Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
St. Clether
National Grid Reference:


ST CLETHER SX 28 SW 4/172 Chapel of St Clether - GV II*

Well-chapel dedicated to St Clether. Circa C15 with earlier origins, restored in 1897 by S. Baring-Gould. Granite and local stone rubble with moulded granite plinth and parapet coping. Slate roof with gable ends. Plan: The chapel is orientated east-west some 1.5m to the south of the Holy Well (qv). The chapel is of rectangular plan with an entrance in the west end and in the north side. The water from the well house is conveyed by underground channel and then along a cut granite channel under the east wall of the chapel. S. Baring-Gould cited Ezekiel xlvii, where the living waters in Ezekiel's vision are described "He brought me unto the door of the house: and, behold waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastwardly, for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar:" which describes the similar flow of the waters in this well-chapel where it flows under the east wall, passing through a small opening to the north east of the altar, then through a second opening on the south side of the altar and then under the floor into a second Holy well which is formed in the thickness of the wall of the chapel on the outer south-side. There is also a second small niche behind the altar, close to the water flow which may have been used house a relic of a saint (see S. Baring-Gould). Exterior: Single storey chapel standing in isolated position, directly to south of well house. On the west elevation is a depressed 2-centred hollow chamfered granite arch with pyramid stops and a C20 door. 2-light C19 Perpendicular window above. Hollow chamfered granite arch to entrance in north elevation, 3-light Perpendicular window at east end and in south east corner of south elevation is a small recess with a hollow chamfered granite arch. Within this recess is a second Holy well with a rectangular well sump, fed from the water which has passed under the east wall of the chapel. To the rear of this niche is a small shelf with a door above. Baring-Gould and Sedding suggested that the shelf was for thanksgiving donations from pilgrims and the door above to allow the priest to collect the donations from within the chapel. Interior: Simple interior with late C19 roof. Early altar; granite slab incised with five crosses standing on four tapered granite piers. On the north east of altar, at base of east wall a small niche through which water may be seen. Dressed granite surround to niche to rear of altar, possibly for housing of relic. To right (south) of altar, floor level sunk to enable diverted water to be taken from inside chapel. Photographs in Lane-Davies Holy Wells of Cornwall illustrate the chapel during and after restoration. Prior to restoration the chapel was roofless and ruinous although Baring-Gould stated that during the restoration 'every stone was replaced whence it had fallen'. Baring-Gould, S. 'The Well-Chapel of St Clether,' Cornish Magazine, Vol I, 1898. Lane-Davies, A. Holy Wells of Cornwall, reprinted 1970.

Listing NGR: SX2022584587


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Lane-Davies, A, Holy Wells of Cornwall, (1970)
Baring Gould, S, 'Cornish Magazine' in The Well Chapel of St Clether, , Vol. 1, (1898)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

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Date: 17 Sep 2004
Reference: IOE01/13308/28
Rights: © Mr Stuart Brighton. Source: Historic England Archive
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