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Why Endellion?

“Saint Endellion, Saint Endellion …. like a ring of bells”

As a passionate Cornishwoman, Lesley is fascinated by all things Cornish, from ancient legends, to the life and writings of John Betjeman and beyond.

Endellion is the name of a village and a church over six hundred years old, near where Lesley was born in North Cornwall. It’s named after one of the innumerable Cornish saints, Endellion (Endelienta), who was said to be a daughter of a Welsh King and to be a god-daughter of King Arthur. She must have been a strong and very independent woman as she lived on just milk from her cow and water. Saint Endellion has been a collegiate church since the middle ages and was a favourite of Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman.

There are some interesting photos including one of an angel carved in the very old style of others there, in Sir John (JB)’s memory.

St Endellion Church

Sir John wrote “Saint Endellion, Saint Endellion …. like a ring of bells”.

He also said in 1950 of the old church: “It looked, and still looks, just like a hare. The ears are the pinnacles of the tower and the rest of the hare, the church, crouches among wind-slashed firs”.


Sir John used the words from the ancient bell-ringers’ chant written on the walls in the bell tower in his Ode to the Forthcoming Marriage of Charles and Diana.

The last lines of the chant read:

Let’s all in love and friendship hither come
Whilst the shrill treble calls to Thundering Tom
And since Bells are for moderate Recreation
Let’s rise and Ring and Fall to Admiration

Chant

There is a famous music festival there every year The acclaimed Endellion String Quartet is named after it too. Lesley’s brother and sister in-law run a similarly old and colourful pub “The Cornish Arms” in neighbouring Pendoggett.