St Michael and All Angels Church

St Michael and All Angels Church

Up a winding country lane east of Boscastle lies the scattered hamlet of Lesnewth, a place of atmospheric woodland and and mossy banks. Tucked in a hollow below the lane is the 12th century church of St Michael and All Angels. The church is so deep in the wooded hollow that only the tower is visible from the lane, and even that is half hidden by trees.

The hidden location is no accident. There was said to be a church here in the Saxon period, when Danish raiders sailed along the coast, and it was deemed prudent to build the church where it could not be seen from sea. If that was the intent, it failed, for the Danes found the church and ransacked it while on their way to raid the nearby manor house at Helsett.

The Saxon church was rebuilt in the Norman period on a cruciform plan, with a tower added in the 15th century. That Norman church, in turn, had to be rebuilt in 1862 by architect JP St Aubyn. St Aubyn did not take a light touch; he is said to have used dynamite to blow up parts of the Norman church. Fragments of Norman tracery carving that survived the demolition can be seen in the hedge close to the west tower.

Contact

Church Path

Bude Haven

Cornwall

EX23 8SD

Tel:+44 1288 352254