Parish Church of:
Anciently “Lost-uuidiel” (Tent. Lust or lyst), “the Manor of Withiel” (Brit. Pen-Uchel-Coel), the “lofty hill on the wood,” and the “Uzella” of Ptolemy.
The church of St. Bartholomew is a highly interesting edifice of stone, chiefly in the Gothic style of the 16th and 17th centuries, with a tower and spire of the 13th century, and quasi-chancel, clerestoried nave of five bays, aisles, north and south porches and a western tower, with spire, containing a clock and 5 bells: the east window, 34 by 14 feet, is Early English, and there is a piscine both in the quasi-chancel and in the south wall of the St George's chapel aisle: the communion table, pulpit , prayer desk and lectern were gifts at the restoration in 1879: the font of Pentewan stone, an extremely curios example, has an octagonal basin on a pedestal of five clustered shafts; the sides of the basin are enriched with carvings of figures and other subjects, now considerably mutilated: in 1644, whilst this place was occupied by the Parliamentary forces under the Earl of Wessex, it is said that a horse was brought into the church by some soldiers, and in contempt
of the church and the king was christened from this font by the name of “Charles”, over the western arch of the nave is a carving in relief in alabaster, 1 ft. 10in. in length, representing the martyrdom of St. Bartholomew: the pedestal of the poor box, bearing the date 1645, is curious: on the floor of the north aisle is a fine brass of a man in plate armour with sword and dagger, and an inscription to Tristram Curteys esq. ob. 15th April, 1423: there is also a monument to Temperance, wife of William Kendall, gent. Ob. 1579, and many others of modern date: the tower if this church, called by the late G.E. Street R.A. , F.S.A. “the pre-eminent glory of Cornwall”, is of two stages, the upper or belfry story being canted or chamfered at the angles so as to form an octagon, from which, as a base, rises an octagonal lantern, each face of which is gabled and pierced with coupled lights and the head with a quatrefoil: the former are crossed in the centre by a panel or
transom of four open quatrefoils, except in the north-east face, which has a circle of trefoils forming a kind of wheel; the graceful octagonal spire has four spire lights on alternate faces: the communion plate was presented pursuant to the will of Thomas Jones esq. of Restormal House, who died Jul 7, 1775: the organ , one of the few old G organs now left in the county is about to be enlarged: there are sittings for 370 persons. In the churchyard, on the east side of the south porch, is an altar-tomb of granite, now dilapidated, to a member of the Taprell family, 1695: near the south porch is also an ancient canopied cross of the 14th century, restored and re-set at the cost of Miss Hext, of Lostwithiel; in the north porch, is a stone coffin, the lid of which now serves as a memorial to a child in the cemetery. The register dates from the year 1609.