The Church of St. Michael and All Angels built in 1834/5 by George Wightwick, was the gift of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland. The church reflects the history of the area which it serves, which had enjoyed a new prosperity with the cutting of the Bude Canal, at great expense, between 1819-26.
St Michael’s was originally built as a Chapel of Ease to nearby Stratton Church, and only later became the parish church of Bude Haven as the town expanded with the advent of the London and South Western Railway in the 1890’s and its new found popularity as a holiday resort – somewhat sharply described by John Betjemen as “an East Anglian resort facing the wrong way”.
Bude started to become fashionable as a resort in the middle of the 19th century and the character of the town has been particularly defined by its Victorian development as a tourist destination. Fortunately the town has not been disfigured by large-scale 20th century tourist development or excessive commercialisation.
The extensive green areas of Maer, Summerleaze and Efford Downs, the golf course, the valley of the River Neet, the Bude Canal and the agricultural land separating Stratton and Bude create a distinctive pattern of countryside interspersing the built development areas.
Visitors are drawn to the area to spend time on our beautiful sandy beaches, walk the coastal paths or surf in the Atlantic waves. Children can safely swim in our unique Sea Pool on Summerleaze Beach, guarded throughout the holiday season by our ever watchful Bude Surf Life Savers.
Hartland Quay, with its wild, majestic sea and landscape, historic Tintagel and the well known port of Boscastle are all within easy driving distance.
Those of us who are fortunate enough to live here enjoy quiet, uncluttered roads and a relaxing lifestyle.
Parishes in the Benefice are administered by Cornwall Council and represented in parliament by the constituency of North Cornwall.
The graveyard is testimony to this treacherous coast which has always had a fearful reputation among mariners. Over the centuries, the sheer cliffs and jutting reefs have wrecked hundreds of vessels and claimed countless seafarers, some of whom are buried here. Headstones include that of 11 year old George Henry, downed June 1860; Barnabas Stanlake Shazell, drowned at Saunton, whose body was recovered here, two months later in 1899; Michael Fish, downed November 1872 and his wife who died presumably of grief a month later; and Captain Henry Thomas of Tenby, master of the smack Enterprise, who drowned at Bude in 1866.
Perhaps the most tragic is a gravestone that reads…“Here lie deposited, the remains of the Chief Mate and thirteen seamen, a portion of the crew of the Bencoolen, which was wrecked at the entrance to this Harbour. October 21st, 1862.”
An interesting grave here is that of Pamela Colman Smith who illustrated the famous Waite-Smith Tarot (later editions they changed the name to Rider Tarot and then Rider Waite Tarot).