ST CLEER, Cornwall – St Clarus. 

Restoration 1904

Beginning its article Finding of interesting relics the Cornish and Devon Post of 4 June 1904 reported on the ongoing restoration, first mooted in 1898.  Fellowes Prynne drew up the plans in 1903.  A detailed description was first given:

The restoration includes the laying of a good floor of Delabole slate on a concrete foundation, and a surface of wood blocks.  The aisles will be laid with diamond-shaped slates.  The pews, which in the past were of the square box pattern, have been removed, and portions of them are being utilised as a dado around the building.  In the restored building chairs will be mainly used. The south wall has been stripped, and will be again plastered, whilst eighteen panels of saints and angels will be introduced.  The pillars, which are in excellent condition, except at the bases, have been underpinned with a bed of concrete.  The chancel will continue to be on a higher level than the nave floor, and a new granite step has been placed with a projection for the lectern.  Upon this step a carved wood rood screen, 10 ft. in height, is to be erected.  The roofs over the nave and aisles have been found to be in a good condition, but the nave roof is to be replastered, and the four old clerestory windows taken out, whilst the west end of the roof has been raised so as to show the handsome granite belfry arch.  In the chancel roof the pitchpine ribs are being replaced by oak, and beneath each joint at which the ribs join the wall plate, angels will be placed, with carved bosses where the cross and longitudinal ribs intersect.  A Polyphant piscina has been added to the sanctuary, and a new carved oak chancel arch is to be placed in position.  The font has been removed to the west end of the nave, near the belfry.  The vestry is to be converted into a Lady Chapel, for use at weekday services.  The ventilation of the building is being carried out on modern principles.

It is estimated that the cost of restoration will be about £2,000, of which considerably over half has been raised.

As regards the “interesting relics”, the article had this to say.

Underneath the old plaster the north wall was found to be covered with texts and frescoes, which were past restoration.  In the south wall, near the main entrance, a holy water stoup was found, and under the plaster at the east end of the same wall an old piscina, filled with stones, amongst which was a gilt alabaster figure, supposed to represent St. Peter in chains, supporting another figure, was discovered.  In the south-west wall a portion on being removed to make room for a larger window brought to light the head of a fine old Cornish cross, pierced, and beautifully carved.  The shaft is missing, but it is intended to find a place for this interesting relic in the church.  Remains of an old screen near the chancel have also been discovered, together with several mullions.  The wood-work of the approach to a gallery at the west end has also been discovered beneath the plaster.

The Building News and Engineering Journal ran a short article, on 10 July 1918, about the restoration of the church at St. Cleer, with reference to the screens.

Remnants of oak found in the north and south aisle walls gave ample evidence of the position of the original rood screens, the restoration of which was subsequently included, together with the parclose screens on either side of the chancel.  The restoration of the church was carried out by Mr. S. Treharne, of Liskeard.

A short guide in the church also mentions that the screen was made by the firm of H. H. Martyn & Co., of Cheltenham.

The undated photo postcard shows the interior of the church.