St Columb Major Church

St Columb Major Church

As with many Cornish churches, the parish church of St Columb Major is likely to be an ancient pagan site where Celtic missionaries would have later erected the first Christian place of worship, most probably a wooden building which would have been replaced a number of times.

In about 1100 A.D., a Norman stone church was built. Part of the original Norman foundations can still be seen at the base of the pillars.

For most of the Middle Ages, the church belonged to the Arundells of Lanherne and was lavishly endowed. The 80ft tower is a fine example of a fifteenth-century building, consisting of four stages with battlements and pinnacles. It contains eight bells which were re-hung in 1950.

In the year 1676, the greatest part of the church was blown up with gunpowder by three youths of the town, and subsequently rebuilt.

A college for six priests, that stood adjacent to the church, survived this incident but only 15 years later was destroyed by a (this time accidental) fire.

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