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St Ildiema, Lansallos, Cornwall

(50°20′5″N, 4°34′12″W)
SX 172 515
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cornwall
now Cornwall
medieval Exeter
now Truro
medieval St Alwys
now St Ildiema
  • Richard Jewell
27 Sept 1998

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Feature Sets

Sedding noticed some wrought stonework from the Norman arcade in the N and S walls of the present 15thc. church; otherwise nothing Romanesque survives except the font.


The village name suggests that there was a Celtic monastery here, of which the later manor of Lansallos was the endowment. Of the Norman period almost nothing can be surmised except the evidence of the church, which seems to have been of some importance. The advowson was later a rectory belonging to the Hywysh family of Raphael.





The quatrefoil carvings on the E, N and S faces of the font have a distinctly Gothic flavour, although both Sedding and Pevsner call it Norman. The lilies and crowns are also unparalleled on other Cornish Romanesque fonts. The present writer would incline to call the font a later medieval pastiche, of which only the tree of life on the N face (cf. Southill, St Stephens by Saltash, etc.) and the shape of the bowl appear geniuinely Romanesque.


P. Beacham and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Cornwall (New Haven and London 2014), pp. 280-81.

C. Henderson, The Cornish Church Guide, London 1925, pp. 107-108

N. Pevsner and E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England: Cornwall, 2nd ed, (Harmondsworth 1970), p. 93.

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. 201-202.