Sunday, 10 November 2019

The Church at Veryan, Cornwall: St. Symphorian

St.Symphorian Church, Veryan, Cornwall

A while back I wrote a post about the round Cottages At Veryan, Cornwall - Built To Keep The Devil Away but I didn't mention the village church. So today's post is on Veryan's St. Symphorian church.

The first thing we did was to look at the visitors book and found it amusing that the previous three surnames were Black, White and Brown!

The church dates back to at least the 13th century but it is generally believed that a church has been on this spot for much longer than this. The village itself was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 but was then called Elerchi - which is derived from the Cornish language meaning 'swan'.

Inside St. Symphorian Chrurch, Veryan, Cornwall

The font is of a Norman design but may be a medieval copy.


The font has a carved head on each corner.

Carved heads on the font at St.Symphorian churchm Veryan, Cornwall

The photo below shows some of the impressive roof timbers, many of the carved rafters are thought to be part of the original roof.

Wooden rafters at Veryan church, Cornwall

The Veryan church adopted St. Symphorian as its patron back in 1281.

According to legend St. Symphorian studied at Autun in France but got into a bit of bother. It seems that he fell out with the local governor, Heraclius, as he refused to worship the pagan goddess Cybele and even tried to destroy the goddess's statue. He was arrested and flogged but stuck to his principles and was finally beheaded on the 22nd of August in the year 178. The date is celebrated every year as St. Symphorian's feast day.


The photo above is of the village stocks resting against the church outside wall. This is how they would have been used ...

A person locked in stocks as a punishment

Near to the church is a village pond, probably an old mill pond. From here it's possible to walk across country to Cornwall's coast.


4 comments:

  1. This is fine old church, lots of architectural features a d, as often the case, fascinating glimpses into the past. I enjoy reading g your well researched information.

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    1. Every village in Cornwall seems to have its own church. It's good that most of them are open during the week. It's interesting to wander round them - and usually there isn't anyone else inside.

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  2. What a lovely church! I always wonder about the craftspeople who built these, who did the stone carvings, who were the parishioners, and so on. I like the cartoon. He must be pondering how to move his feet, or perhaps questioning his judgement for ending up in such a state! Delightful post, as always.

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    1. Thank you Ann. I'm sure I have said it before but we love to visit the old churches. Very special buildings that once would have been the mainstay and centre of the villages.

      We haven't been too far recently because of the continued, heavy rain - black clouds again today as I look out of the window. All best wishes.

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