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St Tallanus' Church, Talland

St Tallan Church, Talland
Talland bay church.jpg
Talland Church
DenominationChurch of England
ChurchmanshipBroad Church
DedicationSt Tallan
DeaneryWest Wivelshire
RectorRev Marilyn Elliott
Curate(s)Rev Gary Eve

Talland Parish Church is a Grade I listed building dramatically located on the cliff-top at Talland near Looe in Cornwall. It is dedicated to St Tallanus and as such is unique in Britain. [1]

St Tallan is said to be a hermit who made his home here sometime in the fifth century AD and certainly the site has been a sacred place since Celtic times. The altar of the present-day church is situated on the site of the original Celtic altar.[citation needed] The altar of the church is said to date from the time of Tallan and was built at the junction of ley lines.[2] However, St Tallanus's existence is disputed and ley lines cannot be proved to exist either.[3] The first documents to refer to him only appeared in the 15th century and it is believed that the church was previously dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria after whom the Catherine wheel is named. The church celebrated its 500th anniversary in 1990.

Part of the nave and the first stage of the tower probably remain from a 13th-century church: the remainder must be late 15th century and is in typical Cornish Perpendicular style.[4] Unusually it has a detached bell-tower on the south side which was only joined to the main body of the church in the 15th century. Inside the church is the headstone of Robert Mark although there is some confusion over exactly who he was. Killed in 1802, some accounts say that he was a Polperro smuggler shot at sea, others that he was a revenue collector killed on duty.[5] His tablet reads: "In prime of life, most suddenly, Sad tidings to relate, Here view my utter destiny, And pity my sad state. I by a shot which rapid flew, Was instantly struck dead." There is old woodwork in the fine wagon roofs and the many benchends (partly ca. 1520, the rest ca. 1600) are of the usual Cornish type and among the finer examples of these.[6]


  1. ^ "Name: CHURCH OF ST TALLAN List entry Number: 1140743". Historic England. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Talland Bay, Cornwall, UK - a magical place". Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  3. ^ "The Parishes of Lanreath, Pelynt & Talland". Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  4. ^ Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall, 2nd ed. Penguin Books; pp. 217-18
  5. ^ Talland Bay / Talland Church / Ghosts / From This Haunted Land
  6. ^ Allsopp, E. G. (1979) A Guide to Talland Parish Church
  • Talland Church 500 Celebrations: Souvenir Programme (1490-1990).

External links