Historical Monuments

Thomas Merritt’s Grave

In the churchyard of St Illogan Parish Church there is a fine white marble gravestone which marks the resting place of Thomas Merritt (1863-1908) and members of his family.  Thomas Merritt was a former miner/musician who stole the hearts of all Cornish people especially miners with his boisterous Christmas carols and he was also commissioned to write the 1902 Coronation March for Edward VII.

Commonwealth War Graves

There are fifty Commonwealth War Graves gravestones in St Illogan Parish Churchyard to commemorate the airmen, and one woman, of WW II who were associated with the Nancekuke air base at Portreath which lies just across the valley.  There are also a number of World War I memorial stones in the churchyard.

Memorials

A range of other memorials which relate to the deeply involved but now departed Basset Family of Tehidy can be seen in the St Illogan Parish Church and the Churchyard.

St Illogan Parish Church

The parish church was dedicated to St Illogan and St Edmund; the earliest reliable reference, dated 1235, refers to the Ecclesia of Eglossalau. By 1844, the church had become too small to serve a vastly increasing mining population, so a new church was built to the designs of J. P. St Aubyn at a cost of £2,875 and came into use on 4 November 1846.  The Bell Tower is all that remains of the old church; Trinity House refused to allow its removal as it provided a useful landmark for shipping.

The Church, its tower, the Basset sarcophagus, a Cornish cross, and the gates at the north end of the churchyard are all Grade II Listed.

Paynters Lane End Methodist Church

The Plymouth Limestone and granite faced Paynters Lane End Methodist Church, was built in 1890. The Methodist Sunday School was built in 1858; 30 years before the Chapel.

Other

Parts of Aviary Court date back 300 years and was the home of mining engineer James Tangye; this is now a hotel.

Mary’s Well (1888) was named after the wife of Gustavus Lambart Basset.  The Bain Memorial is in memory of David Wise Bain who owned Portreath Harbour, built in 1901 as almshouses for decayed (invalid) miners.

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