Ilfracombe Holy Trinity Parish Church
This ancient church was rebuilt in 1321. Before that the tower stood as a separate building but was included in the body of the church when the north and south aisles were built on the orders of Bishop Stapleton, who decreed that the church building was "utterly inadequate to contain the population."
Further restoration took place in the fifteenth century when the aisles were enlarged and the wonderful wagon roof installed. In Victorian times the old box pews were replaced with the pews as we see them today, also the chancel floor was raised. Previously the floor had followed the slope of the hill making the vicar officiating at the altar all but invisible to most of the congregation!
The font dates from Norman times, about 1160, which is before the time of the first listed vicar, Oliver de Tracey, in 1263. It was moved to its present position in 1861 and re-cut in a fifteenth century style so that it looks newer than it actually is.
The corbels have been in the church since 1321 and in character resemble the grotesques often used as gargoyles on the exterior of churches. They deserve a closer look, as do the stained glass windows and the beautifully carved bosses in the roof. See if you can spot the Green Men, five in a row!
Over recent years the graveyard had become overgrown but in 2014 a group of local volunteers started work. They began by clearing it completely of brambles, nettles and intrusive weeds and in the Spring of 2105 with the help of the community scattered 50 packets of wildflower seeds. The group will continue to keep the pathways clear and accessible and to encourage wildlife they have installed a hedgehog box, 6 bird boxes and as many plants and shrubs as they have been able to obtain as well as an Incredible Edible herb box and a community garden for people to share.
Dead Famous - Bringing History Alive is a guided tour around the graveyard with actors who appear by a grave and talk about the lives of those buried there. From humble families to gentry, shipwrecks to acts of extreme bravery.
Proceeds from these tours will go towards the cost of the voluntary work undertaken by The Holy Trinity Graveyard Group for the upkeep of the graveyard.