Here at Advent, the simplicity of a beautiful Cornish church, in a field surrounded by grazing cattle, sheep and horses, we can offer a restful, rural location for all occasions.
It has interesting links with an early circumnavigator of the world Captain Samuel Wallis and a milestone carving by Rector William Phillipps!
The Norman church is thought to have been based on a cruciform plan. But all that remains of the original church is the north wall and north transept. The church was extended in the 15th century with the addition of a south aisle and porch. The main body of the church is constructed with granite ashlar and the Norman part of the church is mostly built of slate rubble and field stone. Both the nave and chancel have a ‘wagon’ roof as does the south aisle and porch, with crenelated wall plates and some heraldic designs.
A striking feature of the building is that it has remarkably good acoustics for music and the spoken word which we plan to use this even more for future events. The 70ft unbutressed tower at the west end of the church is slightly off center and was added in the 14th century. The tower arch has been partly reconstructed and is out of line with the nave. The north transept arch has also been partly reconstructed leaving the base of the arch pillars which are probably early Norman. Restoration in the mid 19th century was undertaken by the famous architect JP St Aubyn and it is generally agreed that this was done with a light touch that did not really alter the simplicity and beauty of the original church. The 1950s saw a significant internal restoration mainly due to the need to replace rotten wood.
The eight sided 15th century font is carved from Pentewan stone from the St Austell area of south Cornwall. It has interesting and very unusual carvings said to be by a Flemish stone mason. 3 sides have a simple symbol that looks like a yin and yang design. Two sides have a three legged symbol based on the simple one and one side has a four legged swirling design that is reflected in the filigree of the east window. The font replaced a much earlier Saxon style font which was removed to another local church.
The churchyard is quite large at 2.5 acres, part of which is managed as a Wildlife Area to encourage bio diversity. The phases of the seasons are marked by a succession of beautiful flowers starting with snowdrops, followed by primroses, daffodils bluebells and campions.
There are 10 grade II listed head stones and 14 ledgerstones dating from the. 17th century plus 14 Grade II listed tombchests.
Outside the porch are several medieval wayside crosses and an inscribed 11th century Saxon pillar, grouped together as a Nation Scheduled Monument. The Saxon inscription in translation reads: 'Aeseth and Genereth wrought this pillar for Aelwyney’s soul and for themselves'.
St Julitta’s church is clearly a very significant place for the many people who come to the church or the churchyard for different reasons. Perhaps the most important reason is that the church and the site before the church was built in the 13th century is in an unusually beautiful situation in the valley between the river and a rushing stream. It is a place that gives a feeling of peacefulness and spirituality and people often comment on this in the visitor’s book.
Come and have look!