We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Olaf, Poughill, Cornwall

(50°50′29″N, 4°31′36″W)
SS 222 077
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cornwall
now Cornwall
medieval Exeter
now Truro
medieval St Olaf
now St Olaf
  • Richard Jewell
2 April 1991, 18 May 1992

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=10078.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

Poughill is a small village about one mile NE of Bude. The church lies in the centre of the village, but nothing remains of the original Norman building above ground as in 1928 the foundations of a cruciform, aisleless structure were brought to light. The present structure consist of a chancel, a nave and a N aisle, all built in the 14thc, a S aisle, a S porch and a W tower, which were erected in the 15thc, and a N vestry added in the 19thc. The only surviving Romanesque pieces are the plain, uncarved water stoup in the S porch, the plain, unsculpted bowl found outside the porch, and the carved font in the W tower.


The Domesday Survey records that in 1066 'Pochehelle' was under the lordship of Alward; in 1086 it passed to William the Goat, being Count Robert of Mortain its tenant-in-chief. The Survey does not mention the church, the dedication of which, to the Danish St Olaf, suggests that it may have been consecrated in the first half of the 11thc. Between 1192–1205 Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, gave the manor of Poughill to the Abbey of Cleeve (Somerset).





The font is of a simple late Romansque arcaded type common in NE Cornwall, and dates to c.1160 (Sedding (1909), 339). Similar examples are found at Poundstock and St Tudy, although these fonts feature only six arches in each tier. The fonts found at Egloshayle and several other churches in the region have only a single arcade per side, and could be slightly earlier, having round arches.


N. Orme, English Church Dedications: With a Survey of Cornwall and Devon, Exeter 1996, 112.

The Victoria County History: Cornwall, ed. by W. Page, London 1924, 209.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Cornwall, London 1970, 145.

E. H. Sedding, Norman architecture in Cornwall; a handbook to old Cornish ecclesiastical architecture, with notes on ancient manor-houses, London 1909, 338-9, pl. 135.