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A distant view of Bishop Frere in procession to St Pirans Oratory, Perranzabuloe, Cornwall. Between 1923 and 1935
A distant view of a procession crossing the dunes to the oratory for a service under Bishop Frere. St Piran's Oratory survives as an early Christian chapel with all four walls standing. It represents the supposed site where St Piran, an Irish saint came ashore and established a Christian centre of worship in the sixth or seventh centuries AD. The site has a documented entry in the Domesday book. There is a small nave, chancel and stone bench around much of the interior plus a cemetery. Situated on Penhale Sands, east of Perranporth, the Oratory has been subject to blown sands over the years. Excavations were carried out in 1835 and 1843 and then railings were erected around the site in the 1890s. In 1910 it was re-excavated and a concrete preserving structure constructed over it. A large number of burials were uncovered during the works. The concrete shell was largely demolished in 1980 and the chapel reburied. The site was re-excavated in 2014-2015. Walter Frere (1863-1938) was appointed Bishop of Truro in 1923 and held this position until 1935. Photographer: Arthur William Jordan
© From the collection of the RIC