ST. ENODOC, DAYMER BAY

St Enodoc from Brea Hill

St. Enodoc stands, enigmatically, among the sand dunes above Daymer Bay. It is overshadowed by Brea Hill and is nowadays surrounded by the fairways of the St. Enodoc Golf Course. Why this charming chapel is here is a mystery. That it is an ancient place of worship is without doubt, some of the architecture can be traced back to the 12th century. Since its renovation in 1864 this chapel has found a particular place in the affections of countless people, both visitors and residents alike. Sir John Betjeman was particularly fond of it, and penned the following lines:

Sunday Afternoon Service in St. Enodoc Church, Cornwall:

Come on! Come on! This hillock hides the spire,
Now that one and now none. As winds about
The burnished path through ladyís-finger, thyme,
And bright varieties of saxifrage,
So grows the tinny tenor faint or loud
All all things draw toward St. Enodoc.
Come on! Come on! and it is five to three.

Still, Come on! come on!
The tinny tenor. Hover-flies remain
More than a moment on a ragwort bunch,
And peopleís passing shadows donít disturb
Red Admirals basking with their wings apart.
A mile of sunny, empty sand away,
A mile of shallow pools and lugworm casts.
Safe, faint and surfy, laps the lowest tide.

Sir John Betjeman's gravestone

There is a tablet in memory of Sir Johnís father on the south wall of the nave and his mother is buried in the churchyard near the west boundary wall. Sir John was buried in the churchyard in 1994, his grave is just inside the Lych Gate, on the right.

 

 

Restoration of St. Enodoc.

St Enodoc exterior

This was undertaken in 1863-4. A most interesting first-hand account dated 1919-21 has recently come to light. It is in the handwriting of Mr. Hart Smith Pearce, the son of the Vicar, the Rev. Hart Smith, who was responsible for restoring the chapel "...... the sands had blown higher than the eastern gable, the wet came in freely, the high pews were mouldy-green and worm-eaten and bats flew about, living in the belfry. The communion table had two short legs to allow for the rock projecting at the foot of the east wall. When the building was restored, the walls were partly rebuilt, on good foundations, the sand removed and the little churchyard cleared and fenced with a stout wall. The roof was renewed and new seats provided. It all cost about £650 and I remember the pains and energy my father spent to raise the money. These works were done by the masons and workmen of the parish with loving care and nothing was destroyed needlessly or removed if it was of use or interest."

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