The following description is lifted directly from [Polsue 1868]. It must be read in the context of that date. Note, the remainder of the parish of Madron is in a separate chapter. Other extracts are available online.

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THE borough of Penzance is bounded on three sides by the Parish of Madron, and on the fourth by Mount’s Bay; it is in latitude 50° 6’ 48” north, and in longitude 5° 31’ west; its superficial area measures 502A 1R 0P.

The advowson, which has recently become a vicarage, is in the patronage of the Bishop of Exeter, but the presentation is subject to the approval of the vicar of Madron. The stipend is £300 with 4 acres of glebe; there is also an impropriate rent charge of £19.

The incumbent, the Rev. Philip Hedgeland, prebendary of Exeter, admitted in 1860, is the first vicar.

The building of the present church of S. Mary commenced August 17, 1832, and the structure was opened for divine service November 15, 1835. It consists of a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, vestry, organ loft, and side galleries. The east window was given by the Tremenheeres, descendants of the member of that family who endowed a former chapel in this place. Below the window is a paneled reredos, flanked by lofty pinnacles of wood. Attached to one of the pillars is a representation of the arms of the borough in bold relief. The arcades each comprise six depressed four-centered arches, supported on very tall pillars, the lower parts of which are formed of granite, the upper of brick. The ceilings, which are of the cradle pattern, are coloured blue, with gilded bosses at the intersections of the woodwork.

A south window of the south aisle contains a representation of the Crucifixion and Resurrection in painted glass; an attached brass is inscribed,—This window is dedicated to the glory of God and in affectionate remembrance of Frances Bolitho Bedford, Born 1st October 1839, Died 30th August, 1857.

And of John Teak Bedford, Lieut. R.N, Born 13th October, 1842, Died at Lukoja on the Niger, 22nd February, 1864.

The second Daughter and only Son of Commander Delboeuf Baker Bedford, R. N., and Frances his wife.

In the nave is a wooden tablet inscribed with the following “Benefactions,”—“Joan Read, of Penzance, spinster, bequeathed the interest of £400 3 per Cent consolidated annuities to the Minister of this Chapel upon trust to be divided as follows:—

One third to the Minister of St. Mary’s Chapel for his own use.

One sixth to the Chapel Warden for the time being.

One twelfth to the Sexton. The remainder after deducting the expence of repairing the family vault is to be given in bread to the poor of Penzance by the Chapel Warden, under the direction of the Perpetual Curate, the day before Christmas eve in each year.”

“Ann Read, spinster, sister to Joan Read by her will bequeathed the interest of £823 12s. 10d., stock, to be distributed in the following proportions:—

One fourth, after deducting the expense of repairing the family Vault, to the Minister of St. Mary’s Chapel.

One tenth to the Chapel Warden. One eighteenth to the Sexton. The remainder is to he given to the poor of Penzance, in such manner as the trustees named in the said Will shall appoint.”

At the west end of the north aisle is another wooden tablet inscribed as follows;—

“This Chapel was rebuilt and enlarged in the year 1835, by which means 1130 additional sittings were obtained, and in consequence of a grant from the Incorporated Society for promoting the enlargement, building, and repairing Churches and Chapels, 679 of that number are hereby declared to be free and unappropriated for ever, in addition to 715 sittings formerly provided, 229 of which are free, and exclusive of 202 sittings for adults and children on flaps and forms placed in the aisles and gallery.

Revd. Thomas Hutton Vyvyan, Perpetual Curate; Charles Matthew Vibert, Chapel Warden.”

The Incorporated Society’s grant was £1,000; the number of appropriated sittings is 1130, and the free 679. Two relics of the previous church are preserved, namely, the Alms box, dated 1612; and a plain octagonal font, of 1668.

There are three western doors, and a priest’s door at the east end.

The tower is of three stages, buttressed on the square, and finished with battlements and clustered crocketted pinnacles; it bears the date MDCCCXXXII. The belfry contains a fine peal of eight bells, which was placed there in 1865 at a cost of £950, and of which the following particulars are preserved,—

The 1. bell weighs 6 cwt. 3 qrs. 4 lbs.
 "  2.      "      7  "   0  "  10  "
 "  3.      "      8  "   0  "  10  "
Towards the expense of this bell the present vicar J. A. Devenish, assist. curate, Walter Edwards Jun. C. W., and S. York, sidesman, subscribed £48.
 "  4.      "      8  "   2  "  19  "
 "  5.      "     10  "   1  "  22  "
Towards the expanse of this bell the Misses Carne subscribed £70.
 "  6.      "     11  "   1  "   3  "
 "  7.      "     14  "   2  "  17  "
Towards the expense of this bell the corporation gave £100.
 "  8.      "     20  "   2  "   6  "
Towards the expense of this bell the Bolitho family gave £140.

The tower also contains a clock. The old bell has been removed to the new Public Buildings.

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