Parish Church of:
The parish church of St. Mary Magdalene, built in 1524-40, by Sir Henry Trecarrell, kt. is an edifice of granite, in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave of eight bays, aisles, south porch, over which is a parvise, and an embattled western tower, of the latter part of the 14th century, 84 feet in height, with pinnacles, and containing a clock and 6 bells; the tower was formerly detached, but is now connected with the church by a room erected by the late Duke of Northumberland for municipal purposes and now used as a vestry; the exterior walls are elaborately paneled and relieved in the basement with quatrefoils, alternating with shields and fleurs-de-lys: above is a boldly moulded plinth, then another course of paneled tracery, with inscriptions running round the building from the chancel door eastward, a shield bearing a coat of arms, separating each word, as follows:-" Ave Maria, gracie plena, Dominus tecum. Sonsus amat sponsam. Maria optimam
partem elegit. O quam terriblis ac metuendus est locus iste. Vere alliud non est hic nisi domus Dei et porta coeli;" above is a course of foliaged ornaments : the battlemented parapet and the buttresses between the windows are elaborately carved: at the apex of the chancel window are the arms of Henry VIII. and in an arched recess at its base a recumbent figure of St. Mary Magdelene flanked on either side by sculptured panels: on the front of the porch, between the parvise windows, is a niche of tabernacle work; below are the arms of Trecarrell, with the date 1511, and under the windows sculptures of St. George and the Dragon and St Martin of Tours dividing his cloak with a beggar, with several other devices: at the east end of the north aisle is an elaborate monument with effigies to Sir Hugh Piper, ob. 1687, and Sibella (Parr), his wife, ob. 1704, and in the same aisle a magnificent cenotaph, supported on marble pillars, to Granville Pyper, ob. 1717, and Richard
Wise, ob. 1726, both aldermen of this borough, with figures of various Virtnes, and robed busts of the two friends: there are other memorials to Philip King, gent. ob. 1636 and Mary, his wife, ob. 1626; Leonard Treise esq.J.P. recorder of Truro, ob. 1653; Emlen wife of Sir John Speccott, ob. 1659; Captain Philip Piper (son of Sir Hugh), ob. 1677, and Mary (Gaer), his wife; Cresten (Stokes), wife of Thomas Bewes; William Oliver A.M. fellow of this collegiate church, and rector of the free school, ob. 1681; John Ruddle A.M. 35 years vicar, ob. 1698, and Sarah, his wife, ob. 1667, besides many others of later date; there is also a curious little brass effigy of a female, c. 1630, probably by some local artisan, but without name; the stained east window was presented in 1858 by Edmund Spettigue; all the other windows, save one are also stained, and six of these are memorials; the church was restored in 1852, and the interior is now (1893) about to be restored, at an
estimated cost of £2,500: there are sittings for 750 persons: in the churchyard, surmounting a modern tombstone, is the head of an ancient cross. The register dates from the the year 1558, the earlier portion being a transcript.