St Petroc, Inwardleigh
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From our churchyard we can look south to the moors and westwards towards our sister parishes. To the north, in the valley, lies the steeple of Hatherleigh. Beyond is the sea, crossed by St Petroc and his fellow missionaries over 1500 years ago.
To the right of the cobbled path approaching the porch is the substantial base of an ancient cross. The raised ground testifies to the antiquity of the site. The oldest structures, the lower courses of the tower and the finely decorated font, are Norman but the shape of our church, as we know it, with the light stone arcade and perpendicular windows, belongs to the 15th century.
High in the NE window are our ‘Inwardleigh angels’: two exquisitely worked examples of 14th century stained glass. Above the exterior of the north door is a massive dripstone surmounted by an empty niche once containing a small statue, probably of the Virgin. The east window has an attractive figure, in late Victorian glass, of Our Lord, the Good Shepherd.
The church was vigorously ‘restored’ in 1899 but many interesting glazed Barum tiles (c.1650) remain at the foot of the chancel step. There are two piscinas, a priest’s door (c.1718), and the Royal Arms of George III in the north aisle. The lion has a quizzical expression, and would seem to have brothers and sisters in the locality. Our records date back to 1605. A transcript is kept in the vestry.
St Petroc's does its very best to serve this scattered rural area and has succeeded in creating a loving, caring community. We have monthly family services and are always looking for new and innovative ways of engaging with those who don't normally come. High points of the year are the farming festivals and Easter and Christmas, but even between times there is plenty of life in this ancient and beautiful church. If you would like to join us you would be most welcome.
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Okehampton EX20 1LW
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The current editor is: Ann Pantrey