History Files


Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Cornwall

by Jo Lewis, 23 August 2021

Restormel (North) Part 1: Churches of Mawgan Porth to St Mawgan

Mawgan Porth Burial Ground, Mawgan Porth, Restormel, Cornwall

Mawgan Porth Burial Ground lay near the settlement here. The location is still marked on modern maps, to the right of the St Mawgan road as it heads towards the sea. The former settlement site sits to the right of this photo, now with an added caravan park. Archaeological excavations in the years 1949-52, 1954, and 1974 revealed the settlement, of three groups of buildings and a burial ground dating from around 850-1050. Finds included pottery and stone artefacts.

Gluvian Old Chapel, Gluvian Farm, Mawgan Porth, Restormel, Cornwall

The site of the lost Gluvian Old Chapel is on the southern side of the lane, about 150 metres west of Gluvian Farm on the way out of Mawgan Porth. The site is now (2020) fenced off. Old maps show the remains of the chapel, and the same chapel remains marked on some more modern OS maps. It may have been linked to the settlement at Mawgan Porth (see above), but this is not confirmed. Estate agent information also notes the chapel site with possible potential.

Mawgan Cross Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Mawgan Porth, Restormel, Cornwall

Mawgan Cross Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was lost well before the arrival of St Mawgan Airfield (Newquay Airport). It was possibly founded in 1829. It is marked on very early maps and would have been located right at the end of the north runway, on the left of this shot. It was next to Mawgan Cross Smithy, opposite Deer Park. This may also have been the Wesleyan Reform Chapel which was certified for worship in 1851 but was closed between 1902-1906.

Mawgan Cross Bible Christian Chapel, Mawgan Porth, Restormel, Cornwall

Mawgan Cross Bible Christian Chapel has also been lost under St Mawgan Airfield (Newquay Airport). The chapel sat at the junction with the (also lost) road to Penvose Farm. It would be beyond the northern end of the runway. It was still marked on maps in 1907, probably having become Mawgan Cross Methodist Church. It may briefly have survived the airstrip opening in 1933. That became an RAF site in 1942, by which time the old village and chapel had gone.

Carnanton Old Chapel, Mawgan Porth, Restormel, Cornwall

Carnanton Old Chapel lay within the Carnanton Estate off Airport Road. This can be found by leaving the airport area (briefly) on the road towards the A3059, with the estate being on the right. Carnanton was a considerable domain, being noted as a taxed property in Domesday Book. It was later the property of the earl of Warwick and had both a chapel and a castle. The chapel was long since gone by the time of a Victorian survey of the region.

St Mawgan Monastery Church, Mawgan Porth, Restormel, Cornwall

St Mawgan Monastery Church (Lanherne) is on the east side of the road out of the airport, opposite the pub and next to St Mawgan-in-Pydar parish church (see links). This Celtic monastery was established in sixth century Cornubia. It was dissolved in the 1000s to become Lanherne Manor by 1086. The Arundell family took over, and by 1360 it was their main residence. In 1794 it was given as a convent to Carmelite nuns fleeing France and remains in use as such.

Four photos on this page by Jo Lewis, and one each kindly contributed by John Durston and John Fielding, both via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group. Additional information from An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall, William Penaluna.



Images and text copyright © all contributors mentioned on this page. An original feature for the History Files.