St Michael, Landrake, Cornwall

Feature Sets (3)


There are some remains of the Norman cruciform church, which was enlarged in the 15thc. These include the lower part of the S wall of the nave and sanctuary, including the jambs of the original doorway. The Romanesque font of Altarnun type, also survives.


The parish of Landrake was given to Burwhold, Bishop of St Germans, by King Edmund in the 10thc., and the lands remained vested in St Germans Priory after the removal of the see to Exeter. There is no early record of the dedication of the parish church of Landrake; although there was also a chapel of St Erney, now non-existent.


Exterior Features


Nave S doorway

The orginal doorway of the nave has one order of colonettes. These have bases with two rolls separated by a hollow chamfer. The capitals were mutilated when the arch was replaced in the 16thc. 




In the nave W end, on W side of S doorway. Of Altarnun type nearly square, on octagonal shaft, with six-pointed stars encircled by snakes on the sides of the bowl, and corner heads unsupported by shafts; on these the hair is not indicated, except in the NE corner, N side, which bears three incised diagonal lines. There is no cable moulding around the bottom of the bowl. There is a ledge around the top of the basin, for the lid to rest on. Slight damage to the lower half of NW corner head.
The shaft, which appears original, is a plain octagon, it has some recent restoration at the top of the E side, and is of a paler, coarser-grained stone that the Purbeck stone bowl. The octagonal base is modern.

Depth of bowl 0.21 m
Diameter of font 0.50 m
Height of font 0.56 m
Height of shaft 0.43 m
Width of ledge 0.015 m
Width of top of bowl (E-W) 0.73 m
Width of top of bowl ( N-S ) 0.76 m


Sedding says of the font "It is among the earlier examples of its kind, dating from the beginning of the 12thc., and it is similar in type to those at Lewhilton, Warbstowe and Jacobstowe."


  • P. Beacham and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Cornwall (New Haven and London 2014), pp. 266-67.

  • C. Henderson, The Cornish Church Guide (London 1925), pp. 100

  • A Complete Parochial History of the County of Cornwall, vol. II (Truro and London 1868), pp. 97-8

  • N. Pevsner and E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England: Cornwall, 2nd ed (Harmondsworth 1970), pp. 87-88.

  • E. H. Sedding, Norman Architecture in Cornwall: A Handbook to old Cornish ecclesiastical architecture with notes on ancient manor houses (London and Truro 1909), pp. 184-86.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SX 37402 60506 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Cornwall
now: Cornwall
medieval: Exeter
now: Truro
now: St Michael
medieval: St Michael (1433)
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Richard Jewell 
Visit Date
18 Jan 1992