Cornwall Solicitors: Saint Piran’s Day-Myths & Legends

Saint Piran or Pyran ,as traditionally in Cornwall saints are simply named without the title ,was an early 6th-century Cornish abbot and saint,of Irish origin cast out to sea tied to a millstone by the Irish King who was worried by Piran’s miraculous powers.

But Piran survived the storm and arrived at Perranporth where he built an oratory to promote Christianity. His first disciples were a badger, a fox and a bear. The oratory itself is now preserved in the dunes at Perran Sands.

Piran accidentally discovered tin when a black stone on his fireplace got so hot that a white liquid leaked out thus the first tin smelting and this discovery earned Piran the title Patron Saint of Tinners.

The basis of the Cornish flag is the white hot tin on the black of the ore as Saint Piran’s Flag, is a white cross on a black background.

A 14th century Life of Saint Piran takes into account Piran’s works in Cornwall, and especially details his death and the movements of his shrine

The 5th of March is the traditional feast day of ??Saint Piran, but the Calendar of Launceston Church records an alternative date of 18 November.

He founded the Abbey of Lanpiran and was its abbot. At his death the remains were buried at Perranzabuloe but were subsequently exhumed and redistributed.

Exeter Cathedral was reputed to be the possessor of one of his arms, while according to an inventory, St Piran’s Old Church, Perranzabuloe, had a reliquary containing his head and also a hearse in which his body was placed for processionals.

The churches at Perranuthnoe and Perranarworthal were dedicated to Piran as are holy wells at Perranwell and Probus which are named after him.

The largest St Piran’s Day event is the march across the dunes to St Piran’s cross which thousands of people attend, generally dressed in black, white and gold, and carrying the Cornish Flag.