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Cornish: Eglossankres
Sancreed church and war memorial cornwall.jpg
Sancreed parish church
Sancreed is located in Cornwall
 Sancreed shown within Cornwall
Population 625 (2011)
OS grid reference SW418293
Civil parish Sancreed
Unitary authority Cornwall
Ceremonial county Cornwall
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Penzance
Postcode district TR19
Dialling code 01736
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Cornwall
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament St Ives
List of places

Coordinates: 50°06′32″N 5°36′36″W / 50.109°N 5.610°W / 50.109; -5.610

Sancreed (Cornish: Eglossankres) is a village and civil parish in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The village is situated approximately three miles (5 km) from Penzance.[1]

Sancreed civil parish encompasses the settlements of Bejouans, Bosvennen, Botreah, Drift, Sancreed, Trenuggo, and Tregonnebris. It is bounded by St Just parish to the west, Madron parish to the northeast, and St Buryan and Paul parishes to the south. The parish comprises 4,608 acres (18.65 km2) of land.


Sancreed in Penwith “PENWITH, THE LAST HUNDRED IN ENGLAND, IN THE HEART OF which lies Sancreed, is a land of stone circles and cave-dwellings, crosses and cromlechs, barrows and menhirs, Holy wells and ancient oratories. In no other part of the country are there so many relics of what is popularly called the prehistoric age. Myth and romance, legend and folklore gather about its grey stones. Where so much is hidden in the mists of antiquity, recourse must, on occasion, be had to conjecture in piecing together the story of the past.” (Anon).

Sancreed (Cornish: Eglossankres) is an inland parish in the Hundred of Penwith, about four miles from Penzance. The civil parish encompasses the settlements of Bejouans, Bosvennen, Botreath, Drift, Sancreed, Trenuggo and Tregonnebris. It is bounded by St. Just to the west, Madron parish to the northeast and St. Buryan and Paul parishes to the south. Within the parish is a noteworthy prehistoric settlement at Carn Euny. A few hundred metres west of the church there is a holy well and baptistry, which predate the current parish church building. The parish comprises 4,608 acres of land wholly situated on granite and has, with a light loam, covering used chiefly for mixed agriculture, a population of 628 (2001), many of whom look outside of the parish for employment and the provision of commercial, recreational and social services.

This is a sizeable change from the mid 1800s when Sancreed was a 'significant' village with a population of approximately 1,400. Up until the 1940s there was a village public house (the Bird-in-Hand Inn) opposite the church, and a thriving school. Today’s smaller community however still makes good use of the village community hall, which close to the church, hosts popular and well attended events.

At Carn Euny is a noteworthy prehistoric settlement.

Like many Cornish communities Sancreed can trace its origins to its legendary foundation by St Credan or Sancredus, a follower of St Petroc. The church itself is pre-dated by the holy well and baptistery of Sancreed, located a few hundred metres west of the church: the site was rediscovered by the vicar of Sancreed in the late 19th century. The wells and baptistery are of a similar age in both respects to those at Madron; like Madron there is a tradition of hanging cloughties (small strips of cloth) on the trees surrounding the well. The well is also known as St Uny's well. Next to the grade II listed baptistery ruin there is a modern Celtic cross (erected in 1910) which is a copy of a medieval cross in Illogan churchyard. Langdon (1896) recorded the existence of eight stone crosses in the parish, including four in the churchyard. The two crosses in the churchyard are Hiberno-Saxon and both have the same unusual shape of the heads, with a crucifixus on one side.[2]

Sancreed Parish[edit]

Sancreed war memorial

The parish church which is dedicated to St Sancredus is all built of granite. It has an unbuttressed west tower of two stages, a north transept, and a 15th-century south aisle of five bays. Features of interest include the font which is of the St Ives type and the rood screen which has curious carvings at the base.[2]

At the heart of the village lies the Parish Church itself (Grade II Listed), parts of the which date back to the 13th and 14th century following the usual early cruciform plan. Within the building is a fine font also dating from the 14th century. Much of the church was restored in the late Victorian period and together with the churchyard and church have within the late 19th and first part of the 20th century made a strong appeal to painters of the Newlyn School of Art, some of whom worshipped regularly at the church and are buried in the churchyard (including Stanhope Forbes RA).

About 1150 the church was given to Tewkesbury Abbey but in 1242 it was transferred to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter. It was appropriated to the Dean and Chapter in 1300 and the benefice became a vicarage. In 1667 the parishioners took action against the vicar in the episcopal court for making jokes at their expense when preaching.[3]

As well as the holy well near the church there are remains of "the famous healing springs of St Uny" at Chapel Uny. At Bosence are the remains of a 13th-century chapel.[4]

Local government[edit]

For the purposes of local government Sancreed is a civil parish and elects its own parish council every four years. The principal local authority is Cornwall Council.

See also[edit]

Stone cross at Sancreed Chapel and Well


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
  2. ^ a b Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall; 2nd ed., revised by Enid Radcliffe. Harmondsworth: Penguin; p. 207.
  3. ^ Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; p. 193
  4. ^ Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; p. 193

External links[edit]