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Add these must-visit Westcountry churches to your bucket list

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 17, 2013

Clockwise from top left: Culbone Church on Exmoor; St Michael de Rupe on Brentor; St Enodoc in North Cornwall; and St Mary's church in Ottery

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Here are Martin's additional suggestions for stunning places of worship – all in the Westcountry...


Size shouldn't matter – churches are all about being special in a holy kind of way. And few places in England are more peaceful and perhaps as-God intended them than Culbone on the Exmoor coast. The tiny temple is pre-Norman in origin, seats just 30 people, and has a total length of only 35 feet. But it does have a nave, spire, chancel and all the requirements to be a "complete church".

St Michael de Rupe

Perched high on Brentor, this is loftier than almost any other church in southern England and certainly offers worshippers better views. It sits atop a dark finger of rock jutting out of the wild Tamar Marches: west of the rump of Dartmoor, east of the granite crags of Bodmin Moor. (See Westcountry View)

St Enodoc

No wonder Betjeman loved this place. His headstone can be seen just inside the lych gate, but the best view is at the top of graveyard where you are treated to a vista of church, hill, dune, wood and sea.

And so he wrote:

"Blessed be St Enodoc, blessed be the wave,

"Blessed be the springy turf, we pray, pray to thee...."

St Mary's, Ottery St Mary

It was John de Grandisson, Bishop of Exeter who, in 1337, founded his college of Canons at Ottery and who enlarged an existing church, modelling it on Exeter Cathedral. Henry VIII put paid to all that in 1545, but you can still glean hints of quiet and learning that pervaded here for two centuries.

If you have a favourite church write to us or email wmnnesdesk@westernmorningnews.co.uk

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