This trail is devised particularly with those interested in genealogy in mind. Due to the distance the churchyards are apart we have put this trail as being driven by car.

That is not to say you can’t go round by bike or even walk, come to that, but we thought that those that are most likely to want to view all the churchyards are also most likely to do so by car.

A lot of the churchyards are on the individual trails as well and well worth stopping to view.

Address: Stithians sports ground car park

Lat: N 50° 19′ 14.86″
Long: W -5° 17′ 85.77″

OS Grid Ref: SW 73217 37221

Distance: 7 miles

Terrain: Easy

9th March 2017 11:35 am

Churchyards Trail

  • Author: Administrator
  • Created: 9th March 2017 11:35 am
  • Updated: 1st May 2017 12:56 pm
Route type: Driving Trail
Difficulty grade: Easy
  • Distance 15 miles
  • Time 6 h 32 min
  • Speed 2 mph
  • Min altitude 135 ft
  • Peak 696 ft
  • Climb 1427 ft
  • Descent 1427 ft

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  • Distance Instructions

Points of Interest

Stithians Church

Stithians Church and its churchyard have been a consecrated place for Christian worship and burials since Celtic times. The present sanctuary area of the Church is thought to be built on the site of a chapel of the 5th century. The church has undergone several major extensions and changes over the centuries. Evidence of its architectural history can be seen in its fabric. The St Stythian we know today is thought to have been a female Celtic hermit or anchoress and was closely associated with the local Holy Well. Traces of this Well, known as Lady Well, can still be seen on the southern boundary of the agricultural showground where it abuts the edge of Kennall Vale woods.

Location: SW 73118 37132

Gwennap Church

The church of St Weneppa, Gwennap is founded on a Celtic monastery thought to date from the late 5th century. The present building dates from the 17th century and is one of only four churches in Cornwall with a detached tower.

The church is thought to contain at least 10,000 bodies and has been closed and reopened several times over the centuries. It is particularly beautiful in the spring and early summer when the bluebells provide a carpet of colour and the cherry tree is in bloom.

Location: SW 73886 40105

St Day

St Day was a place of pilgrimage prior to the Reformation when there was a chapel dedicated to the Holy Trinity, situated in the area occupied by Trinity House at West End and the adjacent Trevean Cottages in Buckingham Place.

In the Old Church there are extensive interpretive boards which give an insight into the history of the area. There are also memorials on the walls and an impressive memorial statue. The Old Church is open through the summer months.

Location: SW 73146 42338

Gwennap Pit

Where John Wesley preached between 1762 and 1789, although Gwennap Pit is about 1.7 miles (2.7 km) to the north west of St. Day. The pit was caused by mining subsidence in the mid-18th century. After Wesley’s death the local people turned the pit into a regular circular shape with turf seats.

Location: SW 71721 41766

Lanner Churchyard

The original churchyard surrounded Christchurch but was only used between 1845 and 1854 and just a few headstones have been found there. Burials were mainly carried out in Gwennap until this second churchyard was established on the 8th August 1911 by Act of Parliament and it cannot be formally closed without Parliament’s consent.

There are few elaborate headstones in the graveyard and many plots are unmarked, reflecting the relative lack of wealth in the area.

Location: SW 71409 39799