St Columb Minor

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St Columb Minor church tower from the south

St Columb Minor (Cornish: Colom) is a village on the north coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. St. Columb alone by default refers to the nearby St. Columb Major.

At one time St Columb Minor used to be the main settlement in the area, but it has now been encroached upon by its larger neighbour Newquay. The National School in the Square was built in 1842. It is on the site of the Parsonage and is now used as a Men's Institute. While still an ecclesiastical parish St Columb Minor is no longer a civil parish, forming part of Newquay CP.

Parish Church[edit]

The western end of the church and yard is in view of the Trevalgue clifftop twin tumuli, known locally as The Barrows. It is sheltered from the strong winds of the Atlantic and looks down the Rialton Valley and across to Castle-an-Dinas on the summit of Castle Downs. Local legend has it that the Celtic missionaries, centuries before the Columba legend arose, drove away the evil spirits and replaced pagan magic by Christian worship, and erected a wooden sanctuary. The church-town lay to the west and south while the shelving ground to the north and east prevented building. Hence, as in the case of so many villages, development in the 20th century extended further from the parish church, in this case towards Porth Bean and Henver Roads, leading into Newquay.


In Celtic and Anglo-Saxon times Rialton was the head manor of the Hundred of Pydar and belonged to the monks of St Petroc at Bodmin. The monastery remained in possession after the Norman Conquest and a manor house was built here by Prior Vivian (Thomas Vivian, titular Bishop of Megara) ca. 1510. The manor passed to the Duchy of Cornwall in 1538 but some of the manor house remains.[1]

Notable people[edit]

  • Ralph Allen, postmaster
  • James Carne (d. 1909), parish clerk for 64 years[2]
  • William Golding the novelist ( "Lord of the Flies" ) was born in the parish (which at the time included Newquay, his actual birthplace).
  • Kylie Glanville (former Nickelodeon presenter and reality tv star) was born within the parish.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; pp. 76-77
  2. ^ His chair was presented to him at the age of 100 in 1906 and donated to the church after his death. Mee, Arthur (1937) Cornwall. London: Hodder & Stoughton; pp. 209-10
  • The St Columb Minor Parish and Church History and Calendar, blotter of 1939-40

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°25′N 5°3′W / 50.417°N 5.050°W / 50.417; -5.050