Lewannick Church Historic Features

Parish church dedicated to St Martin.

Norman origins extended in C15. Partly destroyed by fire in 1890 and rebuilt by Otto. B. Peter of Launceston. Stone rubble, roughly coursed ashlar stone south aisle, north aisle of ashlar stone with moulded plinth and ashlar stone west tower. Granite ashlar south porch.

Plan: Nave and chancel, 5 bay north and south aisle, north and south porches and west tower. The extent of the rebuilding is uncertain. Much of the masonry appears intact, the north arcade has been rebuilt using earlier material and the south arcade is probably C19.


Exterior: West tower of 3 stages with set back buttresses, moulded plinth and strings, battlemented parapet and crocketted finials. Well carved arch to west door with hollow chamfer ornamented with carved fleurons and with carved hoodmould. The tracery to the west window has been renewed but is surrounded with a crocketted ogee canopy flanked by elongated finials. 3-light belfry openings. Much of the tracery in the north and south aisles was renewed in the circa C18, the design consisting of two mullions with a single transom in the earlier 4-centred arches. Perpendicular tracery in the east window of the north aisle, chancel and one of the windows in the south aisle and C19 tracery in the east window of the south aisle. Rood loft projection in north aisle.

The north porch has a 4-centred roll moulded arch with a C15 waggon roof with late C19 bosses. The south porch has a similar roof, both have bosses carved Charles Harward Archer 1890.

Interior: Plastered walls. C19 waggon-type roofs. 2 centred tower arch with blind tracery decorating the soffit. Circa C15 granite 5-bay north arcade with type A (Pevsner) piers, the central cavetto moulding accentuated, with 4-centred moulded arches. The arcade has been partly rebuilt. The bases of the piers are probably C19. The easternmost arch is slightly narrower and chamfered. Freestone circa C19 5- bay south arcade. C19 furnishings. C19 gothic organ case and stall, originally from Trelaske House.


Norman font with partly recarved octagonal bowl with unusually carvedpanels on later shaft and base. Piscina and aumbry in chancel. Rood loft stair doorways. C17 chest at west end of church.


Medieval stone with 7 cups, originally filled with tallow and used to light church by igniting inserted wick.




Little is known about the origins of the Ogham stones at Lewannick, but it is thought that such stones commemorated Christian interment and may date from about 500A.D.
Ogham writing consists basically of four sets of strokes or notches with five notches in each specific set. These are incised in the middle of, or on either side of, the edge of an upright stone. This form of writing is of Irish origin. The two Lewannick stones also have Latin letters inscribed on them, possibly a form of translation from the Ogham writing.
The first stone in the South of the Churchyard (near the road) was discovered on 7th June 1892 by Mr. A.G. Langdon. Although it is made of granite, it is quite worn and the inscriptions are difficult to decipher. However there are Latin characters on the angle and the following Latin inscription:
0 R I A
The stone inside the Church was found by Mr. F.G. Nicholls on 17th July 1894. It had been undiscovered until then as it was in two separate pieces built into the walls of the North Porch. It is made of grey Elvan stone and is much better preserved than the first stone. Mr. Nicholls had the two pieces removed from the wall and erected together in the Church at this own expense.
Pevsner, N. and Radcliffe, E. The Buildings of England, Cornwall, 2nd edition 1970, Lewannick History Group, Lake's Parochial History of Cornwall. (1870);  Venning's Directory 1901. ;  A Cornish Church Guide, 1925. Charles Henderson. :The Victorian History of the County of Cornwall. (Vol. 1) :Journal of the Royal Institute of Cornwall. Vol.X1) :Launceston Weekly News. :Cornish & Devon Post.



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