ST GERMANS, a small town in the Bodmin parliamentary division of Corn wall, England, pleasant ly situated on the river Lynher, 9$ m. W. by N. of Plymouth by the Great Western railway. Pop. (1901) 2384. It contains a fine church dedicated to St Germanus. The west front is flanked by towers both of which are Norman in the lower parts, the upper part being in the one Early English and in the othei Perpendicular. The front itself is wholly Norman, having three windows above a porch with a beautiful ornate doorway. Some Norman work remains in the body of the church, but the most part is Perpendicular or Decorated. Port Eliot, a neighbouring mansion, contains an excellent collection of pictures, notably several works of Sir Joshua Reynolds.
St Germans is supposed to have been the original seat of. the Cornish bishopric. It was the see of Bishop Burhwold, who died in 1027. Under Leofric, who became bishop of Crediton and Cornwall in 1046, the see was removed to Exeter. Bishop Leofric founded a priory at St Germans and bestowed upon it twelve of the twenty-four hides which in the time of the Confessor constituted the bishops' manor of St Germans. There was then a market on Sundays, but at the time of the Domesday Survey this had been reduced to nothing owing to a market established by the count of Mortain on the same day at Trematon castle. In 1302 the grant of infangenethef, assize of bread and ale, waif and stray by Henry III. was confirmed to the bishop, who in 1311 obtained a further grant of a market on Fridays and a fair at the feast of St Peter ad Vincula. In 1343 the prior sustained his claim to a prescriptive market and fair at St Germans. After the suppression the borough belonging to the priory remained with the crown until 1610. Meanwhile Queen Elizabeth created it a parliamentary borough. From 1563 to 1832 it returned two members to the House of Commons. In 1815 John Eliot was created earl of St Germans, and in 1905 the first suffragan bishop of Truro was consecrated bishop of St Germans.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)