St Materiana, Tintagel James Piers St. Aubyn, F.R.I.B.A. (1815-1895) restored this ancient Grade I listed parish church, dedicated to the Welsh saint Materiana, in 1870. It was in a dire state, with roof and pews alike rotting. These were duly replaced. Fortunately, however, some of the original features remain intact: the north doorway dates to around 1080, the south to around 1130, and there are two Norman windows on each side, a Norman font, and, amazingly, medieval hinges (reused on the twentieth-century doors) which are probably "the only example of Norman ironwork which survives in Britain" ("St Materiana").

But the main thing that any visitor will notice is St Materiana's remote and extremely exposed clifftop location, and some of its headstones. In the foreground here can be seen a simple cross bearing a weathered lifebuoy: this marks the grave of an Italian cabin boy, Domenico Cantanese, who perished when a small sailing vessel, the Iota, was driven against the cliff on 22 December 1893 (see "Shipwreck Victim Remembered").

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Photographs (1999), text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web project or cite it in a print one. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]


"St Materiana Church." Historic England. Web. 6 January 2021.

"Shipwreck Victim Remembered." Bude & Stratton Post. 20 May 2015. Web. 6 January 2021.

Created 6 January 2021