The following description is lifted directly from [Polsue 1868]. It must be read in the context of that date. Other extracts are available online.
TOWEDNACK is situated in the western division of the deanery and hundred of Penwith; it is bounded on the north by S. Ives; on the east by Lelant; on the south by Ludgvan and Gulval; and on the west by Zennor and the sea.
The tithes are commuted at £268, namely, to the vicar £150, and to the impropriators, the representatives of the late William Backwell-Tyringham, Esq., the representative of the Praeds of Trevethow, £118. Towednack, called in ancient records the the chapel of S. Ewin. is a daughter church to Lelant, with which it goes in presentation.
The present vicar of the united parishes is the Rev. Richard-Frederick Tyacke, A.M. collated Feb. 24, 1869.
The church, which is dedicated to S. Wednack or Wennack, was substantially and carefully restored in 1869–70; it consists of a chancel, nave, and south aisle. The chancel-arch, the only one in the old churches of West Cornwall, is acutely pointed, and consists of a principal and sub-arch, both chamfered, the latter springing from plain corbels. In the north wall of the chancel is a modern trefoil-headed credence. The arcade consists of five four-centered arches, supported on three octagonal granite pillars and the pier of the chancel arch. Near the east end of the aisle is an aumbrie. All the windows of the church are new, the jambs and tracery being neatly cut in Polyphant stone.
The bowl of the font is octagonal; on its sides are the initials and date W. B., I. R., 1720,—also a fleur-de-lis, a human face, and two quatrefoils; the shaft is round and has a curious serrated ornamentation at the base; the material is granite. Two of the ancient bench ends are still preserved; the[y] display medalion profiles, with hats on, and moustaches and beards, and the date 1633, with the names “James Trewhella, warden, Master Matthew Trenwith, warden,” curiously interlaced. The tower arch has a plain soffit sub-arched with chamfered ribs which spring from semi-octagonal responds,—the latter in character with the pillars of the arcade.
The only entrance is a south porch, the eastern seat of which is formed of a block of granite 7ft. long, 1½ft. high, and 10 inches wide; on its face is a slightly incised double cross; it is supposed to have been the shaft of an ancient cemetery cross, of which the plinth may yet be seen near the eastern entrance of the churchyard.
The entrance to the tower stairs is at the north-west corner of the nave; the staircase is carried up in square flights, under a covered way, neither newel nor winders being used. The tower is a low massive structure of two stages, with heavy moulded string courses, and finished with battlements; it contains three bells.
A marble tablet is inscribed:—
In the vault beneath are deposited the remains of Thomas Rosewall, Esqe., of Hellesvear, St. Ives, who died on the 5th day of January, 1841; aged 87 years; Also Mary his beloved wife, who died on the 5th day of April, 1829; aged 72 years.
Also James, son of Thomas and Juliana Rosewall, of Talland, St. Ives, who died on the 2nd day of July, 1835; aged 6 years.
The Incorporated Society granted £25 towards the restoration of this church. On July 27, 1542, Bishop Hippo, as suffragan to Bishop Veysey, consecrated the cemetery of the parochial chapel of S. Tewynnoc. This church, with Lelant, were given by Robert Fitz-William to the priory of Tywardreath,—“Ecclesiam Sancti Euni cum terris et decimis et aliis pertinenoiis suis et nominatim cum villa que dicitur Lananta et de Tredrait et terrem que fuit Thome presbiteri.” They afterwards passed to the Collegiate Church of Crediton.
In the communion service is an Elizabethan chalice, of chaste design and in good preservation; the original cover bore the date 1576, but a modern one has been substituted, which is also used as a paten.
The manor of Amalibria was formerly the property of the Noye family; Col. Humphry Noye conveyed it to William Davies, Esq., who had married Catherine [h]is second daughter and one of his coheiresscs; from him it descended to the late John-Davies Gilbert, Esq., whose widow, the Hon. Mrs. Gilbert, is the present proprietor.
The chief villages are the Churchtown, Nancledry or Nancledrea, and Trevidga Veor or Trevessa.
There are Wesleyan Methodist chapels at Nancledrea and Coldharbour moor.
Amongst the chief landowners is the Hon. Mrs. Gilbert of Trelissick.
A fair is named for this parish to be held in September.
The hill called Carnminnis, a short distance from the church, is 805 ft. above the sea; Tredrine, Trendrine, or Merra hill, partly in this parish and partly in Zennor is still higher; on the apex of this hill, which is in this parish, is one of the Ordnance Survey stations. The parish is based on granite, and the surface of it, like Zennor and Morvah, is literally strewed with it; a small portion at the northern extremity trenches on the celebrated S. Ives Consols tin mine.
Two or three barrows formerly existed on Lady Downs, but the material of which they were constructed has nearly all been removed for building purposes; One of them was 80 ft. in diameter, and supposed to have been 16 or 18 ft. in height.
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