St Winwaloe's, Poundstock

St Winwaloe's contacts      St Winwaloe's location      Poundstock Gildhouse


For services at St Winwaloe's see What's on.

Poundstock parish

Poundstock is a sparsely populated rural parish with two main areas of settlement, a small council estate and modern private housing development inland and the seaside village of Widemouth Bay.
The parish has two centres of worship, St Winwaloe’s (the parish church) and Our Lady and St Anne’s in Widemouth Bay.

St Winwaloe's, Poundstock

St Winwaloe's Poundstock

St Winwaloe's

St Winwaloe's church stands in a sheltered valley above a small stream, half a mile from an ancient holy well and a mile from the sea.

The existing building dates from the late C14 and has Norman foundations. It originally consisted of a chancel, a wider nave and probably two transepts, of which the southern survives. Early in the C15 a north aisle was constructed with an arcade of four lofty arches, later extended eastwards to the end of the chancel, from which it is separated by two clumsy granite arches. This section, the present Lady Chapel, possibly dates from 1423; it used to be known as the Penfound Chapel, and a monument on its north wall, dated 1638, bears the arms of the Penfound family. The south porch and unbuttressed tower were added at the end of the fifteenth century.

The square granite font, of simple Norman pattern, is probably C13. The oldest stonework in the church lies nearby: portions of a Norman pillar-piscina and of window tracery; an ancient grain measure which may have served as a holy water stoup; and a rectangular stone coffin-slab inscribed with a cross. This twelfth-century slab was discovered in 1896 in use as a windowsill.

There are two surviving fragments of stained glass, both C16. One in the south transept shows a castellated canopy, the other in the Lady Chapel contains an ox, the emblem of St Luke.

By the end of the C19 the church had fallen into disrepair and a sympathetic restoration was undertaken by Fellowes Prynne. The old rood screen was removed – its stairway still exists in the angle between chancel and transept – and some elements were fashioned into the present choir stalls. The most interesting fragment comprises painted panels, expertly restored in 1982 and mounted in the north aisle, showing figures of saints: Philip, Bartholomew, Matthias, Blaise, possibly Helena, Sitha (Zita), Luke and Apollonia. A new rood screen was added during this restoration, but the finest modern woodwork is the Lady Chapel screen carved by Miss Rashleigh Pinwill in 1917. The box pews were replaced by chairs.

During the restoration two large C15 wall paintings were discovered under layers of limewash above the north door. They show the Tree of the Seven Deadly Sins and the Warning to Sabbath-Breakers.

Poundstock parish church was previously dedicated to St Neot; following research by the then incumbent, this was changed to St Winwaloe in the 1970s.

The church is set away from the main centres of habitation but there is some evidence of nearby medieval housing. At the edge of the churchyard is the Tudor Gildhouse, the finest example in Cornwall of a church house. It was built in the 1540s to raise funds for church maintenance. Here, parish feasts were prepared and held, with profits going to the church. Today it fulfils much the same function. The 1638 plaster royal coat of arms, which now dominates the south end of the feasting hall, was moved from the church in the 1970s.


For services at St Winwaloe's see What's on.

Poundstock Gildhouse

Poundstock GildhouseFor nearly 500 years, Poundstock Gildhouse has nestled in a quiet valley a few miles south of Bude in the stunning countryside of North Cornwall. Built during the reign of Henry VIII to serve the parish of Poundstock as a feasting and village hall, it has been in continuous use since then, including as a school and poor-house in the intervening centuries, until returning to its original role in the 20th century.

Poundstock Gildhouse is open to visitors every Wednesday (10.00 - 16.00)  from Easter until the end of October, entry is free. 

For more details see the Gildhouse website