Rumon of Tavistock

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Rumon of Tavistock
Died6th century
Venerated inCatholic Church
Anglican Communion
Orthodox Church
Major shrineAbbey of St Mary & St Rumon (destroyed)
Feast5 January (translation of relics)
1 June (Brittany)
22 July (Ireland)
28 August (England)
30 August (Western Orthodox)
PatronageTavistock, Devon, England
Romansleigh, England

Rumon of Tavistock (also Ronan, Ruadan, or Ruan) is a saint venerated in the traditions of the Catholic, Anglican Communion, and Western Orthodox churches.


Rumon was likely a missionary originally from Ireland.[1] According to Alban Butler, Rumon was a bishop, though it is not known of what see.

Antiquary John Leland said that a manuscript discovered at Tavistock at the time of the dissolution claimed that Rumon emigrated from Ireland in the fifth or sixth century and established a hermitage near Falmouth, Cornwall.

Some authorities believe him to be the same historical figure as Ronan who is venerated in Brittany on 1 June.[2] A 'Life of St. Rumon", likely written at Tavistock sometime between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, adapts the Life of St. Ronan. Historian Nicholas Orme considers the only accurate part is that pertaining to Ruan Lanihorne and Tavistock.[3]


St. Rumon Church, Ruan Lanihorne

In 974, Ordulf, Earl of Devon, established the Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Rumon at Tavistock.[4] On 981, the relics of Rumon, minus his head, were translated from the Celtic monastery at Ruan Lanihorne to Tavistock.[5]

Henry I of England granted the abbey the privilege of a fair for three days at the feast of St. Rumon.[6]

In the Catholic Church, the feast of Saint Rumon is observed on various dates in different British locations. The translation of Saint Rumon is celebrated on 5 January.[citation needed] The Holy Hierarch Rumon is venerated on 30 August according to the Julian Calendar in Western Orthodoxy.

Rumon is the patron of Tavistock and Romansleigh[7] in Devon and of Ruan Lanihorne in Cornwall. Ruan celebrates its patronal festival every year on the last Sunday in August.[8]

Rumon is depicted as a bishop in a stained glass window in the Lady Chapel of St Eustachius' Church, Tavistock.[9] Several churches in Devon and Cornwall are named after him[10] as well as the village of Romansleigh.


  1. ^ Hunter-Blair, Oswald. "Tavistock Abbey." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 5 December 2021 Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ "Keltic Kalendar", in The Cornish Church Guide. Truro: Blackford; pp. 9-16
  3. ^ Orme, Nicholas. The Saints of Cornwall OUP Oxford, 2000, p. 226 ISBN 9780191542893
  4. ^ Freeman, Mary (2012). "Ordulf's Shadow in Tavistock". In Bliss, Jane; et al. (eds.). Aspects of Devon History. Devon History Society. pp. 23–36. ISBN 978-0-903766-02-9.
  5. ^ The Oxford Dictionary of Saints 5th rev. (David Farmer. ed.) OUP, 2011, ISBN 9780199596607
  6. ^ "Notices of Tavistock and its Abbey", The Gentleman's Magazine Vol. 100, Edw. Cave, February 1830, p. 117
  7. ^ Harris, Helen. A Handbook of Devon Parishes, Tiverton. Halsgrove, 2004, p. 142 ISBN 1-84114-314-6
  8. ^ "Ruan Lanihorne, St Rumon", Cornwall Historic Churches Trust
  9. ^ "Tavistock, St Eustachius", Cornish stained glass
  10. ^ Anna Powell-Smith. "Tavistock (St Mary & St Rumon), abbey of | Domesday Book". Retrieved 2 August 2018.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Tavistock Abbey". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.