Saturday, 12 January 2019

ST. DENYS, KING ARTHUR AND ST.DENNIS CHURCH

St Dennis Church, Cornwall
It was a dark and dismal day, not really a time for taking photos, but somehow we ended up in St.Dennis, a village away from the normal Cornish tourist trail.

The old church at St.Dennis - St Denys - stands high on a conical hill overlooking the village and Goss Moor. The church was originally built on the site of a fortified Iron Age settlement.

The Cornish language word for a hill fort is 'dinas' so perhaps this is how the church name came about. But, in saying that, the church was dedicated to St Dionysius in 1327 and this could well have changed over the years to Denys or maybe Dennis. Whatever, the church itself has been in place since the 11th century and the site was probably used for religious meetings well before this.
Looking across the fields and moors from the church
The legendary King Arthur may have walked these fields The The Megalithic Portal website quotes the following from the Chronicles of British Kings' by Geoffrey of Gloucester:

King Arthur. king of the Britons took refuge in the South West from the Angles, a Turkonic (sic) race who invaded Britain during the 5th century. Demelihoc was a secondary fortress of Gorlios, King of Cornwall. We asume Dimelihoc was a dinas of dennis on which the church was built. During the fight with Arthur, Gorlios put his wife Igeme in the strongest fort Castle an Dinas and he commanded Demelihoc hoping that he would survive. He was slain and his wife captured. She afterwards married Uther of round table fame.
Ancient Celtic Cross
Going back to the St, Denys churchyard, along the main entrance path is an ancient Celtic Cross. The age is unknown but there are crude markings of a cross and also an hour glass shaped design on the shaft.
I'll have to go back to the church at St.Dennis on a sunny day to take some decent photos. On a dismal day the church yard looks kind of creepy!
A final view looking from the church. There is an old pathway - and in the distance the white hills of the china clay industry

2 comments:

  1. Despite the poor light your photo's have a bit of sparkle and your information enlightens the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot David, appreciated. I'm a long way from your standard! Best wishes.

      Delete

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