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Mediæval
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Lanteglos
St Piran's Church
 
 
  Lanteglos Church
Camelford

North Cornwall
NGR: SX 08816 82340
 
Aerial photo of Lanteglos Church
 
Lanteglos church stands in a small valley south west of Camelford. Today there is no sizeable settlement surrounding the church and its relative isolation may indicate an earlier mediæval monastery site superseded by the Domesday Manor of Helstone whose former deer park lies to the south of the church. This possibility is also supported by the earliest recording of the name as “Lantegles” in 1272. The name is Cornish and contains the elements nans “valley” and eglos “church”. The church also sits within 130 acres of glebe land which historically would have provided the church with income from the rent and tenure of its land. There is a holy well nearby along the Camelford road to the north east. An Anglo-Saxon font was discovered in the nearby rectory garden and subsequently moved to St Conan’s church at Washaway. The font is potentially one of the oldest in England and may further signify an early ecclesiastical settlement at Lanteglos.

The church is dedicated to St Julitta and it is the mother church of Advent and Camelford. The present day Church is a listed building and was preceded by a Norman cruciform church, parts of which still survive. The north walls of the nave and chancel are Norman but are restored with the addition of a window and doorway. The lower sections of the north transept arch are also Norman but the arch itself has been restored. The church was rebuilt in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The nave and aisle are large with six bays and the aisle itself is built entirely of granite. The font is C15 and there is a niche in the south doorway with a stoup for carrying holy water. Some of the windows contain unusual tracery design, and fragments of C15 glass are to be found in the windows of the south aisle.

Within the churchyard lie several mediæval crosses of particular interest. Only one was found on site in the nearby Rectory garden. It is an unusual equal limbed cross with five small bosses, one in the centre and four lying within the triangular recesses between the arms of the cross. At some point it was erected on top of an inscribed stone which was discovered in 1870 propping up the roof of a barn in nearby Castle Goff which gets its name from the Iron Age Round which lies to the north west of the settlement, the name being Cornish and meaning “castle” or “village” and “smith”. The inscription on the stone is in Roman capitals and in English and reads “Alseth and Generth wrought this family pillar for Aelwyne’s soul and for themselves”. The date of the stone is uncertain, probably somewhere between the 9th and 11th centuries and the script is thought to contain some early dialect forms in the Cornish vernacular. A tenon cut on the lower end of the stone’s shaft suggests it may possibly have been an inscribed cross shaft originally but it’s secondary addition was also subsequently removed and the two monuments then stood separately within the churchyard near the south aisle of the church. In 1997 restoration work was carried out on the cross head and it was placed in a suitable granite base. Both the cross and the inscribed stone are now Scheduled Monuments and come under the protection of English Heritage.

The other crosses of interest came from elsewhere in the parish. The largest of the crosses was found on a cross roads at Valley Truckle and is a rudely executed wheel headed design with cross faces front and back and large neck projections. It would originally have stood over two metres high but it was found on the site of a former blacksmith’s shop where it had been modified for the purpose of binding iron tires for cart wheels. It is in a good state of preservation and is also a Scheduled Monument. It lies almost opposite the inscribed stone on the south side of the churchyard path.

The other crosses within the churchyard are all wayside crosses, originally marking the junction of roads within the area. According to The Cornish Church Guide by Charles Henderson, the church is sited on several important trackways and the crosses’ original position would seem to support this. One, a wheel headed design with a cross relief, which was found at Tregoodwell, lay near an old Camelford boundary stone near the junction of two lanes, one of which is known as Higher Cross Lane. It may have marked an ancient track leading to Tyland Corner on Davidstow Moor. This cross head now lies within the interior of Lanteglos Church beside the font.

The church can be accessed from the main road running through Lanteglos. It is not known whether access to the interior to the church is available at all times but access to the churchyard itself is unlimited.

Sources
Langdon, A, 1996. Stone Crosses in North Cornwall. Federation of Old Cornwall Societies. ISBN 0 9528684 0 7.

Preston-Jones, A, and Attwell, D, 1997. The Rectory Cross-head at Lanteglos By Camelford. Historic Environment Service, Cornwall County Council.
 
 
 
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Map

The church can be accessed from the main road running through Lanteglos. It is not known whether access to the interior to the church is available at all times but access to the churchyard itself is unlimited.

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Nearby sites

Fernacre Stone Circle
Helsbury Castle
King Arthur's Hall
Roughtor Enclosure
Roughtor Settlement (NW)
Roughtor Settlement (S)
Stannon Stone Circle
Trethevey Chapel & Holy Well
 
supported by HLF and compiled by the Historic Environment Service of Cornwall County Council  
last updated: 14/09/2007