Tuesday, January 17
St Symphorian The Church At Veryan Cornwall
On Friday I wrote about our visit to Veryan in Cornwall in the post Keeping The Devil Away At Veryan, Cornwall. I didn't, however, mention that we also looked in on St Symphorian which is the Veryan church. Nothing spectacular happened while there, other than we noticed, from the visitors book, that the three previous signatures had the surnames of Black, Brown and White!
According to legend St Symphorian studied in Autun in France as a young man. He fell out with the local Governor, Heraclius, as he refused to worship the pagan goddess Cybele. Because of his refusal - he even wanted to destroy the goddess's statue - he was arrested and flogged. He still wouldn't alter his beliefs and was finally beheaded. His mother is said to have encouraged him from the sidelines. He was executed on August 22nd 178 - each year the date is now celebrated as St Symphorian's feast day.
The Veryan church adopted St Symphorian as it's patron way back in 1281.
The photo below shows the impressive church roof timbers. Some of this had to be replaced in the 1840s but many of the carved rafters are part of the original roof.
There is a theory that the name of the village of Veryan is a corruption of the word Symphorian, this became Severian and then Verian and today Veryan.
The village was noted in the Domesday Book of 1086 as the manor of Elerchi - which is derived from the Cornish language word of Elerkey meaning swan.
Below is the Veryan church font ...
... with detail of the faces carved into the stonework.
A wall memorial from the 1700s.
And the remains of a set of stocks linger in the entrance porch from a bygone age.
Outside of the church is a pond, most likely once to have been an old mill pond. To the right of the photo the church can be seen and from here it's possible to walk across country to the Cornish coast.