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St Clarus, St Cleer, Cornwall

(50°29′12″N, 4°28′16″W)
St Cleer
SX 24782 68154
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cornwall
now Cornwall
medieval Lincoln
now Oxford
medieval St Clarus
now St Clarus
  • Richard Jewell
31 March 1991

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St Cleer is a small village about two miles N of Liskeard named after St Clarus, his patron, who probably founded the church in the 8thc. The church lies to the S of the village and consists of a granite rubble with granite dressings structure of a chancel, an aisled nave, a S porch and a W tower. The original 12thc building was largely renovated between the end of the 13thc and the beginning of the 14thc. From the end of the 14thc the chancel and the nave were extensively altered, and during the 15thc the S aisle, the S porch and the tower were added to the structure. The church was restored at the end of the 19thc.

Romanesque sculpture is found on the N doorway and on the font located in the nave.


The village of St Cleer and the church, with its early dedication and famous holy well nearby, does not receive any mention in the Domesday Survey although its pre-Norman origins. The first documentation of the 'ecclesia e Sancto Claro' dates from 1212. In 1239 Ingebram de Bray, Lord of the manor of Roscraddock, in St Cleer, granted the church of St Clarus to the Knights Hospitallers, who held it until 1538.


Exterior Features





The N doorway dates to the early 12thc. The font, of a type found mostly in the NE part of the county (E. Sedding's type V) can be dated between 1150 and 1180; its shaft resembles that of the font of Ladbroke (Warwickshire).


N. Orme, English Church Dedications, with a Survey of Cornwall and Devon, Exeter 1996, 73.

Victoria County History of Cornwall, VIII, 1924, 80-81.

The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire I: the Cotswolds, Harmonsworth 1974, 163.

E. H. Sedding, Norman architecture in Cornwall; a handbook to old Cornish ecclesiastical architecture, London 1909, 54-7, pl. 21, 23.