Parish Church of:
Perranzabuloe - 2nd Church
St Piran in the Sands - The present church is the third which has been erected in this parish,; the earliest was the church or 'oratory' of St Piran, an early British saint, who came from Ireland in a mission to Cornwall; this building from its structural peculiarities has been considered by competent authorities to date from the 6th century and is supposed to have been erected over the tomb of St Piran, and a headless skeleton conjectured to be that of the saint was found buried beneath the altar, when the oratory was first discovered and cleared from sand in 1835; its external dimensions were found to be, length 29 feet, breadth 16 1/2 feet, eight of gables, 19 feet; the masonry was of the rudest kind, china clay being substituted for lime, the entrance door was at the south side, with a semi circular arch ornamented with a leopard's head carved on the key-stone and a human head on each side at the spring of the arch; these together with the corbels are now in
Truro museum; it is supposed that this oratory was first overwhelmed with sand in the 9th century, when another church was erected on the further side of a stream which kept back the shifting sands; this was rebuilt in 1420, in a style of some magnificence, and was safe from the encroachments of the sand for more than a century; the course of the stream having been turned and its waters drawn off by the working of mines, the sand encroached still further and in 1803, it was resolved, after some discussion, to remove and rebuild the church; accordingly the tower, windows, arches, pillars and porch were removed to a part of the parish called Lambourne, two miles distant where now stands the present church of St. Piran, a cruciform building of stone in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, transepts, south porch and an embattled western tower with pinnacles containing three bells; in the north transept is a tablet of white marble and underneath is the
following inscription-"The first stone of this parish church was laid in the year 1804, after two former ones had been successively overwhelmed with the sand of the desert in which they were imprudently built; "in 1879 the church was reopened by the Right Rev,E W. Benson D.D. then Bishop of Truro and Archbishop of Canterbury, after having undergone restoration throughout: the galleries were removed, the church re-seated, the chancel raised and a carved oak pulpit and western screen constructed from the wood of the old benches; there are 400 sittings. On the site of the second church stands a tall , round headed cross 9 feet high and about 2 feet wide at the base. The register of baptisms dates from the year 1614, marriages 1603; burials 1653;, but the earlier portions consist of imperfect fragments
- Where is Perranzabuloe - Oratory ? -
The second church of Perranzabuloe was recently excavated (2005).