St Nonna's Church is just the right TV setting for saying 'I do'
A Cornish church known as the "cathedral of the moor" is set to star on prime time TV this autumn, after being declared a suitable venue for Doc Martin's wedding.
The production team behind the ITV drama visited St Nonna's Church in Altarnun, in north Cornwall yesterday morning, in a tour of a number of locations for the story filmed in and around the fishing village of Port Isaac.
Johnny Bamford, of Cornwall-based Locations Solutions South West, which finds locations for the series, said it was the church's position right beside the picturesque village green and the river which clinched the deal.
"It is a pretty church, and it is right in the centre of the village," said Mr Bamford.
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"Doc Martin's taxi arrives through Altarnun, which makes for a great exterior shot, and it looks very Cornish."
The 12th century church, known for its intricately carved pew ends, plays a crucial role in the new series – although viewers will have to wait to find out whether Doc Martin, played by Martin Clunes, finally ties the knot with on-off sweetheart, feisty local primary headteacher Louisa Glasson (Caroline Catz).
The couple already have a baby together, and yesterday was also the date for local babies to register to play the part of their small son at a casting session in the church rooms in Port Isaac.
Churchwarden Tony Naylor was among the deputation which met the crew at St Nonna's Church, along with priest of the parish the Rev Andrew Balfour.
"The setting of the church is, I understand, one of the reasons why they chose it," said Mr Naylor.
"It is in a really lovely setting, and there is plenty of space outside and on the adjoining village green.
"They were looking at the tower and they walked around the outside, looking at it from all sorts of angles."
He said he was a fan of the series watched by millions of viewers nationwide.
"It is the sort of programme you can watch without swearing, without people being killed and without cars bursting into flames. It generates an awful lot of income for Port Isaac."
The church in Altarnun will be receiving a substantial payment for the use of the church, which one source suggested could be as much as £800.
The money could be used to restore a stained glass window dedicated to St Nonna, the saint, mother of St David of Wales, which the church is named after.
Naomi Phillipson, spokeswoman for Buffalo Pictures, the company behind the drama, said yesterday: "I can't confirm that we are using that particular church – and we wouldn't reveal storylines – but we are looking at a number of locations for lots of different scenes in the new series."