St Mary's is an impressive church that dominates the town centre. The church guide states it was built in 1438, whilst Pevsner gives the date of consecration as 1458. The church originally comprised a nave and chancel with piched roof and battlements, S and N aisles, and a fine S porch. It also has an attached three-stage tower. The whole building was constructed from large, rough granite blocks. The current church remains as a fine example of 15thc architecture, and both the mid 19thc restoration and the slightly later N aisle expansion have preserved this character.
Callington is a busy small town, rather than a village; the presence of an imposing Romanesque font indicates that its importance was already established in the 12thc.
The church contains a granite Altarnun-type font.
No church is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Callington Church was originally a chapelry to Southill; the present ambitious building dates from 1438, when Callington first obtained the right of burial.
|Depth of basin||0.24 m|
|Diameter of basin||0.47 m|
|Height of bowl||0.40 m|
|Height of font||0.47 m|
|Height of stem||0.51 m|
|Length of bowl||0.75 m|
|Width of bowl||0.75 m|
This has a pair of symmetrical many-branched tree motifs separated by an incised line; single examples occur commonly on Cornish fonts, e.g. at Southill, Callington's mother church.
These have incised rosettes within circles (also common on Cornish fonts), surrounded by double-headed dragons.
This has a simple symmetrical plant/tree motif with an incised Latin cross at the top centre, its stem forming the central axis of the plant.
F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 75.
P. Beacham and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England – Cornwall, Yale University Press, 2014, 132-133.
C Grenfell, The Parish Church of St Mary's Callington, Parochial Church Council, 2003.
C. Henderson, The Cornish Church Guide and Parochial History of Cornwall, D. Bradford Barton Ltd, Truro, 1925, 37-38.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Penguin Books, 1951, 38.
E. H. Sedding, Norman Architecture in Cornwall, Ward and Co., 1909, 51-53.