We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Rumon, Ruan Minor, Cornwall

(49°59′5″N, 5°11′35″W)
Ruan Minor
SW 712 143
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cornwall
now Cornwall
medieval Exeter
now Truro
medieval St Rumon
now St Rumon
  • Andrew Beard
10 July 2015

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=2987.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

The church is one of the smallest in west Cornwall, and is in an exposed position close to the tip of the Lizard. The church was mostly constructed in the 14thc. and 15thc, but it originated as small chapel with a chancel and nave.

The only Romanesque features are the font, and possibly the piscina.


Prior to the Norman conquest, the seventeen manors of the Lizard were held by thegns, who paid dues towards the support of a monastery, probably St Michael’s Mount. The thegns were disinherited at the Conquest, depriving the Mount of income, but were restored in 1087 by Earl Mortain. In the 13thc. most of Ruan Minor passed to the manorial estate of Trethevas.

Although there was apparently an ancient chapel in Ruan Minor, the earliest records of the current church are from 1277.

The church was restored in 1854-1855 with re-roofing, re-flooring and re-seating. In 1879 the chancel was extended and raised to a higher roof level than the nave.




Piscinae/Pillar Piscinae


Font: Sedding dates the font to c. 1090, but considers it to be greatly altered in character and ‘a ghost of what was once a quaint relic of Norman work’.

Piscina: Pevsner believes that the piscina is 13thc., and that it may have been a pillar-piscina, remodelled when the chancel was extended in the 14thc. However, Henderson believes it be Norman, as does the author of the church guide.


P. Beacham and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England – Cornwall (London, 2014).

J. Betjeman, Cornwall – A Shell Guide (London, 1964)


C. Henderson, The Cornish Church Guide and Parochial History of Cornwall, (Truro, 1925).

N. Pevsner revised by E Radcliffe, The Buildings of England: Cornwall (New Haven and London, 2002).

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, (London, 1951).

E H Sedding, Norman Architecture in Cornwall, (London, 1909).

St. Ruan with St. Grade: A brief history of the Parishes and Churches, Third edition of Church guide originally prepared by Admiral E. King, revised by G. Bennett, rector, 1998.