St. Anthony in Roseland
OS grid reference SW 9139
The village of St. Anthony in Roseland is situated on the south side of St Mawes Harbour, on the Roseland Peninsula in south east Cornwall. The village is known in Cornish as Sen Anta, Roseland is thought to mean 'the land of the promentory', Rhos is the old Cornish for 'Headland'.
The historic village church of St Anthony replaced an older Norman church which once occupied the site and is dedicated to St Antoninus King and Martyr, the building is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. The church was established by the prior of the Augustinian Priory at Plympton in Devon, in the twelfth century the priory owned much of the land at St Anthony. The church was dedicated to St Antonius by Walter Bronescombe, Bishop of Exeter, on October 3rd, 1259.
The church has a charming Norman doorway, which is thought thought to have been brought there from Plympton Priory in Devon. The building still retains its original mediaeval cruciform plan, more or less as it was built in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, despite an extensive restoration being carried out in the nineteenth century by Samuel Spry, the MP for Bodmin. Sir Nickolaus Pevsner thought the church 'the best example in the county of what a parish church was like in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries'.
Place House, (pictured left) dating back to 1840, stands in front of the village church of St. Anthony, it occupies the site of a former priory and is home to the the Spry family.
Following the dissolution of the monasteries under King Henry VIII, in 1538 parts of the priory was used as a residence and other parts were demolished, much of the stone went into the building of nearby St Mawes Castle. The church transepts contain many monuments to members of the Spry family of Place House. including an imposing monument to Sir Richard Spry, Rear Admiral of the Red (1715-1775)
St Anthony Head lies at the southernmost tip of the Roseland Peninsula, guarding the entrance to one of the world's great natural harbours, and offering commanding views of the Fal estuary. There are two sandy beaches at the head, Great Molunan and Little Molunan.