St Pirans Churches near Mount

Now lying buried under the wind blown sands of Perran Bay, St Piran’s Oratory is considered as one of the most important early Christian sites in Britain. It was allegedly built in about the eighth century by St Piran and consists of a compact rectangular building with a small nave and chancel, possibly separated by a wooden rood screen. A stone bench runs round the whole interior and there are doorways to the south and east, the southern doorway having an archway containing three carved heads, probably a 17th century addition. A 5th-6th century stone inscribed with Roman capitals is built upside down into one wall, suggesting possible earlier activity on the site. Following partial clearance of the site in 1835, the carved stones around the doorway were stolen and as protection against the encroaching sand, an ugly concrete bunker was constructed over the site in 1910. The site remained popular during the 20th century and the altar was kept supplied with fresh flowers daily. Unfortunately increasing vandalism and environmental problems led to the decision to rebury the site and it now lies beneath the dunes with an inscribed stone marking it’s place.

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