St Just in Roseland Church, Cornwall

St Just in Roseland Church, Cornwall

St Just in Roseland Church is probably Cornwall's most photographed church, and arguably its most beautiful. The 13th century St Justus church is built right beside the water on a tidal creek. It should not be confused with St Just-in-Penwith which is near Land's End.To see it at its best, you need to get there at high tide, otherwise there is a lot of mud exposed at low tide.

The vegetation in this sheltered spot is virtually tropical. Fuchsias, hydrangeas, lilies and many exotic shrubs abound. There are paths leading through the church gardens with rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, bamboos, wild garlic and bluebells. There are also ponds with giant gunnera and small streams

There is a strange legend that Joseph of Arimathaea brought Jesus to Cornwall, and that he landed at St Just in Roseland .

St Just in Roseland church is on the site of a 5th century chapel, the churchyard slopes steeply upwards behind the church. For some 400 years after its foundation, the church was served by Celtic clergy from the adjacent cell of Lanzeague, until Roseland was taken from the Celtic Church by the Saxon Bishops of Cornwall, Crediton and Exeter.

Robert Bishop of Exeter, gave St Just Church to the Canons of Plympton Priory in 1140. But the patronage was bought back in 1190 by John le Sor, Lord of Tolverne for a yearly sum of 13s 4d, which would be paid out of the Benefice to the Priory. This sum is still paid by the Rectors of St Just to the successors in title of the last Prior, who is represented today by the patrons of the living.

The present church was dedicated to St Just on 14th August 1261, by Walter, Bishop of Exeter, and The Chancel with its double piscina is of this date.

The parish registers date from 1538.

One of those strange English things - in the will of John Randall Esq. who died July 23rd 1733, a sum of 50p was bequeathed for the rector of the church to preach a funeral sermon on that annual anniversary for the next 1000 years.

A 19th century vicar brought in many tropical plants, and the combination of the church on the water's edge and the wonderful flowers and shrubs in the churchyard are what gives the church its uniqueness. The path down to the Church from the road is lined with granite blocks which are carved with quotations and verses taken from the Bible.

The arcade has seven obtuse arches of granite supported on monolith pillars of the same material.

There is a south porch, the entrance arch of which is paneled, a vestry door and a priest's door.

The tower is buttressed at the angles, and embattled, having a the corners stump pinnacles. It contains three bells. The oldest bell was hung in 1684, It has the names of the two church wardens, a small three quartered figure of Charles II, and two copper coins of his reign cast on the bell.

There are north and south entrances to the churchyard through Lych gates.

St Just in Roseland, Cornwall genealogical information from Genuki

St Just in Roseland Church web site

Cornwall Churches