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Cornish: Elerghi
Veryan Cross.jpg
The war memorial outside Veryan churchyard, Veryan Churchtown
Veryan is located in Cornwall
 Veryan shown within Cornwall
OS grid reference SW9139
Civil parish Veryan
Unitary authority Cornwall
Ceremonial county Cornwall
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town VERYAN
Postcode district TR2
Dialling code 01872
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Cornwall
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament South East Cornwall
List of places

Coordinates: 50°12′50″N 4°55′52″W / 50.214°N 4.931°W / 50.214; -4.931

Veryan is a coastal civil parish and a village on the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The main settlements are at Veryan Churchtown, Veryan Green, Portloe and the smaller hamlets of Trewartha, Treviskey, Carne and Camels.[1] The parish itself is situated along 1.5 miles of coast with sandy beaches, notably Carne and Pendower.[1]


Veryan was originally mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as the manor of Elerchi (now Elerkey in street names etc.), which name was derived from 'elerch', the Cornish for 'swan'.[1] The origin of the name is by corruption of "Symphorian" to "Severian" and then "Saint Veryan".[2] The church is one of the few in west Cornwall for which there is no evidence of its existence before the Norman Conquest. The church was given by the lord of the manor of Elerky to the monks of Montacute in Somerset, ca. 1110, but a later lord, John de Montacute, gave it to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, ca. 1220, and they held it until 1859.[3]

Veryan is served by one Post Office and a grocery store, Roseland Stores.[4] The village was once served by a traffic warden who manned the Roseland Peninsula. In 2011, he retired but the Cornwall Council refused to hire a new warden and forced the area to be served by CEO's from Truro and Falmouth.[5]

In the 19th century Veryan's local vicar and land owner Jeremiah Trist expanded the village's buildings.[6] Aside from convincing his parishioners to attend church on a regular basis, he grew interested in property. He manned the building[clarification needed] of two schools and a series of five round houses. He was inspired to build the homes after one was built in St Winnow. Two of the round house cottages, "The Beehive" and "Left Round House", were built alongside one another on an entrance road to the village.[6] Trist installed crosses on each of the houses and they were said to deter the devil from entering the village.[7]

Veryan residents have long maintained an interest in cricket. A writer from the The West Briton credited Trist as once inspiring locals and have been recorded playing cricket since 1810.[8] From the 1950s until the 1970s the team were successful, but had to play on a field with a small wooden hut, as it was Methodist-owned cricket was not allowed to be played on Sundays. But Veryan Sports and Social Club was opened in 1984 and featured a cricket ground, bowling and tennis facilities.[8]

Carne Beacon[edit]

Carne Beacon, lying a mile from Veryan, is said to be the burial place of the Cornish saint, King Gerennius (Geraint). Local folklore suggests that the burial mound contains the golden boat with silver oars, on which his body was brought across Gerrans Bay.[9] There is no archaeological evidence for the existence of this boat.[10]

Carne Beacon, the site of T2 Veryan Post

During World War II, Carne Beacon became the site of the very first Cornish above ground aircraft reporting post. It opened in January 1940 as part of No 20 Group Truro and was designated the name of T2 Veryan Post.[11] The site was chosen because of its advantageous views over the sea. Local residents strongly objected to its placing on such a hallowed point but they were overruled by the Air Ministry.[11] The view was excellent for this post which was a wooden structure some 3 metres by 4 metres square. The post consisted of an observation area with aircraft plotting instrument and a small space for making refreshments and gaining shelter. They communicated by a land line telephone to Truro where the main operations room was based. It was continuously patrolled and had to report every aircraft in a ten mile radius. It was later equipped with high frequency radio which enabled it to communicate with aircraft that sent out distress signals.[11] It was later refurbished with concrete and remained in use after the war mainly manned in villagers spare time. In 1962 the site closed and moved to Nare Head. The site was demolished and some remains are viewable at the Veryan Post Museum.[11] In present day all that remains of the post are its concrete foundations.[11]

Notable buildings[edit]

Two of the five round houses situated in Veryan Green

Veryan has a total of fifty-three Grade II, seven Grade II* and one Grade I listed buildings.[12] The parish church of St Symphorian has an unusual plan with a tower south of the south transept and a north aisle. Parts of the church are Norman and others Decorated in style.[13]

Melinsey Mill is situated within Veryan.[14] The mill itself was built in 1565 and now the site stands as a tourist attraction which serves food.[15]

The village is probably best known for the five Round Houses built in the early 19th century for the Trist, each with thatched roofs and a cross on top; they stand two at either end of the village and one in the centre. They are often said to have been built round so that there was no corner for the Devil to hide and that the crosses on the roofs were intended to drive the Devil away but there is little or no evidence for this.


Veryan attracts tourism due to its location on the Roseland Peninsula and has bed and breakfasts, hotels and guest houses.The round houses are also a factor in the parish's tourism interest and are rented out for accommodation.[16] Veryan is also popular because of its location near the South West Coast Path, a route for keen walkers in Cornwall.[16] Locals also let visitors use the Indoor Bowling Green. The village also has a Sports Pavilion with provision for tennis, cricket, bowls and a children’s playground. Carne Beacon also attracts visitors as its open to the public with prior contact.[11]

Film and television[edit]

Various scenes for the 1992 television drama series The Camomile Lawn, based on the book of the same name were filmed in Veryan (Broom Parc House) and on the coast at nearby Portloe.[17]


  1. ^ a b c "Veryan". GENUKI. 2001. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Mills, A. D. (1996). The Popular Dictionary of English Place-Names. Parragon Book Service Ltd and Magpie Books. p. 341. ISBN 0-7525-1851-8. 
  3. ^ Henderson, Charles (1925). The Cornish church guide. Oscar Blackford. p. 214. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Middleton, Kimberly (24 March 2011). "Couple eager to put stamp on 'dream' post office life". The West Briton. (Cornwall & Devon Media via Highbeam Research). Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "No new warden in council U-turn". The West Briton. (Cornwall & Devon Media via Highbeam Research). 3 February 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Webb, Christine (2 April 2007). "No more awkward corners". The Daily Telegraph. (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Keeping the devil out of Cornwall". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Cowles Publishing Company). 9 January 1913. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "200 CLUB West Briton ; Veryan Cricket Club". The West Briton. (Cornwall & Devon Media via Highbeam Research). 16 September 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Walker’s Britain: Cornwall Coastal Path". Sherpa Expeditions. October 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "You are here: The Hurlers". Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "The Royal Observer Corps: 67 Post Veryan". 2004. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  12. ^ "Listed Buildings in Veryan, Cornwall, England". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  13. ^ Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall, 2nd ed. Penguin Books
  14. ^ "Sonia displays her colours". The West Briton. (Cornwall & Devon Media via Highbeam Research). 31 March 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "History". Melinsey Mill. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Self Catering Holidays in Veryan". Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  17. ^ "Channel 4 - The Camomile Lawn". Channel 4. 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 

External links[edit]