George Routleigh The Watchmaker

On our travels at the beginning of May we came across St Petroc’s Parish Church of Lydford, Devon.
It is a Norman church but is founded on an earlier settlement. A small timber church probably stood on the site, built about 650AD. It was dedicated in honour of St. Petroc, a 6th century Celtic missionary who came from Wales (via Ireland) and brought the Gospel to many parts of Devon and Cornwall. 

The really interesting thing we found was 
The Watchmaker’s Tomb (top stone is now inside the church to prevent further damage from the weather) it has a unique epitaph describing George Routleigh as if he were a clock himself, we thought it was wonderful.
I took several photos of the the writing & have transcribed it myself, hope its accurate…

Here lies in horizontal position
The Outsize case of
Whose abilities in that line were an honor
To his profession
Integrity was the mainspring
And prudence the regulator
Of all the actions of his life
Human generous and liberal
His hand never stopped
Till he had relieved distress
So much regulated were his motions
That he never went wrong
Except when set agoing
By people
Who did not know his key
Even then he was easily
Set right again
He had the art of disposing his time
So well
That his hours glided away
In one continual round
Of pleasure and delight
Till an unlucky minute put a period to
His existence.
He departed this life
Nov 11? 1802
Aged 57
Wound up
In hopes of being taken in hand
By his Maker
And of being thoroughly cleaned repaired
And set going
In the world to come.
This is the replacement stone on his tomb, which is just outside the Church door, says..George Routleigh 1745 – 1802

Till next time then………………………………………………………


  1. Amazing inscription. These days you are only allowed a certain number of letters on the gravestone so goodness knows how much that would have cost!


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