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St Winwallo, Tremaine, Cornwall

(50°40′25″N, 4°30′2″W)
SX 234 890
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cornwall
now Cornwall
medieval Exeter
now Truro
  • Richard Jewell
August 1989, 25 August 1991

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Feature Sets

St Winwallo is a small church, consisting of a nave, a chancel and a later W tower. The N wall is Norman with a blocked doorway, the tympanum of which has been defaced and bears no trace of sculpture anymore. The church also includes a 12thc font.


As Henderson noted, the church may have been built in the 12thc by the Bottreaux family. It was then given to the Priory of St Stephen in Launceston together with Egloskerry in c. 1160.





The single cable moulding of the font can be seen nearby on the font at Tresmeer, St Clether and Egloskerry as well as elsewhere in Cornwall; the base of the Tremaine font is, however, an unusual feature. Regarding the now defaced tympanum (which is semicircular, 1.01metres w x 0.50metres h, set in a completely plain doorway), the Parochial History states, that 'a blocked north door has a tympanum of Catacleuse stone on which is a rudely carved dragon.' This relates to Egloskerry, where a similar, simpler, small blocked N doorway has a tympanum of comparable size (0.92metres x 0.50metres), carved with the same motif. Tremaine's font is also comparable to Egloskerry's for its cable moulded bowl and the stone used.

As Henderson writes, 'the presence of the Apostle of Britanny, St. Winwallo, is perhaps accounted for by the Breton origin of the Bottreaux familiy.It was one of the numerous chapels on the north side of [Bodmin] moor mainland by the canon of Launceston as a chapel to St. Stephen.'


C. Henderson, The Cornish Church Guide (London 1925), 190-91.

N. Pevsner and E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England: Cornwall, 2nd ed (Harmondsworth 1970), 225.

E. H. Sedding, Norman Architecture in Cornwall: A Handbook to old Cornish ecclesiastical architecture with notes on ancient manor houses (London and Truro 1909), 392-93.

A Complete Parochial History of the County of Cornwall, vol. IV (Truro and London 1873) 240.