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St TORNEY’S CHURCH

 

North Hill Church is a large building in the centre of North Hill village or ‘churchtown’ as it used to be known. The church is dedicated to St Torney. The age of the church is believed to be over 600 years. St Torney’s Holy Well is situated on the nearby River Lynher. The first incumbent is recorded in 1269. In 1292 the parish was assessed for tax in the sum of nine marks (£6). The patron at that time was John de Moels or Mules,

DSC02129a.JPGParts of the sanctuary and chancel are 14th century, or even perhaps earlier than this, and the rest was built in the late 15th to 16th century. It has been suggested that St Torney’s and St Anietus in St Neot were built by the same masons using similar plans. The church was restored in 1868.

The chancel is built of stone rubble. There are two 14th century ogee niches on either side of the east window, a piscina and credence, a sedilia in the south wall, which, though much restored has pillars of polished serpentine and a tomb or Easter Sepulchre in the north wall with an elaborate 14th century ogee arch.

Ashlar granite has been used in the north aisle and fine regular granite ashlar blocks can be found in the south aisle, south porch (with chamber above) and the west tower. The nave comprises four bay arcades with slim monolith granite pillars of standard Cornish design carrying wide arches and original wagon roofs.

The north aisle was built in the period 1495-1504. Its building was sponsored by the Courtenay family who held the Manor of Landreyne at that time. The evidence and reasoning for this is fascinating and can be seen here. The south aisle was built a decade or so later and is so dominated by the Spoure monument that they were almost certainly the sponsors of the building of this part of the church.

There is an undecorated Norman font made of freestone standing on a granite base. The west tower and south aisle are of regular granite blocks and probably worked by the same masons that worked at St Neot Church. The tower has three stages, is buttressed on the square, and is finished with battlements and crocketted pinnacles. The tower’s 3-light west window has intersecting tracery which is probably late 18th century but with an unusual band of carved roundels near the sill. The belfry contains six bells. There is a sundial on the wall of the south porch dated 1753.

There are four significant 17th century monuments in the church. Three are dedicated to members of the Spoure family and one to Thomas Vincent. On the south wall is a slate tombcover with a skull to Henry Spoure who died in 1603. Nearby is the 1683 memorial to his descendant Henry Spoure who died in 1688, aged 10, and next to this is a coloured slate commemorating Richard Spoure who died as an infant in 1623. In the north west corner is an elaborately carved slate tomb, dated 1606, in memory of Thomas Vincent (of Battens) and his wife, Jane. Jane died in 1601 and hers is the earliest death commemorated in the church.

(Sourced in part from http://www.threeriversteam.org.uk/north-hill-church/north-hill-church-historic-features/)

Documents

St Torney’s Church Guide - The published church guide written around 2000 AD (3.2mb pdf)

Monumental Inscriptions - A list of monumental inscriptions in the church and the graveyard.  (2.4mb pdf)

St Torney’s parish registers can be researched at no cost on the Cornwall OPC Database.  The NHLHG group has the following transcripts. If you’d like us to look something up for you, please contact the webmaster; the address is at the foot of this page.

·       Banns – 1860-1900

·       Baptisms – 1630 – 1900

·       Marriages – 1555- 1900

·       Burials – 1608-1900

 

Images

From a Distance .. Exterior .. Plan .. Windows .. Memorials .. Interior .. Graves

From a distance

 

 

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D01

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D02

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D03

 

Exterior

 

 

 

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St Torney’s Church tower showing the now demolished cottages. (Exterior 01)

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St Torney’s Church tower showing the now demolished cottages. (Exterior 02)

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(Exterior 03)

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(Exterior 04)

 

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(Exterior 05)

St Torney’s in 1965. (Exterior 06)

By Nicholas Condy 1793 to 1857 - This image reproduced with the kind permission of James Ashford of Lewannick (Exterior 07)

 

Plan of St Torney’s Church

Images shown below (click on small image for a larger picture)

#01 to# 06  - stained glass windows

#07 to #14 – clear glass windows with stained upper section

#15 to #46 – features and memorials

also – pews, font, interior, columns, royal arms

 

Windows

The stained glass windows are in the chancel and on the south side. Clear glass windows with a coloured canopy are on the western and northern sides. Images of the coloured canopies of windows #07 and #08 are awaited. #07 is very similar to #09.

 

#01 – Scenes from the life of Christ

#02 – Scenes from the crucifixion

#03 – Window dedicated to Charles Edward Rodd. Read more ..

#03 – Arches below the window dedicated to C E Rodd.

#04 – Dedicated to Francis Rashleigh Rodd (1839-1924) by his widow, Julia.

#05 – In memory of James Rennell Rodd, born 1858, who died in 1892 in Rome.

#05 - The coat of arms of the Diocese of Truro. Above is St Elizabeth and her son, John the Baptist.

#05 - Victorian-era fanciful reconstruction of Stigand's coat of arms.  Above is St James the Great holding the long staff of a pilgrim from which a gourd of water is suspended.

#05 – The coat of arms of the Rodd family and window dedication. Above is St Mary Magdalene.

#06 – Window dedicated to Rodd family members who served in WW1 and those from the parish who gave their lives.

#06 – Window dedication.

#09 – A clear glass window with a stained canopy.

#10 – A clear glass window with a stained canopy.

#11 – A clear glass window with a stained canopy.

#12 – A clear glass window with a stained canopy.

#13 – A clear glass window with a stained canopy.

#14 – A clear glass window with a stained canopy.

 

 

Memorials

 

 

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#15 - Charles Rodd; 1807-1885; Rector of North Hill for 51 years

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#16 - Francis Rodd; 1683-1786 .. and other members of the family

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#17 - Richard Spoure; 1653-1653

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#18 - Incised slates showing Spoure family genealogy dated about 1680

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#19 - Henry Spoure; 1677-1688

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#19 - Henry Spoure; 1677-1688

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#20 - Edward Rodd; 1768-1842

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#21 - Renatus Bellot; 1704-1712

#22

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#23 - Henry Spoure; c1541-1603

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#23 - Henry Spoure; c1541-1603

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#23 - Henry Spoure; c1541-1603

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#37 - Thomas Vincent; died 1606

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#37 - Thomas Vincent; died 1606

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#38 - Vincent Darley; 1700-1774

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#41 - Thomas Issacke; 1738-1775

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#43 - Nicholas Foott; 1743-1799

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#44 - Reverend James Trevillian; died 1766

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#46 - Reverend John Wollcock; 1736-1797

 

 

 

Interior

 

 

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I01 – Decorated ceiling. The Chancel roof was restored in 1868 when it was decorated and painted.

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I02 – Decorated ceiling

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I03 – Charles I royal coat of arms above the south door #30

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I04 – Pew bench end. The pews were replaced in 1896 but the bench ends are well carved and detailed using a 16th century pattern

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I05 – Rodd family crest on a pew bench end. Read more …

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I06 – Norman font

#31

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I07 – Central aisle

 

 

 

Graves

order =  surname then date

 

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Richard Budge Caunter 1796 - 1819

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Honor Foott 1774 - 1850

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William Foott 1769 - 1844

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William Somer Foott 1806 - 1836

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George Eggins Knight 1820 - 1883

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John Luskey 1737 - 1816

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John Luskey 1780 - 1867

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William Luskey 1699 - 1776

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Philip Sandercock 1803-1883

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Charlie Sargent 1871 - 1899

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John Strike 1751 - 1823

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Walter Sleep 1723 - 1812

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Walter Sleep 1780 – 1783

and

Elizabeth Sleep 1783 - 1783

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Walter Sleep 1793 - 1845

 

 

The images at the top of the page show (L-R): Tower of St Torney’s Church; the Norman font in the church; figures on the Spoure monument; gravestone of John Luskey.

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