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St Michael, Lezant, Cornwall

(50°35′13″N, 4°20′57″W)
SX 338 790
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cornwall
now Cornwall
medieval Exeter
now Truro
medieval St Breock
now St Michael
  • Richard Jewell

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Feature Sets

Lezant is in the N division of the Hundred of East, four and a half miles S of Launceston. Although the church of St Michael is built in the Gothic style, traces of the Norman church remain at the E end. The two E buttresses with chamfered angles are original, as is the set-off or base on which the walls are built. The N and S chancel walls are also Norman. The W wall of the N aisle contains the inner arch and jambs of a 12thc window, which was probably removed from another wall in the church. The font is the only Romanesque sculptured feature.


Lezant is not featured in the Domesday survey. The manor of Trecarrel, however, within the parish, was well known by the time of the Conquest. Drew (1824) suggested that at that time, Trecarrel was the secular name of the parish, with Lezant being applied exclusively to the church. The remains of a chapel of St Mary Magdalene survive at Trecarrel Manor.The Parochial History argues that the church was dedicated in 1259 to St Briocus; however, this is a mistake according to Henderson, as the village of St Breoke was formerly also called Lansant. The terrier of 1613 states that St Michael is the patron of the high altar and therefore of the church.





In Cornish Lezant (short for Lansant) means Holy Church or All Hallows.

The Romanesque font is of a type common in the N and E of the county, as at Altarnun, St Thomas's Launceston, Jacobstowe, Warbstowe etc. The rare feature of the Lezant font is that it is made out of granite, a very unusual stone for Cornish 12thc sculpture and architecture.

Date: probably first quarter of 12thc.


S. Drew, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time, 1824, Vol 2, 413-4.

E. H. Sedding, Norman Architecture in Cornwall, Ward and Co., 1909, 235-8.

C. Henderson, The Cornish Church Guide and Parochial History of Cornwall, D. Bradford Barton Ltd, Truro, 1925, 119 - 120.

The Parochial History, Vol 3, (1870), 118ff.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Penguin Books, 1951.