The Church of St. Ildierna, is the parish church for Lansallos and lies within the Diocese of Truro (visit pages at http://www.truro.anglican.org). The church building dominates this tiny community west of the village of Polperro, and is enjoyed each year by hundreds of visitors who come to experience the tranquility and beauty of this part of Cornwall, and to spend a time of peace and quiet in the presence of God.
Lansallos has a long and successful history of bell-ringing, and the tower regularly enters competitions with a good deal of success. There is a peal of eight bells, and we also have a team of handbell ringers.
Inside the church there are a great number of features of historic and architectural interest, not least the magnificent carved oaken pews which were made between 1490 and 1520. The parish produced a guide which is available in the church.
The church at Lansallos is of ancient foundation, going back to the time of the Celtic missionary monks who evangelized Cornwall in the early centuries of the first Christian Millennium. The present church building was dedicated in 1321 and extensively renovated and extended some one hundred years later. The place was the “Lan” (holy site, monastery) of St. Salwys, about whom nothing definite is known.
Although St. Salwys gave his name to the parish, the church building is dedicated to St. Ildierna. Again, nothing definite is known about St. Ildierna – we do not even know for certain whether ‘he’ was a man or a woman. The saint is referred to in an account by William of Worcester, who visited Fowey in 1478 and heard that “Saint Hyldren, a bishop, lies in the Parish of Lansalux, near the parish of Lanteglys; his feast is held on the first day of February, that is on the vigil of the Purification of the Blessed Mary.” However, there are other, older documents which refer to St. Ildierna as a virgin.
the Rev Linda Smith
Eastfield, 57 Barbican Rd, Looe PL13 1NW
That thou may’st enter, sit, rest, think and pray.
Remember where thou art and what shall be
Thine end. Praise God in peace, then go thy way.
BENATH DEW GENOUGH WHY
(The Cornish equivalent of GOD BE WITH YOU)
Last revised: July 1, 2003
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