St Neot

The church and village is named after St Neot, he died circa 877 and was buried in the church but around 974 Earl Alfric stole the remains and removed most of them to Eynesbury (now called St Neots) in Huntingdonshire.

About this church

In de Stapeldon’s register the rededication of the church is mentioned as taking place in 1321. The eastern end of the church is the oldest part of the present structure. The Easter sepulchre, which may have doubled up as St Neot’s tomb, can be dated to the 1330-40s. According to John Allan it is the work of William Joye, an Exeter Cathedral mason. The hanging shields on the tomb are like those on nave tombs at Ottery St Mary. Fragmentary wall paintings at the back of the tomb appear to show two kneeling figures with halos and winged heads linked to them by ropes.

St Neot’s is best known for its exceptional prereformation glazing. So much survives that it is possible to reconstruct the original scheme apart from the west windows which went in the great storm of 1704.

St Neot’s windows were installed between about 1450 and the early 1530s in four phases.

The windows are mainly filled with figures of saints and in four cases, the Creation, Noah, St George and St Neot windows, stories (to be read left to right like a comic book). The earliest window is now just inside the south door, though originally the figures were in the east window where the tracery lights remain. St Peter & St Paul, founders of the church and Montacute Priory’s patrons, appear with Christ and St James the Great.

The latest window is the life of St Neot window which was dated 1530. An interesting feature of this church is that while international saints dominate in the south aisle which was funded by local gentry, local saints with Jesus and Mary are in the majority on the north side where parish groups of wives, sisters (young maidens?) and young men were chief sponsors. Don’t miss St Meubred of Cardinham carrying his head. The north aisle also includes a window paid for by the glaziers and roof bosses over the sisters’ window retelling the story of St Neot’s fish in wood.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Level access to the main areas
  • Car park at church
  • Accessible toilets in church

Other nearby churches

St Bartholomew

Warleggan is one of the smallest parishes on Bodmin Moor and has a real link to Poldark!

St Meubred

This is the only church anywhere dedicated to St Meubred. It has one of the best churchyard crosses in the country, 9th century with knot work scrolls, ring chain and plait work. You can also find our fascinating carved medieval bench ends.

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