Towednack shown within Cornwall
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||St Ives|
|Postcode district||TR26 3__|
|Police||Devon and Cornwall|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||St Ives|
Towednack (Cornish: Tewydnek) is a village and civil parish in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The parish is bounded by those of Zennor in the west, Gulval in the south, Ludgvan in the east and St Ives in the north. The village is about two miles (3 km) from St Ives and six miles (10 km) from Penzance.
Towednack lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Almost a third of Cornwall has AONB designation, with the same status and protection as a National Park.
The church is dedicated to St Tewennocus and did not become parochial until 1902. It was built in the 13th century and has a plain tower. A south aisle was added in the 15th century. The font is of granite, 1720, and stands on a base which is an inverted Norman font. Towednack church is claimed to be the last church in which services were conducted in the Cornish language (in 1678), though the claim is also made for Ludgvan. The parish saint disguised under the name 'Tewennocus' is almost certainly St Winwalo (pet-form: Winnoc), also commemorated at Gunwalloe and Landewednack, as well as Landevennec, Brittany: the place-name being derived from Old Cornish "te-Winnoc" (thy St Winnoc [Winwalo]), now represented as Late Cornish Te Wydnek. Until 1902 Towednack was a chapelry of Lelant; right of sepulture was only obtained in 1532. The early incised cross on a stone in the porch and the altar slab suggest that the subordination to Lelant only began after the Norman Conquest.
A story told by the Rev. W. S. Lach-Szyrma to a group of Antiquarians on excursion was the legend of the tower:
- the tower was never completed as during the night the 'Evil One' would knock down what the men had built the previous day. This went on for some time until the men gave up and the tower remains as it is today (1882). Similar legends also refer to nearby Lelant church and Brent Tor on Dartmoor.
For the purposes of local government Towednack is a civil parish electing a parish council every 4 years. The principal local authority in this area is Cornwall Council.
Towednack Gold Hoard
In December 1931 a hoard of gold ornaments was found near Towednack in West Penwith. A sunken lane, known locally as Badger’s Lane, leads down from Lady Downs onto the road to Amalveor. Here at SW4794 3759, concealed in an ancient stone hedge, was found a collection of beautiful gold objects, including two twisted neckrings, four armrings and two lengths of unfinished gold rod. One necklet consists of a single twisted strand of gold, and the other consists of three strands loosely twisted together. The gold is very fine, and probably came from Ireland. These ornaments date from the late Bronze Age and they now reside in the British Museum. A replica of the hoard can be seen at the Penlee Museum. In 2007 there have been calls in the local Cornish press for the gold hoard to be returned to Cornwall from the British Museum.
- Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel. Cornish Language Partnership.
- Weatherhill, Craig (2009) A Concise Dictionary of Cornish Place-names. Westport, Co. Mayo: Evertype; p. 67
- Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
- Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall; 2nd ed. Penguin Books; p. 222
- Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; p. 206
- Anon. (1883) "An Account of the Annual Excursion, 22 Sep 1882". Transactions of the Natural History and Antiquarian Society of Penzance; p. 202.
- Towednack Gold Hoard
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