Church of St Ildierna, Polperro
Description: Church of St Ildierna
Date Listed: 21 August 1964
English Heritage Building ID: 61495
OS Grid Reference: SX1724251589
OS Grid Coordinates: 217242, 51589
Latitude/Longitude: 50.3358, -4.5695
Location: Lansallos, Cornwall PL13 2PX
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There is also a scheduled monument, Wayside Cross in Lansallos Churchyard, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.
SX 15 SE
3/33 Church of St Ildierna
Parish church. Dedicated in 1331. Nave and chancel possibly of date of dedication.
3-bay north aisle to north of east end of nave and chancel may comprise part of
earlier masonry of north transept in west wall. North aisle probably late C15.
Circa mid C15 6-bay south aisle. 2 stage west tower probably C15 reusing some C14
masonry. Third stage probably added in later C15. South porch added to south aisle
in circa late C15. Restored in 1883-4 and in early C20 by E.H. Sedding. Sedding
noted that reused wrought stonework taken from Norman arcade had been built into the
north and south walls of the present structure.
Coursed stonework to south aisle, north aisle, south porch and lower 2 stages of west
tower. Upper stage of stone rubble. Several straight joints in north aisle partly
where masonry from earlier north transept was used and partly where rood-loft
projection has been removed. Rag slate roof to nave, chancel and north aisle.
Regular slate roof to south aisle. Nave and chancel in one, projecting at the east
end beyond the 6-bay south aisle and 3-bay north aisle.
South aisle with 5 original Perpendicular traceried windows in south wall. 3-light
openings with 4-centred arches and hoodmoulds. Top lights renewed. Perpendicular
west window of south aisle renewed in C19 and east window restored. Chancel and east
window of north aisle C19 Perpendicular tracery. North aisle with door in low
rectangular surround with moulded flat 4-centred arch with incised spandrels.
Simple, possibly C16 3-light window to west with round-headed lights and simple
traceried lights above. To west, 3-light rectangular window with chamfered mullions.
and moulded jambs. West end of north aisle altered with re-worked window high in
gable end. To west, north wall of nave with two 3-light Perpendicular windows in
rectangular surrounds. West window renewed and east window with cusped heads to
West tower of 3-stages with stepped angle buttresses, with carved panels at base and
battlemented parapet with turrets and crocketted finials. West door in rectangular
surround with heavy roll mould. Possibly renewed or restored. Renewed 3-light
Perpendicular window above with 4-centred arch. Directly above, niche with grotesque
on corbelled base. Possibly C14 ogee headed opening above. 3-light Perpendicular
belfry openings with 4-centred arches and slate louvres.
Gabled south porch with cavetto moulded 3-centred arch. Holy water stoup on east
wall of reused stone. South door with heavily moulded 4-centred arched opening. Oak
door of double construction.
Interior Circa C15 unstained waggon roofs of high quality. Waggon roof to nave with
carved transverse ribs with 2 unmoulded ribs between. Carved longitudinal ribs,
arcade and wallplates. Bosses partly restored. Chancel with C20 boarded ceiling to
roof. Finely carved longitudinal and transverse ribs and north arcade plate. Bosses
restored. South aisle with moulded transverse ribs with 3 plain ribs between.
Carved longitudinal ribs decorated with scroll work. Interlaced carving on arcade
and wallplates, probably originally decorated with shields. Similar interlaced
carving to longitudinal and transverse ribs at east end of south aisle. North aisle
carved transverse ribs with 3 unmoulded ribs between. Carved longitudinal ribs,
arcade and wall plates and bosses which have been partly restored. South porch also
with fine waggon roof with moulded and carved longitudinal and transverse ribs.
Carved wallplate with mostly renewed bosses. 3-bay north arcade with 4-centred
arches with concave and convex moulding. Granite type A (Pevsner) piers. Second
pier from east with carved capital. 6-bay south arcade with 4-centred arches with
concave moulding. Type A (Pevsner) piers with moulded bases and capitals with carved
abaci. Tower arch almost 4-centred on corbel responds. 34 particularly fine carved
oak bench ends, circa 1490 to 1520, decorated with heraldic arms, figure heads and
Renaissance detailing. Remains of rood screen at east end of nave, east end of south
aisle and in part of north aisle. Ogee headed lights with Renaissance detailing,
carved intertwined foliage and moulded rail. Base of rood loft stair in north wall
of north aisle.
Square Norman font with panelled sides decorated with Tree of Life and fleur de lis.
Circa C18 marble piers at corners. Behind font, remains of earlier font found buried
at Higher Town Farm, Lansallos. Remains of altar table, heavily restored with claw
and ball feet.
Mutilated circa C19 effigies of knight and lady by south door. Probably members of
the Hywysch family who were Lords living at the fortified manor house of Raphael
Memorials Ledgerstone remounted on south wall of south aisle. To Margery Smith,
died 1579. Signed by Peter Crocker. Shallow relief of woman in farthingale, pointed
stomacher and ruff. The kirtle is decorated with incised patterns heraldic arms and
marginal inscription. Several C18 and C19 memorials and ledger stones, some set in
east end of slate flag floor.
Cracked bell resited at west end of church inscribed 'Sancta Margareta ora pro
nobis'. Heraldic shields.
William of Worcester in circa 1478 suggested that St Hildern, Bishop, was buried
before the high altar. No evidence of this has been revealed in archaelogical
The church of St Ildierna is of particular high standard with very fine waggon roofs,
carved bench ends, memorial by Peter Crocker, Norman font and C14 mutilated carved
figures of the Hywysch family.
Pevsner, N and Radcliffe, E The Buildings of England, Cornwall, 2nd ed. 1970
Tompsett, Rev Aubrey An account of Lansallos Parish Church
Illustration of font in Sedding, E.H. Norman Architecture in Cornwall, 1909, plate
LXXXV, p 201-2
Listing NGR: SX1728851648
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.