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St James, Kilkhampton, Cornwall

(50°52′28″N, 4°29′9″W)
SS 252 113
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cornwall
now Cornwall
medieval Exeter
now Truro
medieval St James
now St James
  • Richard Jewell
16 May 1992

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Feature Sets

Nothing remains of the Romanesque church except the fine S doorway, one of the best in Cornwall.


The place name is entirely English and Henderson asserts that the parish probably did not exist before the Norman Conquest; from about which time the manor of Kilkhampton is supposed to have belonged to the Grenville family, who also held the manor of Bideford in Devon. Richard de Grenville is known to have endowed the monastery of Neath in Glamorganshire, where the family had been granted land, and it seems likely that one of the de Grenvilles was also the patron of a fine church at Kilkhampton, presumably built from new in the second quarter of the 12thc, of which the doorway remains. In 1237 the church became a holding of Tewkesbury Abbey.


Exterior Features



The closest comparison is with the south doorway at Morwenstowe, only six miles distant, where point to point chevron and beakheads appear in the arch, and the capitals are markedly similar, including the curious plant forms. Date as above.


C. Henderson, The Cornish Church Guide (London 1925), 95-96.

A Complete Parochial History of Cornwall, Vol. 2 (Truro and London 1868), 369-70

N. Pevsner and E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England: Cornwall, 2nd ed (Harmondsworth 1970), 85.

E H Sedding, Norman Architecture in Cornwall, (London, 1909), 172-76, pls. 77 and 78.