A brief history of Sancreed, near St Just

The parish, in total, comprises of around 4,600 acres of land, all of which is situated on granite. Sancreed’s name derives from a legendary saint: St Credan who was a follower of St Petroc. Sancreed parish is bounded by Madron, St Just to the West and St Buryan and Paul parish to the South and includes a prehistoric settlement called Carn Euny. There is extensive evidence of Iron Age and even Neolithic settlements at Carn Euny, dating back as far as 200BC when timber huts were believed to have been built there. If you visit Carn Euny today, you will see the remains of stone huts arranged in a small settlement, one with it’s own ‘fogou’ – an underground, man-made passage – the purpose of which is still unknown.

Sancreed has a parish church dating back to the 1300s; Grade II listed and built of the typical granite stone, it sits proudly among the trees and adjacent to the small road running through the village. Just a few hundred metres from the church is a holy well named St Uny’s Well – there are trees around the well for parish residents to make offerings in order to have their wishes granted; more commonly known as a wishing tree.

Around the middle of the 1800s, Sancreed was a pretty ‘significant’ village with a population of about 1,400 people, and right up until the 1940s there was a village pub (the Bird-in-Hand Inn) opposite the church. There was also a thriving school, however, today’s smaller community relies on schools in St Just and Penzance. The residents of Sancreed still make good use of the village hall, which is just up the hill slightly from the church and hosts popular and well-attended events.

As of 2001, a population of 628 was recorded for the parish; many of whom need to travel out of the parish for work or shopping, or any other facilities.

Surrounding Areas

Just three miles walk, drive or jog from St Just in Penwith, and approximately the same in the opposite direction to Penzance, Sancreed is tucked off the beaten track just enough to enjoy a peaceful but accessible position.

Sancreed parish includes several smaller villages, but as a village itself, Sancreed has easy access to some beautiful areas for walks or just relaxing and taking in the rural views. If you approach Sancreed from St Just direction, you will pass places with typically unusual names: Dowran, Numphra and Grumbla are all on the route.

Grumbla is a small settlement, officially known as a hamlet, split into Higher Grumbla, Lower Grumbla and Grumbla Common. Lower Grumbla is a beautiful stretch of tree-lined road with wild flowers edging on to Sancreed Beacon with some fantastic examples of large granite hedges.

Drift is a small village along from Sancreed where you will find the area’s main reservoir and a handful of houses as well as some historic standing stones, known as “Sisters”.

Lower Grumbla has very pretty wooded roads.

Sancreed Beacon

If you are looking for expansive vistas of West Penwith and the Lands End Peninsula, Sancreed Beacon is worth the walk/climb!

Sancreed Beacon is a granite hill reaching approximately 200 metres above sea level and is mostly covered with gorse, bracken and heathland. It is rich with wildlife and also dotted with archaeological gems from hundreds of years ago.

On one slope of the beacon, you will find the remains of a Bronze Age stone hut – and there are remnants of ancient burial mounds as well as various mine workings in the area. During the Napoleonic wars, warning fires would be lit here to warn locally of invasions.

The views on offer are truly incredible – on a clear day from the top, you can see across to Porthcurno, down across to The Lizard with Mount’s Bay in the middle-ground and in the opposite direction towards Cape Cornwall and St Just.