The Saints of Cornwall

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Cornwall is unique among English counties, though similar to other Celtic lands, in its religious history. Its churches, chapels, and place-names commemorated not only the major saints of Christendom, but also many minor 'Celtic' ones, unique to single churches. This book breaks new ground by considering them all, comprehensively and in detail. The introduction explains how the cults came into existence, and how they shed light on early Christianity in the county. It follows their history up to the Reformation, and shows how popular devotion to the saints lingered even in the eighteenth century. The main part of the book provides a history of every known religious cult in Cornwall from the sixth century AD to the Reformation, with relevant information about its later history down to the present day. Every known site is identified (church, chapel, altar, image, holy well, or other outdoor feature), and every written source is discussed (saint's Life, liturgical commemoration, and calendar festival). This is the first time that a complete inventory of cults has been produced for an area as large as an English county. The work also includes many saints venerated in Brittany, Wales and England, and makes copious references to all three countries. It provides a major resource in the fields of medieval Church history, Reformation studies, folklore, and Celtic studies, as well as the history of Cornwall.