Churches of Lelant, Towednack and Zennor.

Previous to the commencement of the fifteenth century, Saint Ives and Towednack were merely hamlets in the parish of Lelant. ‘Saint Ives appears,’ says Hicks, ‘to have first consisted of a few fishermen’s huts, after which a few merchants settled there, who did trade and traffick with Ireland, France, etc.’ The inhabitants were then obliged to repair to the church of Lelant, a distance of about three miles, to hear mass, and for baptisms, marriages, and burials. In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, ‘ecclesia de Lelant in decanatu de Penwith’ is taxed at £22 18s. 4d., without mention of Saint Ives or Towednack, which were not then erected nor endowed as parishes. (Hals.)

In 1306 Robert de Cardinan confirmed to the Priory of Tywardreath the churches of Lelant and Zennor, together with certain lands (Oliver’s ‘Monasticon’):

‘Carta Regis Henrici tertij, cartam Roberti de Cardinan ratificans. [Cart: 33 Edw. I., n. 38, per Inspex.; et Cart. 12 Hen. III., m. 9.]

‘Robertus de Cardinans omnibus sancte matris ecclesie filiis salutem Sciatis me pro Dei amore, et anime mee salute concessisse et presenti carti mea confirmasse ecclesie sanctorum martirum Sergii et Bacchi Andeg: et ecclesie sancti Andree de Tywardrait et monachis ibidem Deo servientibus et servituris omnes donationes et concessiones quas antecessores mei sue quicunque fideles de feodo meo ipsis fecerunt scilicet. … Ecclesiam Sancti Euny cum terris decimis et aliis pertinentiis suis et nominatim cum villa que dicitur Lananta et Tredrait et dimidiam acram terre in Hendre quam Thomas presbiter tenuit, solutam et quietam ab omni servitio excepto tantum regali. … Ecclesiam Sancti Sinari quam dedit eis Radulphus de Sicca-villa et uxor ejus Margareta et unam acram terre apud Sanctam Sinaram solutam et quietam ab omni servitio excepto tantum regali. … ’


‘Robert de Cardinan to all the sons of Holy Mother Church, greeting. Know that I, for the love of God and for the good of my soul have granted and by these presents have confirmed unto the church of the holy martyrs Sergius and Bacchus at Angers, and to the church of St. Andrew of Tywardreath, and to the monks serving and who shall serve God there, all the gifts and grants from my estates which my predecessors, or any others of the faithful have made to them, namely [among others] the Church of St. Euny with its lands, tithes and other appurtenances, and in particular with the vill which is called Lananta and Tredrait, and half an acre of land in Hendre which Thomas the priest held, freed and exempt from all feudal services excepting only the service due to the king. … The Church of St. Sinar which Radulph de Sackville and his wife Margaret gave to them, and one acre of land at St. Sinar, freed and exempt from all feudal services excepting only the service due to the king. … ’

Radulph de Sackville was Lord of the Manor of Coleridge near Chulmleigh, and sold it to the Champernownes temp. Hen. III.

‘Num: X. Jus ecclesie S. Andree in Lanant recognitum per Galfridum filium Roberti:

‘Omnibus sancte matris ecclesie filiis Gaufridus filius Roberti de Trembedhov salutem in Domino. Noverit universitas vestra me intuitu justicie et pro salute anime mee et animarum predecessorum meorum recognovisse dimidiam acram terre in Lanantha, quam Lucas sacerdos tenuit, ecclesie Sancti Andree de Tiwardrad quam dudum detinuimus in periculo animarum nostrarum. Et quia nullum jus in predicta acra dimidia me habere recognosco meis omnibus interdico omnino calumpniandi in ea aligdid aut exigendi Et ut ratum et inconcussum permaneat presenti scripto et sigillo mei apposione [sic.; ‘presens scriptum sigilli mei apposicione?’] confirmavi Hiis testibus scilicet Willielmo archidiacono Cornubie, Roberto ejusdem officiali, Herveo filio Gilberti, Herveo tunc decano de Penwith, Henrico de Heligon, Rogero de Tovedehov, Tristramo fratre ejus et Willielmo patre eorum, Drogo filio Alani, Roberto … et multis aliis.’


‘The right of the church of Saint Andrew in Lelant recognised by Geoffrey son of Robert:

‘To all the sons of Holy Mother Church Geoffrey son of Robert of Trembedhow greeting in the Lord. Know that I, from a feeling of justice and for the good of my soul and of the souls of my predecessors, have granted half an acre of land in Lelant, which Luke the priest held, to the church of St. Andrew of Tywardreath, which we have unlawfully detained to the peril of our souls. And whereas I acknowledge that I have no right in the aforesaid half acre, I forbid all my people to challenge or to exact anything from it. And, in order that it may remain firm and inviolate, I have to this present writing placed my seal in confirmation. Witness, William, Archdeacon of Cornwall; Robert, his Official; Hervey son of Gilbert; Hervey, Dean of Penwith; Henry de Heligon; Roger de Tovedehov [Trevethoe? Towednack?]; Tristram his brother, and William their father; Drogo Fitzalan, Robert … and many others.’

These charters were afterwards confirmed by Pope Nicholas III. and Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury.

In the Glasney Cartulary, dated at Glasney, 23 August, 1315, as to the taxation of the vicarage of Saint Senar, it is expressed that the vicar is to have a manse, the tithe of hay in meadows, of flax, hemp and fish, and tithes of things whatsoever in curtilages, etc. (in considerable detail in the original).

In the year 1342 the amount taxed on ‘the parish church of Lelant with the chapel of Saint Ives’ was £17 13s. 4d., and £5 on the parish church of Zennor, as appears by the following Inquisitio Nonarum, preserved at the Record Office:

‘Com Cornub’ anno xvmo Regis Edwardi tertij in Curia Scaccarij sui:

‘Ecclia’ de Lananta cu’ capell’ ste’ Hye. De nona garb’ vell’ & agn’ poch’ ecclie’ de Lananta cu’ capell’ Ste Hye tax’ ad xvijli xiijs iiijd comiss p xjli vjs viijd & non plus ut patet p psent Rogi’ Trembethon, Thom Caryhays, Nichi’ David’ & Willi’ Hobba poch’ ibdm qui dic p sacrm suu qd’ non valuit plus hoc anno in qua quid suma xjli vjs viijd sunt xvs de tempal’ prior’ de Tewardreath in ead’ poch’ unde ijdem assess hent bre’ de sups. De xv vero nichil.

‘Ecclia’ Ste’ Senare. De nona garb’ & agn’ poch’ ecclie’ Ste’ Senare tax’ ad cs & sic vend’ Rogo de Treveglos, Thome Vas & Witto Gayroun, De xv vero nichil,’ of which the following is a translation:

‘Concerning the ninth of sheaves, wool and lambs of the parish church of Lelant with the chapel of St. Ives, taxed at £17 13s. 4d., commissioned for £11 6s. 8d. and not more, as appears by the presentment of Roger de Trembethon, Thomas de Caerhays, Nicholas Davy and William Hobba of the parish there, who say upon their oaths that it was not worth more this year; in which foresaid sum of £11 6s. 8d. there are 15s. of the temporalities of the Prior of Tywardreath, in the same parish, whence those persons have assessed to them a brief of exemption. Concerning the fifteenth, however, nothing.

‘Concerning the ninth of sheaves and lambs of the parish church of Zennor, taxed at £5 [100s ed.], and thus sold to Roger de Treveglos, Thomas Vas and William Gayroun. Concerning the fifteenth, however, nothing.’

The church of Lelant thus enjoys the distinction of having been the original Mother Church of Saint Ives and Towednack, both which parishes were carved out of Lelant in the fifteenth century, not, however, as separate benefices, but as Chapelries with cure of souls, dependent on the Mother Church. For the technical description of this church we are to a great extent indebted to Blight’s ‘Churches of West Cornwall’ which, however, omits many interesting particulars.

Lelant church is built among the sandbanks which line the southern shore of Saint Ives Bay. It consists of chancel and nave, north and south aisles to both, south porch, and western tower. The building is remarkable among the West Cornish churches, as exhibiting considerable Norman remains, consisting of an entire arch, pier, and half-pier, forming the second bay on the north side of the nave. The springing of a second arch to the east is to be seen on the south side. The capitals are scalloped and the base has simply a round and chamfer on a square plinth. Westward of the Norman work is an acutely-pointed arch of the thirteenth century, of plain masonry without mouldings. The rest of the church is perpendicular. The entire building was conservatively renovated in 1873. The porch has a niche for a holy-water stoup.

The ancient font has been subjected to extraordinary vicissitudes. Ejected from the church, probably in the last century, it was at length found by the late vicar, the Rev. Uriah Tonkin, in a farmyard, broken in two, and was by him placed for protection on the floor of the church tower. In the year 1889 it was, under the direction of the well-known architect, Mr. J. Piers St. Aubyn, carefully repaired and restored to its original site. It is a broad, shallow bowl of plain design, carved simply into square panels with a narrow moulding.

The old oak benches of Lelant church, which so closely resembled those at Saint Ives that they seemed to be the work of the same hands, were destroyed about the year 1830, and the remains buried beneath the floor of the church. The present vicar says that he was present at the restoration of the church, when the old bench-ends were disinterred; they crumbled into dust after being for a few hours exposed to the air. The chancel screen had a similar fate.

In the south wall of the chancel is a piscina, and on the north a credence in a late decorated niche. There is an aumbry in the east wall of the south aisle, north of the altar-space, and another in a window-arch of the south aisle.

There is a new decorated low-screen to the chancel, painted and gilded in ancient fashion, and a good modern pulpit of carved oak, in the perpendicular style. The timber of the chancel roof is painted and gilt like the screen, with demi-angels at the springing of the braces. There are traces of an altar in the north aisle, and a roodloft-door and staircase in the north wall. Some of the original roof-timbers remain, especially in the south aisle; the purlines and wall-plate bear the vine-pattern, and the bosses represent roses and other flowers.

A late perpendicular doorway of slate stone, in the north aisle, and a priest’s doorway in the south aisle, are both blocked up. There are two remarkably massive buttresses, in the angle between the east ends of the chancel and north aisle, and at the north-east angle of the north aisle. The outer door of the south porch is a round-headed arch. The inner doorway is of late perpendicular date; the bases of the arch on the south side are carved on two sides with a conventional lily, a quatrefoil, an estoile, and a four-leaved flower, each within a circle. The perpendicular canopied niche over this door, designed to hold the effigy of a saint (probably that of the patron Saint Ewinus), has been filled up and covered by a sundial. This dial is of copper; in the angle stands a crowned skeleton holding a dart and an hour-glass. The whole is of the early part of the eighteenth century; and an engraving of it has been published in the Western Antiquary.

The three crosses, in the churchyard and new cemetery, have been described in a previous chapter.

The only house near the church is one which in old times was an inn, where persons coming to divine service from a distance could stable their horses and find refreshment. At the door of the stables is an old mounting-block. There are many traditions to the effect that this church was once the centre of a much more densely populated parish than now, and that Lelant has been a busy commercial port. Gilbert mentions Cenor ‘a great town now gone, two miles from Ryvier’ in Lelant parish. The naturalist Ray, writing in the year 1662, describes the church as ‘almost quite covered with sand blown up by the wind.’ There is a tradition, says Halliwell, that underneath these sands is buried the castle of Theodoric, King of Cornwall, who beheaded the Irish missionary saints. The glebe consists, according to Lysons, of ‘50 acres, mostly sandhills.’ Old Lelant is said to have been overwhelmed, within a short space of time, by the vast sand-drifts which cover the district. Constantly encroaching upon the meadow-land, the invasion of the sand was at length arrested by the sowing of the Arundo arenaria or sand-rush; but not until fields and farmhouses had been buried to the depth of many feet in some places. Lelant church was barely saved; and that of Phillack, on the opposite side of the Hayle estuary, is quite over-shadowed by the high ‘towans’ (as the sand-hillocks are called), which rise to the height of the tower at a very short distance from the church. Norden says Lelant was ‘somtyme a haven towne, but now of late decayed by reason of the sande which has choaked the harbour and buried much of the lands and howses; many devises they use to prevent the obsorpation of the churche.’

On a big board which hangs in the tower, is a copy of King Charles’ letter of thanks to the people of Cornwall for the support which they gave him during the Civil Wars. Most Cornish churches possess or have possessed similar copies (Saint Ives is a notable exception, owing to its having supported the Parliament). The document reads as follows:

’C. R.

‘ We are highly sensible of the extraordinary merit of our County of Cornwall, of their zeal for the defence of our Person, and the just rights of our Crown in a time when we could contribute so little to our own defence or to their assistance in a time when not only no reward appeared, but great and probable dangers were threatened to obedience and loyalty; of their great and eminent courage and patience in the indefatigable prosecution of their great work against so potent an enemy, backed with so strong, rich, and powerful cities, and plentifully furnished, and supplied with men, arms, money, ammunition, and provisions of all kinds; and of the wonderful success with which it hath pleased Almighty God, although with the loss of some eminent persons who shall never be forgotten by us, to reward their Loyalty and Patience by many strange Victories over their and our enemies, in despight of all human Probability, and all imaginable Disadvantages; that as we cannot be forgetful of so great Deserts, so we cannot but desire to publish to all the world, and perpetuate to all time, the memory of these their merits, and of our acceptance of them, and to that end, we do hereby render our Royal thanks to that our county in the most publick and lasting manner we can devise, commanding copies hereof to be printed and published; and one of them to be read in every Church and Chapel therein, and to be kept for ever as a Record in the same, that as long as the History of these Times, and of this Nation shall continue, the Memory of how much that County hath merited from us, and our Crown, may be derived with it to posterity.

‘Given at our camp at Sudley Castle, the tenth of September, 1643,’

(A Cornish version of this letter is preserved among the. Gwavas MSS., at the British Museum.)

A baseless tradition asserts that the name Lelant is derived from Lanent, one of the fifty saintly children of good King Brechan. It is really ‘Lan Nant,’ the Valley Church.

Other particulars of the history of this church will be found under different chapters of our history.

The parish registers commence thus: ‘A Regester of the Names of those that haue Bene Baptized within our Parish of Uny Lelant Begininge in the yeare 1684. John the son of John Hayes was baptized ye 2 February.’

The following are all the names of the pre-Reformation clergy at Lelant, which we have been able to collect:

Andrew de Montibus; succeeded by
A.D. 1261. William de Capella, ‘Sub-deacon of our Lord the Pope;’ was admitted ‘to the whole church [i.e. as Rector] … according to the tenour of the Ordination of the Lord John, Cardinal Priest of the Title of San Lorenzo in Lucina, and of the Confirmation of the Lord Pope, on the presentation some time since made by the Prior and Convent of Tywardreath.’
1274. Sir Walter Gascoyn collated vicar.
1281. Sir Amand de Cambron collated vicar.
1306. Thomas ‘Presbiter.’
1310. Master Robert le Seneschal.
—— Lucas, ‘Sacerdos.’
1311. Master Gilbert de Cornubia (deacon).
1409. John Clerk.
1416. John Bryt.
1520. William Tyrriffe, ‘chaplain.’
[1520. John Bretton, ‘Chaplain’ Towednack.
" John Hycks,        "     Saint Ives.
" —— Pentreth     "          ".

The ‘Valor Ecclesiasticus’ shows that James Gentell was Vicar of Lelant in 1536.

An old man informed the present vicar, that early in this century he had seen Lelant church full of kegs of French brandy, stored there by smugglers, who considered the church as a very safe hiding-place, because no one would ever dream of resorting there on a week-day.


In the church. West wall of South aisle.

Slate tablet: ‘Here lieth the bodye of William Praed of Treuethow Gentleman of the adge of five and fiftye yeeres who was Buried the Eight of maye anno dni: 1620 having one sone and three daughters surviving.’ In the centre is carved a representation of William Praed, his wife and children, kneeling with clasped hands, on cushions, one behind the other in the order of their respective sizes. Over their heads on scrolls are the names: ‘William Praed, Prudence, James, Jane, Alice, Marye.’ The father is dressed in a long gown, with a frill round his neck. Prudence, his wife, wears a large round hat with bent brim, a frilled collar, a short jacket kilted below the waist, a girdle, an ample quilted skirt, and a flowing cloak. James wears a frill, doublet, wide trunk breeches, stockings and low shoes. The girls wear caps. Below the figures, in incised Gothic characters, are the words:

‘Think gentle friend, that now dost view this tomb,
To-morrow must thou go to thy last home.

On one side of the tablet is a death’s-head and an hour-glass, in renaissance scroll-work ; on the other a vase, out of which grows a stiff-looking flower. This tablet, like the others on the same wall, formerly lay on the floor.

Slate tablet: ‘Here lyeth the Bodye of Stephen Pawley of this Parish Gentleman who dyed the XIX daye of November in ye yeare of our Lord God 1635.’ In the centre are figures carved as in the above example, but in less bold relief, of Stephen Pawley with his wife, five sons and six daughters. Over each head is the baptismal name, thus, beginning with the youngest daughter and reading from left to right: ‘J. P.; C. P.; P. P.; G. P.; M. P.; J. P.; C. P.; P. P.; W. P.; S. P.; H. P.; M. P.; 75.’ In one corner are two shields of the arms, bearing: Per pale: I. three organ rests(?); on a chief 3 martlets(?) II. Pawley (see post). Also Quarterly: I. and IV., as I. above ; II. and III. Pawley; and beneath are the following verses:

If teares the dead againe to life could calle
Thou hadst not slept within this earthye balle
If holye vertues could a ransome bynn
Soe soone corruption had not rapte thee in
But thou wert ripe for God and God didst crave
So gavst a gladsome welcome to the grave
Assuringe still that thou with God dost dwell
Thy end soe good thy life was lead soe well.’

Slate tablet, fixed in a former doorway. ‘Fili Dei, miseris miserere nobis peccatoribus.

Crest: Unicorn’s head on a coronet. Squire’s helmet and lambrequins.

Arms: Quarterly, I. & IV. a lion rampant, on a chief dancettée three mullets (for Pawley); II. three saws(?) in pale; III. 3 columns, on a chief 3 birds. Inscription:

‘This Marble Stone was placed here in the year of our Lord 1713. In Memory of Hugh Pawley of Gunwin Gent who dyed the 17th day of Septembr Anno: 1721 & of Judith his wife who dyed ye 30th day of October 1698 by whom were begotten Seaven Children (viz) Prudence, Hugh, Mary, William, George, Peter and Judith.

Virtus post funera Vivit
Vita quasi umbra fugit.’

Slate tablet. At the top a ship sailing. ‘In Memory of Elizabeth Cundy, daughter of John and Grace Cundy; died 1799 aged 25. Also of Grace Cundy, died 1799 aged 66; and John Cundy, died 1802 aged 66.

Tho’ Boreas Wind and Neptunes Waves
Have toss’d me too and fro
In spite of both by God’s decree
I harbour here below
Where now at Anchor I do lie
With many of our fleet
I must one day set sail again
Our Saviour Christ to meet.’

Hatchment. Crest: A unicorn’s head argent, armed and crined or, on a coronet. Squire’s helmet and lambrequins. Arms: Quarterly: I. & IV. azure 6 estoiles argent, 3, 2, 1. II. per pale dancettée : 1, sable; 2, ermines, on a bend gules 3 cross crosslets or. III. gules, a bend between 2 martlets or. Over all an escutcheon of pretence, quarterly: I. & IV. argent, on a bend sable 3 spearheads or. II. & III. azure, a saltire argent.

In the churchyard. East side.

Susanna wife of Thomas Treglown, died 1847 aged 81.

John Stevens mine agent, died 1861. Elizabeth his wife, died 1868 aged 69.

‘Richard Hichens gent of St Ives, the survivor of the family of Thomas and Mary Hichens.’ Born 1782, died 1866.

The wife of the late vicar of Lelant, the Rev. Uriah Tonkin, and the first wife of the present vicar, are buried here.

Matthew Stevens late of St Ives; died 1st January 1795, aged 44. Also Martha his wife, died 1833 aged 84. Also Francis their son, died 1796 aged 7; and Elizabeth Pope their daughter, died 1852 aged 66.

Christiana Banfield, wife of Charles Allen of St Ives ; died 1801 aged 42. Also Wilmot Stevens their daughter, died 1810 aged 22. Also the said Charles Allen, died 1825 aged 68. Also Ursula the wife of Charles Allen junior of St Ives, died 1825 aged 46.

‘ J. H. died 1759 aged 4. H. H. died 1809 aged 87.
A. H. died 1760 aged 2. R. H. died 1814 aged 50.
H. H. died 1777 aged 89. H. H. died 1823 aged 72.
M. H. died 1789 aged 27. C. H. died 1825 aged 79.
P. H. died 1790 aged 42. T. H. died 1826 aged 76.
E. H. died 1802 aged 45. R. H. died 1833 aged 63.
P. H. died 1803 aged 77. J. H. died 1842 aged 76.
R. H. died 1804 aged 50. J. H. died 1843 aged 74.’

South of the church.

Sarah the wife of William Osborne of St Hillery, died 1824 aged 66. Also Mary Hosking, died 1846 aged 97.

Mary the daughter of William and Mary Mayn, died 1803 aged 9 months. Sarah, died 1807 aged 10 weeks. Samuel, died 1808 aged 4 years.

Elizabeth, wife of Edward Richards; died 1833 aged 64. (This slab is close to the old cross.)

Thomas, son of Hannibal and Jane Trevorrow, died 1816 aged 21.

Margery Thomas, a native of St Ives; died 1865 aged 87.

Broken and illegible slate near the porch.

James Richards, died 1775 aged 42. (A small freestone slab near the porch.)

Stone sarcophagus surrounded by an iron railing, close to the south wall of the church. In memory of William Praed, Esquire, of Trevetho, died 1833 aged 84. Erected by his children in memory of ‘the best of fathers.’

Phillis the widow of Christopher Trewhella; died 1863 aged 84. Also Christopher their son, died 1870 aged 61. Also Martin the son of Matthew and Mary Trewhella, aged 16 months.

Alice Sampson, died 1795 aged 63. Also Richard Sampson, died 1814 aged 85.

Captain Richard Curgenven, of the Royal Navy; died 1784 aged 47. (Fixed against the south wall of the tower.)

John Harry, died 1832 aged 63. Also his wife Cordelia and several children.

Mary the wife of John Bennetts; died 1864 aged 64. Also their children.

Elizabeth the wife of Edward Bennetts, died 1841 aged 64.

Philip Bennetts of St. Ives, died 1841 aged 68. Also Amy his wife.

Benjamin Richards, died 1774 aged 74.

Granite vault with broken slate, of the end of last century. In memory of Elizabeth Kemp and others of the family.

John Cooper, died 1810 aged 84. Also Catherine Kendrick his wife, of Wrexham in Denbighshire, N. Wales, died 1783 aged 50. (There are other tombstones of the Coopers.)

William Hawes, died 1835 aged 70. Also Avice his wife.

Thomas Ninnes, died 1855 aged 47. Also Willmot his daughter, died 1839 aged 8 days.

Christiana, wife of Isaac Wright of Newlyn and daughter of Christopher and Mary Edwards of this parish; died 1827 aged 28.

‘This ritual stone thy friend hath laid
O’er thy respected dust,
Only proclaim the mournfull day
When he a Partner lost.
In life to copy thee I’ll strive
And, when I that resign,
May some good Christian friend survive
To lay my bones by thine.’

Stone vault with cracked slate. William and Elizabeth Farquharson, 1802.

Johanna wife of John Curnow, died 1851 aged 26.

John Lory, died 1840 aged 48. Also Priscilla his wife.

Clement Uren, died 1849 aged 71. Also Alice his wife.

Charles Richards, died 1864 aged 76. Also Anne his wife.

George Jennings, died 1817 aged 66.

Henry Harris, died 1803 aged 49. Also Caroline his wife.

Hugh Richards master mariner, died 1854 aged 69. Also Sophia his wife.

Richard fifth son of Henry and Blanch Hosking, died 1866 aged 86.

James Williams, died 1864 aged 29.

James Williams of this parish, died 1872 aged 64.

William Bosistow, died 1825 aged 43. Also Margaret his wife.

Thomas Johns, died 1805 aged 29. Also Elizabeth his wife.

Thomas Harry, died 1849 aged 56. Also Elizabeth his wife and their family.

Thomas Uren, died (circa) 1850.

West of the church.

Richard Hall, died 1792 aged 4. (Slate on the west wall of the tower.)

North of the church.

Matthew Quick, died 1836 aged 62. Also Elizabeth his wife, died 1868 aged 69.

John Penberthy of St. Ives, died 1845 aged 82. Also Grace Adams Penberthy his granddaughter, died 1839 aged 4. Also Samuel Uren his grandson, died 1844 aged 3.

Richard Uren of Worvas in this parish, died 1816 aged 66.

On the wall by the south gate of the churchyard is a piece of granite bearing the inscription ‘J. B.; S. How; 1801.’

In the Western Antiquary of March 1884 is an interesting note by Professor Robert Hunt, F.R.S., calling attention to the fact that a burial place had long been known on the Towans of Lelant, near the Hayle ferry and not far from the church, and that in constructing the railway to Saint Ives, this was cut through, and a quantity of skeletons removed. The skulls are said to have been of a pre-Aryan type and similar to some discovered at the Pentuan tin-streams, fifty feet below the surface. There was a tradition, says Professor Hunt, that a shipload of slaves, who were brought to Cornwall to work the tin, perished in a storm on Hayle Bar; but it is questionable whether the interments do not mark the site of an early church-yard, since the skeletons were laid in rough walled graves.