SX3384 : St Mary Magdalen Church Tower Launceston

taken 9 years ago, near to Launceston, Cornwall, Great Britain

St Mary Magdalen Church Tower Launceston
St Mary Magdalen Church Tower Launceston
The church is attached by its vestry to a tower probably of very early 15th century date, which has a painted early Georgian clock face. This tower was originally attached to an earlier chapel, demolished when the present church was completed. A large space was left for a new tower that was planned, but never built.

The church was rebuilt from 1511 to the 1540s, one of the most ambitious and lengthy, and ultimately incomplete, of all Cornish building projects. Work began at the south porch, then appears to have gone anti-clockwise to the east end. The high altar was in use for worship in 1524 and the rest of the church remained a building site, with work on the north aisle and glazing continuing into the 1540s. The Reformation was by this time affecting parish churches and grandiose building schemes had to be abandoned.

Built out of moorland granite, the whole town would have paid for the new church though Henry Trecarrell of Trecarrell Manor, twice Mayor of Launceston, may well have been the instigator. It is said his son drowned in a bath, and in his grief Henry Trecarrell turned his attention to the church. Henry died in 1544, another reason why the tower-project may have been abandoned. The nearest parallel to Launceston, and the probable proto-type, is the south aisle of the church of St Mary’s in Truro (part of Truro Cathedral today). This was built a little earlier in 1504-18.
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SX3384, 176 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 12 June, 2012   (more nearby)
Saturday, 21 June, 2014
Geographical Context
Religious sites 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SX 3319 8468 [10m precision]
WGS84: 50:38.2727N 4:21.6209W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SX 3314 8472
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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