No one knows when the very first holy building was placed in this spot. Archaeologists working during the 1990s restoration found the remains of a Norman tower but the near circular enclosure of the ancient churchyard (as indicated by the prefix “lan” in Lanlivery) suggests that it was an important site even in pre- Christian times. Although today the patron saint is St. Brevita, there is no mention of him or perhaps her, in earlier histories, which instead define the parish as named after the almost unknown St. Vorck, hence the derivation of Lanlivery as Lan-le-Vorck – St. Vorck’s holy place, softened by usage into the modern name.
As far back as 1162, Lanlivery Church was mentioned in a document and again in 1281, but it seems that the present church, built in the 15th century, stands on the site of this earlier Christian church, the mother church of Luxulyan and Lostwithiel Chapels. In 1291, when it was under the auspices of St Andrews Priory of Tywardreath, it was valued at just under £10! According to the Priory’s calendar, the earliest vicar of Lanlivery was John Tyly, in 1486.
The present church has one of the finest granite towers in Cornwall. Built in the mid 17th century, it houses an excellent peal of eight bells; the largest, the tenor, weighs 17 hundredweights. It is also one of the highest, at almost 100 feet, making it visible for some distance along the Ridgeway route south towards Fowey and it is reputed that in earlier times its southern face was whitened with lime-wash to act as a landmark for sailing ships entering Fowey harbour.
A huge, painted wooden plaque in the bell tower bears a message of thanks from Charles the First to the parishioners of Lanlivery for their support during the Civil War and a recent visitors’ book bears the signature of the present Prince Charles. The large number of memorials to the Kendalls shows the close connection between Lanlivery Church and this once important local family. The most recent plaques commemorate the 1993 restoration. One of these was placed over an ancient aperture discovered during restoration work and which now houses a time capsule filled by the children of the village.
The headline coordinates take you to the grave of Maria Higgs opposite the SW corner of the tower.
From this gravestone you can obtain the following information:
Maria, wife of Samuel Nicholas Higgs of Wistow departed this life on August AB th ACDE aged DE years.
The cache can be found at N 50 24.(E-A)(C+A)D W 004 42.D(B-A)(B-A-A)
It is a short drive or modest stroll away and there is room for a car at the GZ whilst you find the cache
The cache is a micro with a difference and it helps if you can recall Lonnie Donegan's lyrics for my Old Man's a Dustman!! Getting to the cache requires a short but easy scramble up a bank.
Special thanks to Elfin Safety for the cache construction and to Cornish Candy for making the placement possible.
You may need tweezers to extract the log and Please Bring Your Own pen
For full information on how you can expand the Church Micro series by sadexploration please read the Place your own Church Micro page before you contact him at churchmicro.co.uk
See also the Church Micro Statistics and Home pages for further information about the series.