Ancient 6th century church unearthed in Cornwall for first time in over 100 years

November 20th, 2014

Some exciting news as it has been revealed that the remains of St Piran’s Oratory has been excavated for the first time since 1910.

st pirans cross cornwall the valley cottages

The remains of this ancient church located in the region are thought to be among the oldest places of Christian worship in the whole of the United Kingdom, has been unearthed in Cornwall.

St Piran’s Oratory, was uncovered in the location that it was originally buried in at Penhale Sands, has been excavated by a group of almost 100 volunteers who worked to dig the site by hand, revealing it for the first time in more than 100 years.

Ian Saltern, the company director of the St Piran’s Trust, told the BBC: “It’s in a better state than we could have hoped for. The preservation is pretty good for a building that’s more than 1,000 years old.”

St Piran is the patron saint of tin miners, and the remains of the church were first discovered in the late 18 Century. Two major digs followed the discovery, in 1835 and 1843, after which a large concrete structure was erected to surround and protect the site.


Also known as “The Lost Church,” the site of St Piran’s Oratory has been covered in a large tarpaulin for the past 30 years to protect the ancient building from the elements, and the recent excavation was the result of 14 years of campaigning by the St Piran Trust for permission to uncover the old Oratory.

If you are visiting our 5* cottages in Cornwall and would like to see this amazing sight for yourself it will be opened to the public for two viewing days on the 22 and 23 November. Additionally, conservation work is expected to start next year.

Image: Miranda Wood under creative commons.