St Merryn beef shipment of 1999
In August 1999 beef from a St Merryn slaughterhouse made the national news when it was the source of the first beef from the British mainland to be served in Brussels in 3 years. It signalled a re-emergence of British beef in the international marketplace since bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or more commonly, Mad Cow Disease, resulted in a shut down of beef exports. The shipment, coordinated by the Meat and Livestock Commission in Britain, came 3 weeks after the European Union lifted its ban on the import of British beef.
The Parish Church, St Merryn
St Merryn Church
The original dedication of the church was to St Merryn but in Norman times the saint was assumed to be a St Marina (see above, Toponymy). When the sainthood of Thomas Becket (Thomas of Canterbury) was ratified by Rome in 1338, a second dedication was made to him but it did not replace the St Merryn dedication. The first resident Vicar, John de Withiel, was installed on 2 July 1259. The church building is of Norman foundation but the chancel, south aisle and upper part of the tower are of the 15th century. The font of Cataclewse stone, quarried on Trevose Head, has carved figures of the twelve Apostles; It originally belonged to the chapel of St Constantine in the parish. Charles Henderson dated it as c. 1420 and gives the date of rebuilding the chancel as 1422.
The north transept was built about the 13th century. The piers of the aisle are also of Cataclewse stone. St Merryn Church has a ‘wagon roof’ built in 1422 and a tower with six bells. The 15th century church expansion included the addition of a south aisle of seven bays. The plaster coat of arms of Charles II, commissioned in 1662 by Harlyn House’s Thomas Peter, is located near the tower. The church renovations occurred over two periods: once between 1887 and 1907 and again in 1962, when the west tower was rebuilt. The church became a Grade II building on 6 June 1969 and a Grade II* building on 20 May 1988.
Jonathan Toup was a prominent Vicar of St Merryn, 1776–1785. A small marble tablet erected to his memory by his niece Phillis Blake is on the south wall of the church. The tablet, which states that Toup’s scholarship was “known to the learned throughout Europe,” had funding from the delegates of the Oxford University Press. When the Diocese of Truro was formed from the Archdeaconry of Cornwall in the Diocese of Exeter on 15 December 1876 St Merryn Church was included in the new diocese.
The annual summer Church Fete “Roses Day Fun” is on Feast Day Sunday (nearest Sunday to 7 July), with stalls and activities in ‘The Young Men’s Green’.
St Constantine chapel ruins
The ruins of the Medieval St Constantine chapel include what is likely the 20 feet (6.1 m) high walls of the west tower. The shale and slate stone church was estimated to have been 40 by 24 feet (12.2 by 7.3 m) with a “nave and chancel, south aisle and west tower”. The chapel was re-roofed in 1290, on orders from the Bishop of Exeter so the Vicar of St Merryn could hold mass on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The chapel’s font is now in the parish church at St Merryn. Near the chapel ruins is a holy well which was uncovered in 1911.[nb 1] Taking the waters there was said to bring rain during dry weather. The ruins of the chapel still exist in the dunes (now a golf course) near Trevose.
St Merryn Methodist Church
The St Merryn Methodist Church is a Wesleyan Methodist chapel which was completed in 1905. It is a single-storied, Arts and Crafts building with a rectangular plan, 2 light windows and a slate roof. The Grade II building was listed with the British Listed Buildings on 20 May 1988.
The original early 19th century chapel, made of stone rubble with a slate roof, was also a single-storied building with a rectangular plan. The building, with a two-windowed front and that sits close to the road, is now the site of an arts and crafts centre. The Grade II building was listed on 20 May 1988