monuments and a few stones. The building lay roughly in a North East – South West alignment and almost filled the original tiny churchyard which lay around it in a rough oval. As was common with many other Cornish churches, it would seem that the church was either extensively restored or entirely rebuilt about 1500.
There were also several chapels in the parish during the Middle Ages. The Rectory of Saints Illogan and Edmund appears in documents of 1543 and 1548. Interestingly, the dedication to St Edmund appears in several references to the new building, but this is incorrect.
The plan (picture 2) shows the church as it was in 1804. It had two shallow tran-septs and was similar in appearance to Breage Church, near Helston. Notice that the two internal walls on the left of the plan (East End) are quite thick suggesting an earlier, Norman church. Unfortunately, no authenticated pictures are available. The walls of the church were regularly whitewashed. Burials were often made in the church at a charge of one guinea. These made the floor very uneven and it had to be levelled frequently.
Whilst the Rectory family sat in the Chancel, the Bassets sat in the Tehidy Chancel at the side and beneath this Tehidy Chancel were the burial vaults of the family (picture 1) which (still existing) determine, with the Tower, the position of the old church.
The oak pews all had doors to keep out the draught, some having richly carved bench ends with early 17th century carving. A few survive and can be seen in the new church. There does not appear to have been any heating until 1822 when a stove was fixed. The Choir, led by Mr John Clark who played the bassoon after its purchase in 1798, sat in a gallery across the west end. A guinea was spent in 1823 for re-establishing a choir of singers—‘their music and reeds for the bassoon being the cause of regular expense’.
Ten Commandment Tablets
There was an oak Communion Table over which were the slate tablets of the Ten Commandments (picture 5) – now to be seen in the Parish Church behind the altar table.
The Pulpit in the old church was an elaborate structure with a canopy or sounding board over it and some form of ‘cloths’ on the desk and ledge. It was erected in 1721. It was made in Truro by Joseph Hocking, who a few years previously, had made the new Communion Table for two guineas. The timber for the pulpit was mainly bought from the Churchwardens of Truro. It took Mr Hocking three months to build it, together with the canopy, in his workshop assisted by a man and boy. After it had been fetched from Truro in a wagon, he took twelve days, assisted by John Ley and John Phillips of Illogan, to erect it in the Church; the total cost of this being £25. The Rector, who was also Rector of Camborne – the Rev. Robert New-combe came over to preach the first sermon from it.
King Charles I Letter and Royal Arms of Hanover
The famous letter from Charles I (1600-1649) to the ‘inhabitants of the County of Cornwall’ was fixed to the wall and the Royal Coat of Arms of the House of Hanover (picture 7) was erected about the middle of the 18th century – perhaps over the door. It was probably placed in position in the old church towards the end of the 18th century when John Basset, became rector, and his brother, Lord de Dunstan-ville, had become a man of national importance. These artefacts were also removed to the new church.
The earliest-known Church-wardens’ account book for 1702-1787 is held in the County Records Office, Truro. Ref. AD 106. This covers the period when John Wes-ley was visiting Cornwall. Others cover the periods 1787-1838 and 1838-1845.
In 1735 a coach house was built in Churchtown for the Basset coach. During the last century the building on the East side of the North Gate housed the coach while the horses were stabled in the building on the West side. This building on the West side later housed the hand propelled parish bier – 76″ long, 62″ wide and 38″ high. This same building later became known as ‘The Dead House’ as in 1868 it served as a mortuary. This was eventually sold and in the early 21st century converted to a dwelling.
Centuries of burial upon burial had raised the level of the ground some six or seven feet above the surrounding fields. By following this level one may trace the course of the old walls from the curve of the road, passing the ancient Cross (which on its western disc has a Latin Cross and on the eastern disc a Maltese Cross) until rejoin-ing the present boundary behind a garage. It is possible that it was an island site with the road running round it at an early date. A road originally ran from a point by the Bridge Road corner to a point close to the North Porch of the present Church, where, meeting the churchyard wall (built in 1822) it turned sharp right to join the present road in one direction and possibly went up to the present North Gate. Graves dug on this line have found foundations of an old road.
An early map shows a good-sized building in the middle of the old Churchyard reached by a road from the present North Gate. This seems to have been the Par-ish Clerk’s home, pulled down in 1841. To the original Churchyard there were three stiles giving access to the Church, one of which probably entered from Churchtown where the still surviving ‘upingstock’ was erected for 10/- (ten shillings) in 1807.
In 1803 the Churchyard was extended southward and now includes a further sec-tion on the north side.
In November 1967, prior to road widening in the North East corner by Cornwall County Council, the remains of those buried in this area were re-interred together in a place to be found in the newer part of the Churchyard – the headstones being re-erected by the boundary wall either near to the original site of the graves in-volved or by the entrance to the Council cemetery.
Clock and Tower
Every trace of the Old Church would have been removed had not Trinity House in-terposed to save the tower (picture 10), which was a scheduled landmark on their navigation charts. The clock (picture 9), made by John Moore & Son of Clerkenwell, was given by Mrs M Basset in 1836 – the clock hammer striking the hours on the tenor bell. Extensive repair work was carried out upon the Tower in 1985 and the clock (which has a ten foot pendulum) was restored at the same time. The clock was refurbished and the face repainted in 2007 and the mechanism restored by David Piper in 2013.
Church Bells (in the tower of the old church)
The earliest records indicate that in November 1708 a third bell was cast – probably in the Churchyard, as was then the practice. Two ‘plows’ or wagons took a whole day fetching clay while a man and his horse had to get the ‘schall beam and weights’ for weighing the bell. Stephen James and Harry Oppey helped in the casting. The iron work for hanging the bell was made by Francis Knuckey and Mr Gooding did the hanging, the Founders charging £10.
An inspection of the tower bells of Cornwall by E.H.W. Dunkin in the 1870s revealed six in the Illogan tower. They were in a very poor state. Four, dated 1760, were from the Gloucester Bell Foundry. The other two had been cast for £28 in 1828 at Harvey’s Iron Foundry in Hayle. These six bells were removed in January 1889 by William Agett, a Church Bell Hanger from Devon, recast by Mears and Stainbank, and rehung ready for ringing and chiming at Easter, as requested by Mrs Bassett.
The bells have canons of the Doncaster type with centre holes to take clappers, all quarter-turned, possibly when rehung by Gillet and Johnson in the 1930s. The tenor (largest) bell (picture 13) measures some 3 foot in diameter and weighing 7cwt 2qr 9lb. The note of this bell, and hence the keynote of the peal, is nominally Bb. The Bell frame was designed to carry 6 bells in two tiers and was restored in 1994 by David Ball, a local craftsman.
Wires which could be plucked so that hammers would strike the bells were used at one time to play a hymn tune to call ringers to the service. These were removed as there was a risk of the hammers causing serious damage to the bells. Subsequently in the light of various problems, an electronic mechanism was installed to strike the hanging bells and they still ring out for services, weddings and funerals. A conven-tional peal was rung for the last time at the Millenium (picture 8).
Lord de Dunstanville of Tehidy’s Funeral
Lord de Dunstanville (in whose memory the monument on Cam Brea was built) died on the 5th February 1835 in London. The funeral procession left London at walking pace on 14th February reaching the Tamar nine days later. On the 23rd they reached Bodmin and on the 24th, Truro. Mr Ashley Rowe has written ‘The next day some 200 of the Tehidy tenantry came to the town on horseback and the last stage of the journey commenced. Once again the Civic party headed the procession and the Clergy of Truro in their gowns, accompanied them. The actual interment took place at Illogan on Thursday. It is stated that not less than 20,000 were present in-cluding some hundreds of horsemen and 150 carriages. All the children belonging to the school supported by Lady Basset were neatly dressed in black and walked immediately behind the tenantry and mine-agents on horseback’.
Last Service in Old Church
On Sunday 6th April 1845 the Rev. George Treweeke preached the last sermon in the Parish Church, which was to be taken down and rebuilt on a scale suitable to the greatly increased population of the Parish. For eighteen months the centre of the Parish was without its Church, weddings and baptisms being held at Trevenson Chapel in Pool during that period.
THE NEW CHURCH
The corner stone of the new church was laid on Saturday 5th July 1845 by the Bish-op of Exeter (as this was before the formation of the Diocese of Truro). The new Church was built at a cost of £2875 from designs by Mr James P. St Aubyn. The orig-inal plan exists and shows the structure deviates in several respects from the plans. The old Tower was to have been reconstructed at the West end, where, after Trinity house had refused to allow its removal, a place was left for the subsequent erection of another tower, currently not accomplished. Two stoves heated the Church with another in the Basset pew.
First Service in New Church
Over a year more elapsed before the Archdeacon of Cornwall with some thirty local clergy opened the new building for worship on the 4th November 1846. The Preacher was the Rev. Edward Dix, Vicar of Newlyn who took the text Haggai 1:3.4, the Rector of Illogan, the Rev. George Treweeke being prevented by illness from being present.
Consecration of New Church
The Bishop of Exeter was only able to visit rarely the remote parts of his Diocese before the coming of the railway, so the consecration of the New Church had to wait until the 10th July 1848. After staying the night at Tehidy, the Bishop reached the Church at 11 o’clock with the Venerable Archdeacon Philpotts, his Chaplain the Rev. T. Philpotts, and the Preacher the Rev. Canon Rogers who preached from Deu-teronomy 4:5.6. Among the Clergy present was the Rev. James Gee Wulff, the Vicar of Gwinear who, three years later, succeeded the Rev. George Treweeke as Rector of Illogan. After the consecration of the Church the extension to the burial ground to the south side of the new Church was consecrated, the whole service taking three hours.
The old 15th century South Porch was to have been incorporated on the South side of the new Church, but instead an entirely new porch was built. The sundial of 1790 era (picture 11) had a new gnomon fitted and was reframed and placed over the door of the porch in 1985. Subsequently, in 1999 during an attempted robbery, this was broken and has been preserved in the Basset Pew area and a modern re-placement hung outside above the main entrance porch.
The alteration to the West End of the Church took place in 1981 at a cost of £26,105.97, to provide a kitchen, toilets, a room for Sunday School and other meetings, and a choir vestry. An open area upstairs is used for other activities. During these alterations, the Kings Charles I letter and Royal Arms of Hanover were moved from their traditional placement at the main entrance. Some of the old me-morials are now largely hidden by the stairs. The West Window is particularly ob-scured.
A small, plain wooden font, thought to be for use in the new church, can be seen in the South Aisle by the ‘Welcome ‘ table. The larger stone font (picture 14) from the old church which is thought to be of Norman origin, re-carved in Tudor times (1485-1605), stands near the Clergy’s Vestry door. The bowl, with four carved faces, is made of native elvan (quartz-porphyry) but the pillars and base are of modern origin. For some years it was reputed to have been used as a cattle trough in a local farmer’s field before being rescued and restored for use as a font.
The oak pulpit (picture 3) dates from 1721. Now defaced by stain and varnish and disfigured by a common deal staircase and handrail, but without its canopy, it came from the old Church).
Communion Table (Altar Table)
For some years the modern oak used for the Basset Pew in the New Church stood as a reredos behind the Communion Table. It was placed there in 1950 in memory of Mrs P Basset when memorial plaques were also installed and a new altar frontal and pulpit cloth bought in 1951. Some of the wood was taken to St Mary’s Church, Portreath, as was a figured brass Cross, and an old Communion Table was taken to Trevenson. In 2003 the Communion Table was moved forward, the reredos re-moved and the Ten Commandment tablets restored to their original positions be-hind the altar.
Four of the carved bench ends from the old church still survive. Two with floral patterns are used as chair backs (picture 4), now to be found on either side of the altar. Another, depicting an heraldic beast surrounded by a guilloche motif, clearly early 17th century, still stands in the church, currently in the Basset Pew area. The best preserved, also used as a chair back, was acquired by the Royal Cornwall Museum at auction in 1991. That one is dated 1627 and depicts the bust of a 17th centu-ry man with lace-edged ruff, buttoned jacket and bejewelled hat and is inscribed ‘Anno Domini 1627, John Clemow, Thomas Foxe, wardens’.
A ‘Poor Box’ on a carved pedestal with late Jacobean figure came into use during Edward VI’s reign (1547-1553) after Thomas Cromwell, Chief Minister of Henry VIII decreed there should be these boxes. The Rector and the two Church wardens each held a key, all of which were needed to open the box. It was badly damaged by vandals in 1971 and now stands behind the prayer table in the old Bassett Pew area.
Inside the church, an Oak Screen divided the Chancel from the South Aisle, filling the arch where the organ now is, and opposite was a door leading into the Vestry. Originally, the organ stood at the West End of the building on a raised platform with the Choir in front of it. When the Choir and organ were moved to their present positions in the chancel, the screen was removed and the pitch-pine choir stalls in-stalled.
The original pipe organ (picture 12) with tracker action, 14 stops, 1 pedal stop and two manuals, made by Bryson & Son of London in 1875, was converted to an elec-tric blower in 1937 and rebuilt at a cost of £310 in 1966 with hopes of a complete restoration before the end of that century. By 2001 restoration costs had risen to £25,000 and a modern replacement Viscount Prestige I instrument, costing £14,000, was duly installed in December 2003. This offers superb sound combinations and a huge range from cathedral to very quiet celeste. The tuba and reeds are exceptional. During its installation the orientation was reversed through 180° and the organist now faces the choir. A selection of the 26ft Bourdon pipes from the old organ are on display in the South Aisle.
Some Principal Organists
Conington (Con) Oxland 1930s, Frank Delbridge, Robert Bowden c.1956, Lawrence Goodson (boys choir c1960), Jane Napier, Paddy Bradley (Falmouth), Phyllis Letcher 1960s, Saskia Wyld 1970, Mike Semmons c.1995, Andrew Negus c.2010
1823 Choir of singers was re-established at cost of 1 guinea
1887 Robes were organised
1950s Men wore black cassocks & white surplices: Ladies wore white surplices & black mortar boards
1970s Royal blue cassocks or gowns, mortar board type hats: White surplices, cuffs, collars
1998 Red cassocks or gowns: White surplices, cuffs, collars, cords
Rev. Harry Oxland’s son, Charles Conington ‘Con’, one time organist, bought a set of handbells probably whilst the main bells were out of action in the 1930s. Later in the 1950s these were re-discovered stored in the Rectory cellars. The Dell family team restored them and played them extensively within the church at festivals and at numerous other venues around the South-West, even as far away as a Bourne-mouth YFC rally. A new group of ringers formed in 2013 and the bells were refur-bished at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 2015.
The Parish Registers commence in 1539, a year after Thomas Cromwell’s mandate for their keeping. They are in bad condition with gaps until 1751 though a copy was made about 100 years ago and is more legible and these have now been preserved by the Parochial Church Council on microfilm and are kept in the County Records Office in Truro. The County Records Office is soon to be relocated to Redruth.
All the monuments within the old Church were removed to the new site.
Letters relate to position on the church plan
First in importance is the series of Basset memorials covering nearly four hundred years of the Basset family. The Bassets were the manorial lords of Tehidy Manor from the 12th to the early 20th century.
The series begins with the brass to James Basset (who died in 1603) and his wife Jane Godolphin. His son, Sir Francis Basset, was a leading Royalist during the Civil Wars (1642-1648). He was Vice Admiral of Cornwall, owner and Governor of St Michael’s Mount as well as Sheriff of the County for several years. He has left no memorial in the Church, but his letters to his wife on the course of the war have survived and it was to him King Charles I said: ‘Dear Mr Sheriff, I leave Cornwall to you safe and sound’. Sir Francis Basset’s daughter married Lord Chief Justice Keel-ing, the judge who condemned John Bunyan to imprisonment in Bedford jail in 1660. Francis’ son, John, was imprisoned by the Parliamentary forces because of his own and his father’s attachment to the King, having to sell St Michael’s Mount be-cause of this. John’s daughter, Ann, made a gift of a silver chalice and paten in 1695 to the Church, a pair of flagons having been presented many years previously by her grandmother. John’s son, Francis, married into the Hele family of Bennetts, which family is represented by the incised slate slab (A) in the north-west corner of the Church (now in the kitchen).
Of the next generation, three are commemorated. The eldest, John Pendarves Bas-set, died of smallpox in 1739 and is commemorated by a sarcophagus, originally in the Tehidy Chancel of the Old Church, still standing on the Family Vault in the open Churchyard (picture 1). The memorial to his brother Francis, is above the brasses of James Basset (B) and Jane Godolphin (C). Mary, his sister, married the Rev. John Collins, Rector of Redruth. She died in 1743 at the age of 27 and her memorial tab-let (E) is on the Chancel wall. Side by side with this is the tablet (D) to her daughter-in-law, Catherine, and her infant child, Mary Lucy, wife and child, respectively, of the Rev. John Basset Collins (both of whom died in 1772).
The son of the last named Francis Basset was also called Francis and in 1796-7 be-came Lord de Dunstanville as a reward for his patriotic loyalty at the time of the rise of Bonaparte and war with France. He died in 1835, the tablet (F) to his memory (by Richard Westmacott R.A.) is on the north wall with a smaller one (G) to the memory of his first wife Frances Susannah who pre-deceased him in 1825. They had one child, the Right Honourable Frances Basset, Baroness Basset, whose tablet (H), a bas-relief in marble, is next. She was a pioneer in local education, founding the Bas-set Schools which were precursors of the National Church and (later) Council Schools both at Illogan and Pool. She was a generous donor to the building of the new Church and first occupant of the Basset pew in that Church – (parts of which remain – the only pieces of modem oak in the building). She died in 1855 outliving both the next male heirs – her uncle, the Rev. John Basset, Rector of Illogan and her cousin, also a John Basset, whose memorial is to the left. John died in 1843, and the estate passed to three of his sons in succession. First, John Francis Basset, whose tablet (I) is beyond the Church door by the stairs ; secondly, Arthur Basset who, dying in 1870, only enjoyed Tehidy for a year; and lastly, Gustavus Lambert Basset, who survived until 1888 and was the father of Arthur Francis Basset, who sold Tehidy in 1913. Tablets to Arthur and Gustavus can be found on the wall above the pew in which they sat and worshipped, as can those to Arthur Francis and his wife, Rebecca (J).
A tablet (K) on the south wall names a character who seems to have been some-what notorious. It commemorates Lucy, the wife of Reginald Angove who died in 1687, his son Abel (1741), Jane, wife of Abel and another Jane the wife of Abel’s son also called Abel. Carew writes in his survey: ‘This Reginald Angove is that subtle tinner whom common fame reports to have gotten a considerable estate by labour-ing, adventuring and dealing in tin, both in the mines below and blowing houses above ground, by indirect arts and practices; for which he was indicted before the jury for putting hard heads of false metals in the midst of slabs of tin, melted and cast in the blowing house, whereupon the grand jury returned the bill of indictment indorsed, but on his trial there was given a verdict of acquittal’. Abel, the elder, seems to have restored the respectability of the family by becoming Churchwarden (1704-9), the Angove family living at Trevenson House in Pool.
Three other monuments on the South Wall are associated with Trevenson. Thomas Kevill (M) was steward to Lord de Dunstanville; he largely rebuilt the house. Dying in 1797 his successor as steward was William Reynolds (N) who further improved Trevenson House. He was followed by his son Charles Andrew Reynolds (L) who died in 1870.
Oxland plaque on north aisle pillar at back of church
“In humble reverence to Almighty God the electric light in this church is dedicated to the memory of the long and faithful ministry of the Reverend Harry Oxland, Cu-rate 1879-1884 and Rector 1884-1932”
THE WEST WINDOW
1. l was a hungred and Ye gave me meat
2. I was thirsty and Ye gave me drink
3. As Ye have done it unto one of the least of these my Brethren, Ye have done it unto me
4. l was naked and Ye clothed me
5. I was sick and Ye visited me
This window was erected to the memory of Gustavus Lambert Basset of Tehidy, Eastertide 1889 – a tribute of respect and affection from all classes in the neighbourhood and from personal friends throughout the Country. Images of Gustavus and his wife, Mary, appear in the window. By standing in the Chancel, the upper part of this window can be seen.
The names of Gustavus Lambert and Charlotte Mary, his wife, are associated with several beautiful things within the Church. The Church Bells were restored to his memory by his wife at Easter 1889 and at the same time the west window was placed to his memory by the subscription of his local friends. A window, over where the Basset pew used to be, was given in memory of his widow in 1900 and so too were the silver cross and modern set of communion vessels both dated with her death 6th November, 1898. Their graves are next to the Church on the North side.
Next in order of interest to the Basset memorials are those of the Collins’, a Cornish family who for 350 years had a clerical representative in the County. From 1533 to 1684 (except for a brief period of 13 years from 1587 to 1600) the benefice of Illogan was held by a Collins. John Collins succeeded his father, Edward Collins, as Rector in 1632. As a supporter of the Royalists he was deprived of his benefice and for a time was imprisoned by the Parliamentary Forces in 1646. After his release he practised medicine in Falmouth until his re-instatement as Rector of Illogan and Camborne in 1664. He died in 1684 and was buried near his father outside the chancel of the old Church. When the new Church was built, the slate slab which marked his tomb was moved and placed outside the clergy vestry door, while a sculpture on Bath stone, now to be seen to the left of the altar table, was erected by his wife, Ann (daughter of Henry Bray of Treswithian) in his memory.
In 2014 Dr Adrian Webb published a detailed history of the Collins family rectors linked to St Illogan Church. This is available at the back of the church at a cost of £5.
The tablet to Lucy Spry (A) mentions that her first husband had been Henry Nance of Nance. This is the only memorial reference to the great family of Nance, also known as Trengove, who appear in the earliest Illogan registers. They took their original name (Trengove) from an early home at Trengove Farm in the parish, but adopted Nance as an alternative, following a move across the valley, around the end of the 15th century. The association of the two names was evident in 1561 when Henry Trengoffe of Nance was buried in the churchyard. The aforementioned rector of Illogan, John Nans, who was previously Provost at Glasney Collegiate Church in Penryn, was probably of this family, who are difficult to trace because of gaps in the registers. Their imposing house at Nance (there was never a Nance Manor, as thought) was given over when a John Nance moved to another Trengove in Warleggan parish because, it has been suggested, the name resembled his own.
THE CHANCEL EAST WINDOW
1. If it be possible, let this cup pass from me
2. Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit
3. And a cloud received Him out of their sight
4. Touch me not, I have not yet ascended to my Father
5. Her sins which were many are forgiven
6. Do ye this in remembrance of me
7. Suffer little children to come unto me
8. Blessed are the pure in heart
This window was fitted in 1894 replacing one filled with stained and diapered glass, intersected with appropriate texts of scripture, the expense of this was defrayed by subscriptions collected by Miss Treweeke thus thereafter having been known as the Treweeke Window.
THE NORTH WINDOWS
(i) Faith (ii) Hope (iii) Charity
In remembrance of Charlotte Mary, wife of Gustavus Lambert Basset.
No. 2 is a plain glass leaded window—To the Glory of God and in memory of Be-atrice Provis of Portreath born 21st May, 1914 and died 28th April, 1977.
No.3 (picture 17)
(i) Martha (ii) Christ (ii) Mary – To the Glory of God and in memory of David Wise Bain of Portreath born 28th August, 1829 and died 27th July. 1898.
No. 4 is plain glass leaded window – To the Glory of God in loving memory of Kathleen Marjorie Wills born 27th August, 1906, died 19th December, 1977. This is largely hidden, being in the kitchen area.
THE SOUTH WINDOWS
No. 1 plain glass leaded window
No. 2 plain glass leaded window – To the Glory of God in loving memory of Charles Conington Oxland born 6th August, 1883 and died 19th May, 1975.
No. 3 of stained glass – Gloria in Excelsis Deo To the Glory of God and in memory of James Gee Wullf B.A., 35 years Rector of this Parish who died 1st February, 1884 aged 88 and of Mary Ann, his wife who died 10th October, 1884 aged 89.
No. 4 of stained glass – “He spake many things to them in parables”
To the Glory of God and in memory of William Harris of Pool in this Parish who died 23rd April, 1885 aged 86.
At the time when many were celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign on 21st June 1887, the widow of William Harris opened what was then known as the Harris Memorial building – built at a cost of £750. This building, situated next door to the modern Rectory, was for many years known as the Harris Memorial Hall but was sold and converted into the Harris Memorial Surgery opened in 1998.
No. 5 plain glass leaded window
EAST WINDOW OF ORGAN VESTRY
This plain glass leaded window was blackened during WWII and hidden behind the old organ until early 2004. It is in need of restoration.
THE NEW ROOF
Following many years of leaking roof and falling plaster problems, in May 2007 a mammoth fund raising effort was started with the blessing of the Bishop of Truro, to meet the significant cost £330,000. Work was commenced in July 2011 with services arranged in the Village Hall or Trevenson Church and weddings in various venues such as Treleigh and St Euny. The main source of fund-ing was English Heritage with substantial sums from many other donors including National Churches Trust, Cornwall Historic Churches Trust, Allchurches Trust Ltd, Garfield Weston, SITA and the Duchy of Cornwall. The local congregation worked tirelessly to raise a significant proportion through appropriate events. Solar panels were fitted to the roof in 2014.
The Churchyard comprises some 2.32 hectares (5¾ acres) within which an area is set aside for War Graves – the hedges and Cross being placed there in 1950; here there are 52 graves in which 55 men and one woman are buried – mainly personnel who served in World War II at the RAF Station at Portreath (Nancekuke). These in-clude Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and Polish airmen (there were also four German airmen, but some years ago their remains were returned to Germany). The Standard of this RAF Portreath company was hung in the church in 1947 when Nancekuke became a Ministry of Defence property. It was re-opened as a Royal Air Force station in 1983.
In 1591 the Parish suffered from the plague and during that time ten times the average number of parishioners died and were buried in the churchyard. Being the burial ground for the whole Parish, many graves of those who lived at Portreath or Pool can be found.
Thomas Merritt’s grave
Thomas Merritt (1863-1908), ex-miner and musician, is buried in the North West corner of the Churchyard (picture 15) against the wall of Langwedh (by the bungalow closest to Parsonage Lane). His carols are sung at Christmas gatherings of Cornishmen throughout the world, and in 1901 he composed a Coronation March for King Edward VII’s coronation in 1902.
Gates and railings at the main entrance, along with metal surrounds of graves, were removed to help the war effort in 1942. The gates were replaced some time after
the war and the railings in 1989. The north Gates and railings made in the mid 19th century are now ‘listed’. The pendant lamp with scroll fitted on top was lit by electricity in 1936 and was refurbished but not lit in 2010. Also listed in 1982 was the Basset vault monument and the Celtic Cross near the tower.
A Living Churchyard
St Illogan Churchyard joined a Truro Diocesan Project linked to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust in 1996 to promote management of graveyards in a way that balanced the need for access, tidiness and reverence with the preservation of wildlife habitats thus encouraging a wide range of animals and plants in pleasant surroundings. Public understanding and appreciation are an important part of this plan which was enthusiastically endorsed by Bishop Bill.
In 2000 A.D. over 8,500 yew trees, propagated from 30 yews over 2,000 yrs old, were distributed around Britain to mark the Millenium. One was planted (picture 16) with due ceremony in St Illogan churchyard and is thriving some 15 years later. It is anticipated that at least 1 in 20 of these extremely long-lived trees might still be alive in the next Millenium!
Maningham Woods Path
Although not a registered public right-of-way, a hard-surfaced path was opened in October 2007 linking the centre of the village along Maningham Drive, through the churchyard, to the village school to the north, making a safe route for families and walkers alike. The tranquillity of the churchyard is appreciated by its many users.
Early 17th Century records mention an old parsonage house on former glebe land now occupied by the ‘Barnyard’ holiday complex, possibly the same ‘mansion house’ as mentioned by Owen Watson’s will of 1532. This was probably in use until about the late 18th Century, but was thought to be due to be demolished when a second larger Rectory, today called ’Maningham’, was built in 1783 by Lord de Dunstanville to accommodate his brother, the Rev John Basset, in appropriate style. This was accessed through a small gate in the churchyard wall and by a more impressive driveway from what is now the main entrance to Maningham Woods opposite the Robartes Arms. Considered too large for modern use, it was sold and a new Rectory was built in Robartes Terrace and occupied from 1958.
Between 1825 and 1840 Curates lived at Aviary Cottage (now a hotel) and in 1898 one occupied the farmhouse at Tregea. Alexandra House, in Alexandra Road, was also once occupied by Curates and from a gateway at the back, a path led to the old rectory and Church.
In 1966 a house was bought at a cost of £2,500 at Pool for the use of appointed curates – this was sold in 1976. In 1988, when a Curate was again appointed to serve in this Parish, a house was bought by the diocese in Bosmeor Park, Illogan Highway.
At Nance, the site of an ancient chapel lies North East of the house at which travel-ling ‘mission’ saints would have stayed. In the house some years ago some mural paintings were discovered under layers of paint in what is now called ‘The Apostle Room’. These are pictures of the twelve apostles each with his name above.
A great, great grandson of Edward Collins was at college with John Wesley in the 1720s. John Wesley himself came to Cornwall many times and is thought to have addressed tinners on Illogan Downs. In 1743 during one of Charles Wesley’s visits to Pool, the Churchwarden of Illogan Parish accused him of not being a bona fide clergyman. Wesley was unable to show his credentials and the Churchwarden ‘sprang to attack’ saying “You shall not preach in my Parish”. In order to keep the peace Charles Wesley and his followers departed, chased all the way by the Church-warden to the Parish boundary at Tuckingmill.
More detailed historical notes
In ancient times it was customary to dedicate Churches to Saints with whom a Church had in some way been associated. Illogan is a Celtic personal name found both in Cornwall and Brittany, and Illogan is the name of a Celtic Saint known in both Montgomeryshire and Brittany. Boderlogan, a farm in Wendron, was spelt Bod-elugan in 1316, which means the House of Elugan. A Saint Illog is the patron of Hirnant in Powys, and the name occurs in several forms in that Parish. Several early Welsh Kalenders contain his name. The termination – ‘an’ is a diminutive which makes it mean Little lllog. In the official registers of the Bishops of Exeter our Church is constantly called in the middle ages ‘The Church of St Illogan’:-
1307 Ecclesia Sancti Yllugani
1308 Ecclesia Sancti Elugani
However, it is possible that a church at Illogan was indicated in 1201 when ‘a certain Andrew was taken in robbery and put into the custody of the village of Tehidy — ‘he escaped to the church and abjured his realm’. The first definite reference to our church (in Cornish, eglos’) was to the ‘Ecclesia de ‘Eglosalau’ in 1235 (the early spellings vary); the first known reference to a Saint Illogan was later, in 1291. In 1301 WaIter de Kembro, having committed a murder, sought sanctuary in the ‘Ecclesia Elugani in villa de Egloshal (lo) (‘the Church of Saint Illogan in the hamlet of Eglosalau’). This suggests that Eglosalau was the original name of the present churchtown, and perhaps even the parish, with a second element that hints at the name of an original founder or donator of the land on which an early church was built, as was the case for most churches in Cornwall with ‘eglos’ names: otherwise the name may be topographical from, say, ‘hal moor, plural ‘hallow’. It may be sig-nificant that a holding of some 70 acres immediately north of the churchtown was also known as Eglossallow (et al) before being merged into Nance Farm, so it is pos-sible that the name originally derived from the known site of a former medieval chapel where burials are reputed to have been dowsed just a little way north-north-east of Nance farmhouse. Burials are strong evidence for an even earlier Celtic chapel as after about 1250 even the Archbishop could not licence a new cemetery, only the Pope, but this was a costly business. There are a number of cases where a chapel of Celtic origin was appropriated as a domestic oratory for an important family, such as the Trengoves who moved to Nance. Canon Adams, an authority on early chapels, thought the Nance site could have been founded by St. Illogan him-self, although another possibility suggests a companion (Salau?) because early mis-sionaries often travelled in pairs before establishing closely adjacent cells (e.g. St.Austell and St.Mewan). In 1679 there was a reference to the parsonage well, and in 1771 to ‘the christianing well’, the latter almost certainly a holy well located near the entrance to lllogan Woods, therefore near both Nance and the churchtown, where an early missionary could obtain water for baptismal purposes. Whichever the case, the Norman period church of St. Illogan was built within an early oval shaped Christian enclosure, or lian, probably of the 5th to 7th centuries that may itself have been the re-use of an even earlier banked Iron Age settlement, or ‘round’.
When William of Worcester visited the Dominican Friary at Truro in 1478 he was told that the body of the Saint was enshrined in Illogan Church, the original refer-ence in Latin being ‘Sanctus lllugham de Cornubia jacet prope Redruth, prope villam Truroburgh’.
Just possibly, perhaps as early as the 10th century, the prototype neighbouring parishes of Illogan, Redruth and Camborne were created from within the Manor of Tehidy with the backing of its manorial lords. From the existing early chapels one would have been chosen in each parish to be its parish church, or ecclesia. A parish consisted of a tithe paying district for the support of a church and its encumbent. In Norman times Tehidy Manor passed from the De Dunstanville family to the Bassets who then held it from the 12th to the early 20th century. The Bassets were great supporters of their churches and as patrons held the advowsons, the right to ap-point their rectors.
Ecclesia Elugani in villa de Egloshal (lo) (‘the Church of Saint Illogan in the hamlet of Eglosalau’). This suggests that Eglosalau was the original name of the present churchtown, and perhaps even the parish, with a second element that hints at the name of an original founder or donator of the land on which an early church was built, as was the case for most churches in Cornwall with ‘eglos’ names: otherwise the name may be topographical from, say, ‘hal moor, plural ‘hallow’. It may be significant that a holding of some 70 acres immediately north of the churchtown was also known as Eglossallow (et al) before being merged into Nance Farm, so it is pos-sible that the name originally derived from the known site of a former medieval chapel where burials are reputed to have been dowsed just a little way north-north-east of Nance farmhouse. Burials are strong evidence for an even earlier Celtic chapel as after about 1250 even the Archbishop could not licence a new cemetery, only the Pope, but this was a costly business. There are a number of cases where a chapel of Celtic origin was appropriated as a domestic oratory for an important family, such as the Trengoves who moved to Nance. Canon Adams, an authority on early chapels, thought the Nance site could have been founded by St. Illogan him-self, although another possibility suggests a companion (Salau?) because early mis-sionaries often travelled in pairs before establishing closely adjacent cells (e.g. St.Austell and St.Mewan). In 1679 there was a reference to the parsonage well, and in 1771 to ‘the christianing well’, the latter almost certainly a holy well located near the entrance to lllogan Woods, therefore near both Nance and the churchtown, where an early missionary could obtain water for baptismal purposes. Whichever the case, the Norman period church of St. Illogan was built within an early oval shaped Christian enclosure, or lian, probably of the 5th to 7th centuries that may itself have been the re-use of an even earlier banked Iron Age settlement, or ‘round’.
When William of Worcester visited the Dominican Friary at Truro in 1478 he was told that the body of the Saint was enshrined in Illogan Church, the original refer-ence in Latin being ‘Sanctus lllugham de Cornubia jacet prope Redruth, prope villam Truroburgh’.
Just possibly, perhaps as early as the 10th century, the prototype neighbouring par-ishes of Illogan, Redruth and Camborne were created from within the Manor of Tehidy with the backing of its manorial lords. From the existing early chapels one would have been chosen in each parish to be its parish church, or ecclesia. A parish consisted of a tithe paying district for the support of a church and its encumbent. In Norman times Tehidy Manor passed from the De Dunstanville family to the Bassets who then held it from the 12th to the early 20th century. The Bassets were great supporters of their churches and as patrons held the advowsons, the right to ap-point their rectors.
The Ecclesiastical Parish
The ancient ecclesiastical parish of St.lllogan (hereafter sometimes simply referred to as Illogan), as distinct from the recent and much smaller Civil Parish of Illogan, was the 11th largest in Cornwall. In early times much of its outlying parts were rough, uncultivated, land so that its bounds were not always clearly defined, being located only by reference to some prominent feature such as a burial mound, Celtic cross or stone. More accurately, Illogan was bounded on the north by the seacoast that ran from an ancient bank named Keasak Vres (‘the great dry hedge’ just east of Hell’s Mouth) as far as Porthtowan. From about the early 14th century Illogan’s coastal bound had been extended beyond the Portreath stream, the original eastern limit of Tehidy Manor, in order to encompass the Nancekuke area. Nancekuke was originally in Tywarnhayle Manor that belonged to the Celtic monastery of St. Petroc at Padstow, and later Bodmin: probably, because of its isolation, it was ra-tional to ‘tack it on’ to Illogan parish because otherwise St.Agnes was its nearest, but more distant, church. From near Bridge village the bounds followed a tributary of the Portreath stream separating Illogan and Redruth parishes, thus passing near Barncoose to the eastern shoulder of the Cam Brea granite outcrop. By and large to the south of Carn Brea they followed the line of the highway through Fourlanes to the headwaters of the Red River near Nine Maidens, thence northwards down the river valley and through Tuckingmill as far as Belake, near Magor Farm, where they turned upwards to the sea again at Keazak Vres. Following changes in the mid 19th century parts of the original Illogan parish were relinquished to form the newer ecclesiastical parishes of Tuckingmill (1844) and Mount Hawke (1846). There were other changes more recently and it was not until 1995 that it officially became known as the Parish of St.lllogan to distinguish it from the civil parish. The Parish of St.lllogan remains one of the largest in Cornwall being in size over 3800 ha (14.8 square miles) with a population of 11,500 in 2011. The circumference of the bound-ary is 35 km (22 miles). Barncoose Hospital, Cornwall College (which is linked to six other campuses including Duchy College), the Heartlands leisure complex, RAF Portreath and the former Tehidy Hospital at the site of the Basset mansion are all found within its bounds. Within the parish are the daughter churches of St. Mary’s, Portreath, which was built in 1963 to replace a Chapel of Ease, built and consecrat-ed in 1842 and dedicated to St.Mary, and Trevenson Church at Pool. Trevenson was built and endowed by the Right Hon. Francis, Lord de Dunstanville, in 1806 and opened for divine service on 7th July, 1809, consecrated by Bishop Pelham (Lord Bishop of Exeter).
Rectors of the Church of St Ylloganus or Illogan
Walter de Austolo 1284-1310
Gilbert de Knouyle 1310-1342
Peter Daran 1342-1354
Thomas de Bredon 1354-1382
Thomas Cotteford 1382-1397
William Styward 1397-1404
John Barrell 1404-1435
Alexander Trembras 1435
John Dunmowe (exchange)
John Joce 1479-1493
Alexander Penhill 1493-1506
John Nans 1506-1509
Owen Watson 1509-1533
Edward Collins* 1533-1539
Richard Thomas Collins 1539-1587
Francis Godwin 1587-1588
John Harding 1588-1600
Edward Collins 1600-1632
John Collins* 1632-1684
Charles Basset* 1684-1709
William Smyth 1709-1715
Robert Newcombe 1715-1771
William Sandys 1771-1784
John Basset LL B 1784-1816
Livingston Booth* 1816-1822
George Treweeke* 1822-1851
James Gee Wulff* 1851-1884
Harry Oxland* 1884-1933
George Frederick Renner 1933-1940
George Frederick B Morris 1940-1943
W Edmond W Wycliffe-Jones 1943-1949
Alec Leslie Lumb 1950-1956
John G J Gwyn Thomas 1957-1965
John H Porter 1965-1969
Alex Lord 1970-1981
David J Stevens 1981-1996
Michael J Kippax 1998-2012
Steven Robinson 2013-
* Rectors buried in churchyard
Graves of interest in the churchyard (Location on sketch map)
David Wise Bain, 1774-1850, within the family grave. Owned Portreath Harbour and built the Bain Memorial almshouses at Paynters Lane End for retired miners in 1901. (Beside north gate—picture 6)
Basset family vault, 17th C and later, part of the old church, with sarcophagus-type monument to John Pendarves Basset, 1713-1739. (Section F near bell tower)
John Dunn, 1906-1986, in family grave. Left £4,000 in trust for the upkeep of the churchyard and replaced the south porch doors. (Section A near path)
Trevor Corin Durrant, 1908-1999, who served in the RAF at Portreath, and his wife Betty, 1915-2009. They were together instrumental in arranging the annual Battle of Britain service held in the church. (Section B near War Graves)
William Richard Evans, 1891-1936, gave land to the Cornwall County Council for the Illogan Park. (Section H near cemetery gate on left)
Thomas Garland was the founder of Bridge chapel and an influential Methodist. (Section D to left of path past Bain memorial)
Roma Kissinger, 1911-1936, was a nurse at Tehidy TB Sanatorium. (Section G)
Thomas Merritt, 1863-1908, was a tin miner from age 11-19 before becoming a music teacher and composer, famed for his Christmas carols and over 100 other pieces including a Coronation March for King Edward VII. He was a Methodist or-ganist and choirmaster. (North side)
Meteyard family ashes memorials, Peter 1927-2006, Gill 1929-2014 and their son John, 1965-2014 all of whom played a significant role in the affairs of the church and parish of Illogan.
Henry Raymond Prettyman, 1900-1904, flowers have been placed for many years in the fist of the Angel memorial in the children’s row. (Section A South side beside path to cemetery)
John Retallack, 1843-1851, a small boy said to be killed by the bowsprit of a vessel entering Portreath harbour; included in the family grave. (Beside the path on the tower side of the north gate).
Brian Tuck, 1931-1989, left his early career as a lighthouse keeper to become a much respected teacher at the nearby Illogan School. Section B near War Graves)
There are also many memorials to miners who died from accident or diseases either here or abroad as well as mariners and others who perished at sea.
New Organ Details – Prestige
3 manuals (keyboards)
56 speaking stops
32 note concave radiating pedal board
Under each manual there are a series of 6 thumb pistons and 12 combination thumb pistons giving an almost infinite number of sound combinations.
English stop list
All models have the option of English voicing / stop list using sound samples from the three manual Hill organ in the parish church of Hove
Prestige I (Drawstop)
Pedal Great Swell Choir
Double Open Double Open
Diapason 32 Diapason 16 Bourdon 16 Open Diapason 8
Metal 16 Diapason 1 8 Open Diapason 8 Salicional 8
Wood 16 Diapason II 8 Rohrflute 8 Lieblich Flute 8
Bourdon 16 Hohlflute 8 Echo Gamba 8 Vox Angelica 8
Violone 16 Dulciana 8 Vox Celeste 8 Dulciana 8
Principal 8 Principal 4 Principal 4 Gemshone 4
Bass Flute 8 Harmonic Flute 4 WaId Flute 4 Suabe Flute 4
Choral Bass 4 Twelfth 2.2/3 Nazard 2.2/3 Flautina 2
Flute 4 Fifteenth 2 Fifteenth 2 Larigot 1.1/3
Mixture IV Cornet III Tierce 1.3/5 Piccolo 1
Bombarde 32 Mixture IV Mixture IV ZymbaI IV
Tromba 16 Posaune 8 Contra Fagotto 16 Tuba 8
Clarion 8 Clarion 4 Oboe 8 Clarinet 8
Octave Clarion 4 Chimes Clarion 4 Harp
St. Illogan Parish Church Roof:
In the first decade of the new millenium, St. Illogan Parish Church roof had been leaking and plaster was falling onto the altar and the choir stalls. The then Rector, the Reverend Canon Mike Kippax made the decision to go for repairing it. Estimates were sought and John Meteyard led the search for sponsors and succeeded in getting a large sum from English Heritage in 2009, which made the project a possibility. The congregation set off on various activities to raise money, the first major fete being opened by the then Bishop Bill. Unfortunately John Meteyard’s illness began shortly afterwards and he was unable to continue the search for sponsors, but others took up the challenge and grants were obtained from many local and national bodies, including the Parish Council, Cornwall Historic Churches, National Churches, SITA, Garfield Weston, AllChurches Trust, Bernard Sunley Foundation, Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund, Lord Barnaby’s Foundation and later many private donations.
Thanks must go to Conservation Architect Jeremy Chadburn, Magenta Building’s Jonathan Starr, Quantity Surveyor Mark Weake and the ‘Roof Committee’ members of the church. While the work was in progress it was not possible to use the building and the local Village Hall was used for services, which proved to be very successful as everyone helped to make it work. The first service after the project was completed was for Christmas 2011, although the exterior scaffolding finally came down a few months later. Solar clips were left on the roof for later installation of solar panels.
Whilst we were able to pay all our bills, the Government changed their promise of total VAT returns during this period, which left us with a debt to the Diocese for payments not made in 2011. The Diocese have been helpful over this and we are now able to settle this debt before the end of 2014. Congratulations and thanks to all those who contributed to this project, enabling the Parish Church to continue its Christian witness in the area.
There is always much work to attend to in our Victorian church building and in our other buildings at Trevenson and St. Mary’s. If you wish to contribute a donation, please use the Pay Pal donate button below