About this church
Any stranger coming to look at Saint Swithin's church at Launcells cannot fail to notice the charming setting, in a little valley, with a bridge and a stream gurgling beneath, and the Holy Well beside. It is reputed that the well never runs dry. There is a well kept graveyard with a conservation area which is carefully managed to care for insects as well as the floral care. Sir Goldsworthy Gurney famous inventor of LImelight buried here. The oldest existing tombstone is of granite and forms part of the porch entrance. It says 'Here lies the bodies of Richard Peryn who died the 24th July 1574 and of John Peryn who died the 15th April 1598 and Richard his son who died the 23rd October 1606'.
The interior of the church is full of light as it has clear glass windows. There is a unique Tudor mural, Georgian pew ends, and Barnstaple encaustic tiles. There is a magnificent sculptured coat of arms of Charles II on the north wall along with a letter written by King Charles written on the wall. Possibly the glory of the church are the carved 15th century pew ends.
The belfrey contains 6 bells of very fine tone. The team of ringers, which rang at King George III accession in 1760, was the same team to ring at his Jublilee in 1810 and three of kits members also lived to ring at the accession of George IV in 1820. There is a famous painting depicting this scene which hangs in the museum at the Bude Museum. It was painted by Frederick Smallfield.