top of page

The Honeycombe connection

The lychgate of St Andrew's Church, Calstock is a Grade II listed building. Described by Historic England as "Late C19. Lychgate in granite ashlar, slate roof with ridge tiles and gable ends, with raised coped verges", it stands to the South West of the church.

In 1984 a granite coffin rest was added as a memorial to the many members of the Honeycombe family buried in the churchyard but with no gravestone of their own.

Probably the most famous recent scion of that family was the newscaster Gordon Honeycombe who is remembered on a plaque mounted in the lychgate; but the family's connection with this obscure parish church is of long standing.

Granite coffin rest placed in the lychgate in September 1984

There has been a dwelling at Honicombe (modern spelling) since at least 1333 when it appeared in a list of manors which was drawn up by the Earl of Cornwall. The name is a combination of the Saxon word honiga meaning honeyed or fertile and the Celtic word cwm meaning valley. It derives from it's position at the head of what is now known as Danescombe Valley. In the mid fourteenth century the land was occupied by John de Honyacombe but by the end of the century it had been sold and the Honeycombes would not live there again.

The Honeycombe family continued to live in the parish of Calstock until the last of that name died in 1885. Long before this time they had spread throughout Cornwall and across the English speaking world. Judging by the reunion of 160 members of the family at Honicombe in 1984, they did not forget their roots and by virtue of their memorial in the lychgate, they will long be remembered in Calstock.

bottom of page