CARDINHAM, Cornwall – St Meubred. 

Restoration 1907-8

The Building News and Engineering Journal of 20 May 1904 reported that:

…it has been resolved to get estimates for restoring the aisle roofs of the parish church, renewing the flooring, and providing an organ.  Mr. G. H. Fellowes Prynne, F.R.I.B.A., of Queen Ann’s-gate, Westminster, is the architect.

The Cornish Guardian of 28 July 1905 ran a significant article about the church (with its customary spelling for the village as “Cardynham”) which included the advice from Fellowes Prynne as to what needed to be done:

1st – To preserve the old carved roofs, it is a matter of urgency that the aisle and south porch roofs should be re-slated.

2nd  – To preserve the fine old oak seating it is necessary to remove the whole of the existing flooring, which is for the most part laid directly upon the earth’s surface, and which is therefore constantly damp and in places entirely rotten; then cement concrete must be laid over the whole surface and block flooring substituted for the present rotten deal boarding.

3rd  – The arcade walls and columns being as much as 11 inches out of the perpendicular, the north aisle wall is being gradually pushed outward by the pressure, and it is therefore necessary to erect two or three buttresses.

The architect also recommends a restoration of the nave and chancel roofs to something of their ancient beauty and dignity, but this part of the scheme the Committee have resolved not to touch at present, as however desirable it may be, it is not absolutely essential for the preservation of the building.

The cost of the portion of the work which must be undertaken with as little delay as possible is estimated at not less than £1,000…

The same newspaper dated 6 March,1908, reported on the re-opening of the church following the work done.  After giving some historical information, and bemoaning the loss of much of interest such as the rood screen, the article suggested that:

…the first restorers in 1873, with the best intentions, but with zeal untempered by knowledge, made fresh havoc without even the advice of any architect! 

(This to me sounds as if it has been lifted from Fellowes Prynne’s own report on the restoration!)

The parish managed to carry out some of the necessary restoration, for example of the tower:

…until it was possible to undertake the large measure of restoration now just completed, under the able direction of Mr. G. H. Fellowes Prynne.  The present work includes the preservation of the beautiful old aisles, roofs, and 16th century seats, the restoration of the Lady Chapel… the re-flooring of the whole church, the rebuilding or portions of the walls, as well as the erection of buttresses;  and through it all it has been the determined aim of the architect, rector, and restoration committee to preserve everything that could possibly be saved, while all new work should be thoroughly good, both in material and workmanship.



The photo illustrates the interior of the church in 2010.