Church Explorers - Upper Fal Valley

Ref: C3529101

Lying in the upper Fal valley, Creed, Cornelly, Ruan Lanihorne and St Michael Penkivel are four very different churches, and well worth exploring as atmospheric church interiors. Creed was mother church to Grampound and has fragments of interesting glass, and a Romanesque pillar piscina. Cornelly, one of Cornwall's simplest churches, displays its medieval bell and an unusual turret. Ruan, once a river port guarded by a castle, has a mysterious tomb that may depict its patron saint, while cruciform Penkivel was heavily restored by George Street and once housed four priests, the fourth having his altar in the tower. Meeting place: Creed car park - near church.

Course aim

To introduce students to some of Cornwall's less well known and most atmospheric churches and explain their architectural evolution.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Some walking will be involved and students may wish to bring sandwiches though there is a good pub in Ruan Lanihorne.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify different styles and periods of architecture.
  • Distinguish between medieval and later stone carving.
  • Discuss what ingredients are necessary to create an atmospheric church.
  • Conduct further independent research to find out more.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Talking from buildings and encouraging students to observe more closely.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • Discussion during day and pit stops.

What else do I need to know?

  • Walking shoes, wet weather gear, note pad, sketch pad, pen or pencil, i-pad, camera, binoculars etc.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Joanna Mattingly, Looking at Cornish Churches (2005) Nicolas Pevsner and Peter Beacham, Cornwall (corrected edition, 2014) Paul Holden ed. New Research on Cornish Architecture - Celebrating Pevsner (2017)

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full Course information sheet

Church Explorers - Upper Fal Valley


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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