Know Britain Madron: A Typical Village in Cornwall, England


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The first place to visit in this quaint Cornish village of Madron is the village church dedicated to the saint after whom the village itself is named, St Maddern. Known variant spellings of the saint's name include "Maddarne", "Madern", and "Madran". The feast day of this saint is May 17.


The Saint

Little is known of the saint and therefore speculation is not lacking. He has even been associated with a British King that presumably lived and died here, King Madan 1. It is also thought, and this is more probable, that Madron was a monk and hermit who died here. This saint has also links with Brittany where, in Saint-Malo there are two churches dedicated to him. He is said to have accompanied Saint Tudwal to Brittany. It is thought that St Maddern came to Cornwall from Brittany. What has been handed down intact through the ages is the association of the saint with cures of physical ailments. In his name a number of miracles have been recorded especially in the place called Madron's Well within walking distance of the village. It was there that St Maddern most probably settled down to begin and develop his missionary activity. It was there that he also built his baptistry in which converts from paganism were baptised.


Madron Parish Church:
The Gateway
Madron Parish Church:
The Porch
Madron Parish Church:
The Tower


The Church and Parish

This, of course is not the original church of Madron. Signs of earlier churches on the site are to be found in the inscribed stone dating from Celtic times, and the font dates back to the church built in the Norman period. Most of the present building dates from the first half of the 14th century and the church was consecrated by Bishop Grandisson of Exeter 13 July 1336. The height of the Tower was increase in 1390 and the North Aisle was added at the beginning of the 16th century.

The Lych Gate, located at the south entrance, dates from the 19th century and was built as a memorial to the victims of the Boer War. The porch also dates from the late 19th century.

The ancient importance of this Parish is well established. This was the mother church of Penzance and once included both the town of Penzance and part of Newlyn. It was only with the development of Penzance in the first half of the 19th century that new churches were built to accommodate the increase in population and became detached from the Parish of Madron. The daughter church, built near the harbour of Penzance, has been in existence since 1379. Further churches were built in Penzance, in particular St Mary's in 1832, ten years later St Paul's (1842), St John's in 1883, and then the Mission Church of St Thomas located in Heamoor between Madron and Penzance.

Madron parish church is normally open to visitors at 10.00am.



1. J. Polsue, Lake's Parochial History of the County of Cornwall, vol. III (1870), republished 1974, EP Publishing Ltd, East Ardsley, Wakefield, Yorkshire.


Comfortable Budget Accommodation in Madron:

Tregoddick House

Places of Worship in Cornwall


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latest update: 27/4/04