Friday, 8 September 2017

St Levan Church (A Slight Return) .. Cornwall pt 7

An afternoon walk to The Church of St Levan allowed us time to take in the carvings which adorn the church pew ends. The majority of pew ends date from the early 16th Century through until the modern era - with two probable exceptions which may date back to the 14th Century (Hoyle, S. 2007).

I have captured only a handful of these carvings .. and look forward to future visits to explore them further - along with the Rood Screen!

St Levan's fishes

In Hoyle's work the carving of St Levan's fishes, is considered "..the most precious pew-end in the church because it is the only surviving pre-Reformation reference to Selevan." Selevan - St Levan - after whom the church and nearby holy well are named. Hoyle goes on to recount the story of Selevan - catching two fish, throwing them both back dissatisfied - only to re-catch them. Taking them home, he finds his sister and her children visiting. Cooking the fish for supper turns to disaster as the children eat so greedily that they choke on the fish and die.

The Jolly Fool

The Grim Fool

The Santiago Pilgrim

Hoyle tells us that this pilgrim has been to Santiago de Compostela a popular site of pilgrimage since the 1100's - as indicated by the scallop shell which adorns his hat.


Hoyle, S. (2007) The Church of St Levan A Guide & History Hypatia Publications, Penzance

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