Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Did Jesus Visit Cornwall?

Church at St.Just in Roseland, Cornwall
Church at St,Just-in-Roseland
I recently wrote a post about the church at St. Just-in-Roseland, Cornwall. What I didn't mention is that there is a story, or legend, that Joseph of Arimathea brought Jesus ashore here. 

The idea of Jesus visiting England was partly popularised by the poet William Blake and his words for the hymn Jerusalem: "And did those feet in ancient times walk upon England's mountains green ..." but did He visit Cornwall? It is quite plausible. The Romans did so quite easily at around the same time - so why not Jesus. 

Let's go into this a little deeper.


Joseph of Arimathea was the younger brother of the Virgin Mary's father (therefore Jesus' Uncle) and it appears that he was a wealthy man. His wealth was from dealing in minerals and metals. In a Latin version of the Bible he is described as a 'Decurio'. This means that the Romans considered him to be some sort of high official in charge of mines. 

At that time Cornwall produced most of the world's tin plus  various minerals, which were exported worldwide. Joseph would have had to travel to Cornwall, in England to secure a supply of tin and perhaps minerals - and Jesus could well have travelled with Him. It's even possible that Jesus was the ship's carpenter, which was his 'earthly' father's trade. 

Strangely, early Cornish tin miners were known to chant 'Joseph was in the tin trade' as they worked. He is also mentioned in traditional miners' songs. 

The question still arises as to why Jesus travelled with Joseph of Arimathea. It could be, as already suggested, that he worked as a carpenter - there would have been little work in his home village. 

Another theory is that Joseph may have become Jesus' guardian under Roman law. This would have come about if Mary had become a widow. There is no mention of her husband after Jesus was a boy, so he may well have died. 

Therefore the story of Jesus stepping ashore in Cornwall at St. Just In Roseland could possibly be true. 


There is a large chunk of Jesus' early life missing from the age of 12. He may have stayed in England for a period to exchange ideas and beliefs with the Druids and Celts.

As well as visiting Cornwall, Jesus may have also stayed at the likes of Glastonbury.


St. Augustine is said to have written to the then Pope saying he had discovered a church in Glastonbury built by followers of Jesus at about 37 AD. A 6th Century cleric, St.Gildas, however, went one step further and said it was built by Jesus himself.


See also:
Is St. Just-in-Roseland the Most Beautiful Churchyard on Earth?

2 comments:

  1. Bonjour Mike!
    Le printemps est là, le muguet fleuri nos terres de France où le renouveau, la vitalité vie .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello David, thank you. Yes, spring is with us now and the flowers are showing more and more. It is a lovely time of year. Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete

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