History & Features

This summary is taken from 'The Church of St Ladoca Ladock' by Geoffrey Holborow, September 2013


Ladock Church is a Grade 1 listed building and may occupy an ancient settlement site. By the 12th Century, Catholic worship took place in a stone buliding comprising a chancel and a nave.  The present structure dates mainly from the 15th Century, but there are traces of the Norman building and the Norman font.  The Trethurffe Aisle is older also, added after 1300: it is named after the Trethurffe family and is their burial place. 

The church is two-aisled with later additions.  The arcade is of six arches, the pillars are St Stephens granite and there is a particularly fine 15th Century wagon roof to the South Aisle. 

The present pews were installed in 1850 with plain Victorian pews replacing the old box pews.  The reredos behind the high altar is of alabaster with an inset serpentine cross.  The altar frontal was painted by A E Prynne in 1897.  Below the altar step is a vault in which Canon Wise, his sister and parents are buried.

At the chancel steps are the remains of a 16th Century rood screen and below the transom, the panels are filled with old carvings, regarded as valuable specimens of medieval handicraft.

In the Bapistry at the left as you enter the church is a Norman font.  It is of Gothic style and made of Purbeck stone with a Polyphant stone shaft, probably of a later date.  There are similar fonts at Fowey and Feock.   

The organ chamber and vestry were added in 1908.  The original Willis organ, situated in what is known as St Winifred's Chapel, to the right of the high altar, was removed and incorporated into the present organ, built by Hele of Plymouth.


Canon Richard Wise and the 1864 Restoration

The Reverend Richard Wise, later Canon Wise. was appointed Rector in 1846.  His father, a Cambone doctor of some means, had purchased the patronage and thus appointed his son.

The church was in a considerable state of dereliction with a badly leaking roof; it was said that there were only two communicants.  The village was described as being poor and run down,

Reverend Wise set about restoring the church, all at his own expense, and employing the well-known London architect G E Street.  The roof was renewed, the pews replaced and the wonderful chancel window installed.  The restoration was completed in 1864 at the very substantial cost of £2,000.  There was a great service of rededication.


Richard Wise was Rector from 1846 to 1885.  During this time he built the school house and school; he then proceeded to pay for the headmaster and running of the school.  In addition he purchased land in the neighbouring settlement of Grampound Road and built a school and mission church there.  Besids this he built numerous houses in Ladock, including Nansawsan House, for his curate and cousin Stamford Raffles Flint, who was also his cousin.  Thus was Ladock transfomed  from a backwater into the flourishing community we know today.

Canon Wise lived in the Georgian rectory opposite the church, now known as Ladock House.   He retired in 1885, appointing his cousin Stamford Raffles Flint as Rector, but he stayed in the Rectory until he died in 1896.  His spinster sister lived there until her death in 1899.



The Advowsan or Patronage, the right to appoint the clergy of the parish, has passed through numerous hands since 1260, as the list of Patrons and Rectors in the church shows.  As indicated above the Patronage passed from the Ware family to the Wise family in the 19th Century.  Canon Wise passed the Patronage to his cousin Archdeaon Raffles Flint, who on his death passed the Patronage to the Worshipful Company of Grocers, one of the senior Livery Companies of the City of London.  They remain generous and interested Patrons to this day.  

Photos: Courtesy of Lindy Van Welie


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