Crantock Church, Newquay, Cornwall

Crantock was associated with the earliest of Christian settlements in Cornwall. People like Carantoc and Ambrusca the Virgin settled there some thirteen hundred years ago, Each leader had their own chapel and cemetery in the area.

A large number of human bones were discovered in the area in the early 1980's, when extension work was being carried out o St Ambrose Cottage. Professor Frank Turk was able to reach some fascinating conclusions about the life of the occupants, of what was a disturbed burial area of St Ambrusca's Chapel.

All these bones were from the 7th and 8th century A.D, and were mostly female. The conjecture is that these ladies were part of a priory.

Bones can show a lot about the life that a person led. Their back teeth were worn down to stumps, showing that they ate stone ground flour. The granite grinding stones used in making flour, produced a coarse flour that, when made into bread, eventually wore down their teeth of the consumer.

Their shoulders showed abnormal development, indicative perhaps of rowing boats around the bay. And their lower limbs indicated that they climbed a lot, perhaps in gathering gulls eggs from the cliffs. It was also found that the voice boxes of the older women had evolved in a way that would have enabled them to produce unusual sounds, perhaps as part of their religious services

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