Morwenstow Parish Church

Morwenstow Parish Church

Morwenstow Parish Church is dedicated to Morwenna (a local saint) and St.John the Baptist, and is part of the United Benefice of Kilkhampton with Morwenstow. It is probably best-known for its links with the 19th century cleric, poet and eccentric, the Rev. R.S.Hawker, Vicar from 1834 to 1875. His Vicarage (now a private house) stands nearby.

A short stroll to the south along the Coast Path is ‘Hawker’s Hut’ - the driftwood hut where the Rev.Hawker wrote sermons and poetry and contemplated the sea. The Church is approached through a lych gate with a slate stile alongside. An adjacent stone and slate building was formerly used as a temporary mortuary, and is still known locally as the ‘Dead House’.

The interior walls of the Church are plaster-covered; the north wall of the chancel carrying a fragment of a 15th or 16th century wall painting believed to represent St. Morwenna. Opposite is a piscina, once used for washing Holy Communion vessels. This was uncovered by Hawker in 1855, having been hidden beneath the plaster for some 300 years.

The reredos above the altar features a triptych of engravings of the Crucifixion by the artist John Baptist Jackson (1701-1780), as well as a remarkable red chalk drawing of St John the Baptist by the Venetian artist, Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1683-1754).

Location

Bude

Cornwall

EX23 9SR