St Just

Welcome to the ancient parish church of St Just in Penwith, a fine building located at the very heart of the town, the most westerly town on the mainland of Britain, about seven miles west of Penzance.

About this church

The present church is medieval in origin and built in the classic Cornish pattern church of three aisles and a tall west tower. The ancient church was rebuilt in 1334 and rededicated on 13 July 1336. Sadly only part of the chancel remains from 1334. Later remodelling in the early 15th century created the outer aisles and tower.

A 19th century restoration created the current roof of Deal timbers and Cornish slates. The external façade is of granite ashlar. Over the doorway to the porch is a fine 18th century slate sundial. It is inscribed ‘Sic transit gloria mundi’ or ‘Thus passes the glory of the world’.

Key internal features of include:

• Selus stone: an inscribed 5th or 6th century memorial stone with ChiRho monogram.

• Memorial cross shaft: 8th to 10th century decorated with Celtic style interlacing.

• Flamboyant east window tracery: late 14th or early 15th century date.

• Piers, pillars and capitals: of limestone possibly Beer or Caen stone, exceptionally well carved and unusual for Cornish and remote rural churches.

• Shields on capitals: de Beaupré, Bray and Fitz Ive families and monograms for ‘M’ and ‘J’.

• Religious label stops for south aisle windows including fleur de lys, G or J for Jesus and a buckle like M for the Virgin Mary. The same devices appear on shields borne by angels on south aisle capitals.

• Secco Wall Paintings: pre reformation / 15th century ‘Christ of the Trades’ and ‘Saint George and the Dragon’.

• Reredos: beautifully carved of Derbyshire alabaster from 1896, depicting 14 Cornish saints in alcoves. The centre left hand panel shows a representation of ‘The Adoration of the Magi’ and the right hand panel represents ‘The Annunciation’.

• Ensign of HMS Revenge: flown at the Battle of Jutland in 1915 during WWI.

• St Just’s original World War Memorial window to those who died in the WWI.

• Internal pointing: highly unusual Cornish random rubble type of construction, accentuated by the pitch lining and black pointing. The churchyard contains the ancient market and Grous crosses and a number of granite ashlar tombs.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

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This small but beautiful church is located in the very centre of Sancreed (Cornish: Eglossankres) in the inland parish in the Hundred of Penwith, about four miles west of Penzance and forms part of the gloriously wild and ruggedly beautiful area of West Penwith at the most westerly tip of Cornwall.

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St Buryan is a busy, friendly, Cornish village, dominated by its huge, Grade I listed collegiate church, ‘the Cathedral of the West’ dedicated to St Buriana, a 5th century Irish Saint.

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