Lezant Church Historic Features

Lezant Parish church.

Early C13, C14 and C15, restored 1869. Mainly roughly coursed polyphant with granite to C15 windows and tower (large blocks); graded slate roofs with ornamental tile cresting, stepped coped verges and C19 Celtic cross to gable end of chancel. Nave; chancel; aisles; west tower; south porch and north-east vestry/boiler house.
 

Tower: Circa 1480 in 3 stages with moulded plinth, chamfered string courses and set-back buttresses. Moulded cornice, embattled parapet and octagonal corner turrets with crocketed corner pinnacles rising above false battlements. Small stone crosses to each pinnacle except north-west replaced by brass weather- cock. Paired lancet on each side to belfry and recessed segmental-headed window with hollow spandrels in rectangular surround and clock above to second stage on south. First stage on west side has 3-light window with panel tracery and hoodmould directly above moulded pointed doorway with quatrefoils and daggers to spandrels and dripmould with circular label-stop on north and square label-stop to south.
 

South aisle: West wall has C19 two-light Decorated style window in C14 internal splay. Re-set C12 corbel of devil or cat at south-west corner. Three 3-light C15 windows with panel tracery and hoodmoulds to south and contemporary gabled porch in west bay. This has moulded 4-centred outer arch with carved decoration to imposts. Slate sundial above with date "1686" and initials of churchwardens inscribed. Pointed concave-moulded inner door with reset cross (probably from north-west tower pinnacle) above. Ceiled waggon roof with bosses to centre and ends. 3-light perpendicular window with panel tracery and hoodmould to east wall of aisle.
 

 

North aisle: Three square-headed C15 windows of triple cinquefoil-headed lights with labels to north wall which has pointed single-chamfered doorway to far right. Projection for staircase of rood screen immediately to west of east
window. East wall has 3-light C15 windows with panel tracery and hoodmould; C14 broad cusped lancet to west wall.
 

Chancel: South side has C13 paired lancets with segmental relieving arch. C13 east buttresses. 3-light C19 Decorated-style east window. C19 lean-to to vestry/ boiler house on north side has pointed east window with L-hinges.

Grave slabs fixed to wall all round church including large slab on south wall of south aisle commemorating Fitz Anthony Pennington (d1690).


Interior:

Ceiled waggon roof to nave and chancel with bosses at intersections, gilded to chancel which comprises C13 sanctuary and east bay of nave arcade. Moulded granite cornice below wall-plate, stepped at junction between nave and chancel marking position of former rood screen. Bosses are square in shape to nave and circular to chancel. Granite cornice terminates at join with sanctuary but wall plate has billet moulding for full length of chancel.

 

 

North aisle has ceiled waggon roof with bosses at intersections and granite cornice with later wood modillion eaves cornice directly above on south side. Similar roof said to have been entirely renewed in 1928 to wider south aisle without trailing vine decoration to wallplate and granite cornice below.

Nave arcades in 4 bays: C15 with granite moulded segmental arches on clustered columns with moulded capitals and bases, practically identical to those at Church of St Michael, Lawhitton (qv). Tower arch also segmental-headed having clustered responds with moulded capitals and bases. Narrow single-chamfered 4-centred doorway to internal stair turret.

Doorways to staircase (surviving) and loft of former rood screen in north aisle. C14 trefoil-headed piscina in south wall of chancel and square aumbry in north.

Apart from C12 octagonal Ventergen font, probably originally with carved heads to corners and still with carved leaf emblem to each cardinal face, fittings and furnishings are Cl9 and later. Late C19 and early C20 stained glass in some windows including east window of south aisle in memory of William Pallexfen Bastard, Rector of Lezant (d 1915). Reproduction of C15 Felmish altar-piece at west end of north aisle.
 

Monuments: North aisle has three C18 and two C19 wall memorials. South aisle has 2 early C19 wall memorials and wall memorial to Thomas Snell, Rector of Lezant (d 1670) to west of door: Ionic columns surmounted by obelisks flanking inscription panel with armorial device to top. In south east corner an early C17 wall memorial of stiffly reclining lady holding skull with draped curtains behind; Corinthian columns supporting entablature with armorial device to
centre and figures to corners: space for inscription panel beneath with grotesque head below.

 

Against east wall with slab of right return partly blocking piscina in south wall is early C17 slate altar tomb, said to be memorial to Thomas
Trefusis (d 1610), his wife, Mary and their children.

 

 

Armorial shields and strapwork decoration to slab against east wall and carved kneeling figures of Trefusis, wife and children with the decoration around border to right return.

 


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