Redruth Old Cornwall Society Museum
 
- Founded 1922 -

Registered charity no.: 1079433

                     

 

 

Photo St Euny Church & Well

Redruth Parish Church – St. Euny

Most of the present church was rebuilt in 1786 but the tower is from the 15th century church and was built in 1495, on it are gargoyles in the shape of the head of King Henry vii who came to the throne ten years before, in 1485, when he defeated King Richard iii at the Battle of Bosworth, thus starting the Tudor period. Inside the lych gate is a very long coffin rest which takes two coffins. This was because of the outbreak of cholera plus the frequency of fatal accidents in the mines when it was quite common to have two burials at the same time.

Before the 15th C. church there was a Norman church and it is on record that one John, son of Gregory sought sanctuary at the church in 1283 after murdering a man. Quite possibly there were other churches prior to this, starting with the one built by St. Euny himself.

At the west end of the church, fields slope steeply down to Carn Brea Village and here can be seen St. Euny’s Well. Legend has it that anyone drinking from this well will never be hanged.

 

 


The Redruth Old Cornwall Society celebrated St. Euny Feast at the Wesley Jubilee Hall on Friday 2nd February '07. Ron Opie (President) gave a short talk on St. Euny, the patron saint of Redruth. The members were then entertained by the Summercourt Singers and half-way through the programme some very amusing stories in the Cornish dialect were read by Terry Knight.
After the excellent entertainment a feast supper was had which included a celebration cake baked by Jean Opie.The evening ended with the singing of 'Trelawny'.

 

The Saint

Saint Euny lived from the late 5th Century to the early 6th Century, coming from Ireland with his brother, St. Erc (or Ercus) and sister, St. Ia. They landed at St. Ives Bay at the mouth of the River Hayle at Lelant. St. Erc travelled a short distance upstream and gave his name to St. Erth where he settled and preached to the small community. St. Ia went along the coast and gave her name to St. Ives and settled there. St. Euny settled at Lelant for the time, however, Lelant takes its name from another saint called Anta who built a chapel ‘Anjou’ on some rocks in the mouth of the estuary and from this we gather that St. Anta came from the province of Anjou in France. St. Euny spent some considerable time at Lelant before moving down to Sancreed and when he considered his work was complete there, he came to Redruth, although Redruth as such, did not exist then, there were just a few hamlets in cleared patches of the woods which ran from Carn Brea to Portreath and which he visited to preach to the scattered inhabitants. He would almost certainly have gone to the top of Carn Brea to talk to the people living there, where the remains of some of their hut circles are still to be found. He probably built a small church near to the site of the present one. He eventually moved on to Wendron, but was not very well received there and was martyred; it is not quite clear why he was murdered. He was certainly an odd looking character – the front of his head was shaven but the rear his hair hung down in long tresses to his waist, he wore a long white robe and carried a hand bell. However, I would not suggest for one minute that his appearance was anything to do with his murder but would think it more likely that the Elders of the village thought that his presence was a threat to them.

 

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Revised: June 23, 2007 .

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