ST NEOT, Cornwall – St Anietus. 

Restoration 1889

The West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser of 29 August 1889 reported on the forthcoming restoration thus:

This church, in which some thousands of pounds have been spent from time to time in restoration and otherwise, is again to be placed in the hands of an architect… The restoration of St. Neot Church was begun five years ago, and now it is hoped shortly to finish it.  The architect, Mr. G. Fellowes Prynne, says £1,000 could easily be spent upon it without either the waste or the needless superfluity of a sixpence.

The Royal Cornwall Gazette of 21 November 1889 reported further on this restoration, particularly listing the contractors involved in the scheme.

The working out of the designs of the architect, Mr. G. H. Fellowes Prynne, A.R.I.B.A., of London, have given great dignity and beauty to the church, and cannot fail to be universally commended.

There were several contractors for the different portions of the work.  Mr. R. M. Rowse, of Portland-place, Plymouth, undertook the renovation of the chancel roof, the decoration of the same, together with the decoration of screens, which unfortunately were not finished by the day of re-opening, the laying down the tiles of the centre aisle and south aisle of church, the repairs to tower roof.  

Messrs. Fouracre and Watson, of Stonehouse, have beautifully decorated the eastern walls, and also the choir stalls.

Mr. Richard Marks, of St. Neot, did the entire replastering of the inside walls and part of the church roof.

Mr. Thomas Northcott, of St. Neot, did the whole of the seating of the south side of the church, the north side work having been done by him at the former restoration.

Mr. Harry Stokes, of Woodbury, Exeter, very satisfactorily completed the re-hanging of the six bells.

The organ was cleaned and repaired by Messrs. Hele and Co., of Plymouth.

Details of the re-opening ceremony followed, after which was a reception.

The Vicar said he now came to the toast of the genius which had directed the work, “The health of the architect.”

Mr. Prynne, in reply, said his thanks were due to them for the privilege he had enjoyed in doing the work.  He considered it the deepest honour to have such a work placed in his hands… It was intensely satisfactory to find, as he had found, workmen who entered into the spirit of the work, and who felt it an honour to work in God’s house, and use their skill in decorating it.  He thought that they were now-a-days catching more of the spirit of the ancients in that respect.  The spirit of the ancients was entirely one of love and reverence for what had gone before, and that spirit he had endeavoured to throw into the present restoration – (applause).

A report in the Building News and Engineering Journal of 29 November 1889 stated that the cost of the restoration was £850.

The rood screen, also to Fellowes Prynne’s design, dates from 1900 – I have that noted but not the source of the information.

The undated postcard shows the interior of the church. The photograph, by Mike Searle via, shows a recent view of the interior.