In the 1840’s the little village of Herodsfoot became a boom town. There had been some lead mining nearby for centuries but the engine houses and new shafts appeared on either side of the valley producing tons of lead and also some silver, copper and tungsten, all needed by the new factories in the Midlands. Soon there were bunk houses for the miners, four public houses and a school but no church.
So with the encouragement of the rector of Duloe, the Rev Robert Scott, it was decided to build a church on the hill above the village in a prominent position to make an impression on the miners. Herodsfoot became a parish in its own right and a vicar was appointed. The Old Vicarage (now privately owned) was built in 1864.
In the 1880’s mining ceased and Herodsfoot became a rural village again but its mining past is still visible. On the hillsides can be seen the chimneys of engine houses above the shafts and the Deer Park Holiday Cabins are built on the site of the gunpowder mill where the explosives were made for the mines.
The mines are gone but the church still stand proudly on the hillside and welcoming everyone who wishes to enter.
The church has changed very little since Victorian times and the chancel is still lit by seven oil lamps. An eighth lamp hangs above the Norman font (from the demolished ancient chapel of St Martin at Respryn). The pulpit, choir stalls, pews and altar rail are all original features and give the church a timeless feel. There is a wonderful feeling of peace in the mellow interior lit by the newly renovated stained glass windows.
A massive fundraising began at the end of the last century to take the church safely in to the new Millenium. With the help of people from the village, County and further afield we collected enough money to encourage grants and donations from major sources and after eight years the renovations were completed.
These included a new roof, repairs to the East and West walls and renovation and repair of the windows. As some of the old Victorian glass was damaged the decision was made to use some colour to brighten up the inside of the church. The effect is even better than we hoped.
Some of the grants were only given if the church was community based. Following the removal of the pipe organ it was decided to remove and re-locate a few of the pews to create a meeting area for the village.