St Wyllow

The story goes that St Wyllow, a Christian hermit, was living nearby in 596, legend has it that he was killed beheaded but that he brought the head here, thus deciding where the church should be built.

About this church

The location seems a bit isolated, but the church serves Polruan, Bodinnick and the wider parish and is central to them all.

The building dates mostly from the late 14th century. The tower is 70 feet tall, in four stages and stands on four piers. The belfry has six bells (described as ‘silver tongued’ by Sir Arthur Quiller Couch).

The church itself comprises a chancel, nave, and north and south aisles. The east end of the south aisle appears to have been the burial place of the Mohun family of Hall.

Descriptions of the detailed oak carving, brasses, medieval glass, coats of arms and Pentewan Stone use words such as ‘fine, exquisite and impressive’. All in all, to quote Q again, it is ‘worth a day’s journey to see.’

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories

Visitors information

  • Car park at church

Other nearby churches

St Sampson

A hermit’s hut, chapel or church has stood on this site for at least 1500 years, and St Sampson’s lies on the ancient Saints Way along which many of the Celtic Saints came from Padstow to Fowey, thus avoiding a perilous sea route around Land’s End.

St Winnow

St Winnow, sitting on an ancient riverside Celtic site on the upper reaches of the River Fowey, is renowned as a place of peace, pilgrimage and spiritual refreshment.

St Tallan

Of all the churches in southeast Cornwall, St Tallan contains perhaps the most surprises.

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