A boomtown preserved - Tucked off the main road, the hilltop settlement of St Day is an intriguing mix of old, and the even older, with a central conservation area and almost 50 listed buildings, including the atmospheric ruins of a huge church built to accommodate the long gone 19th century mining population.
Part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, St Day was the commercial centre of the early nineteenth century copper boom in the wider parish of Gwennap, and many of the buildings date from this period. Following the decline of the mining industry and significant emigration in the late 19th century, the town experienced severe and prolonged economic decline. This, combined with absentee landlords, reduced the amount of later development preserving the street layout, market places and much of architectural interest, including a number of the original shop fronts.
But St Day had experienced an earlier boom attracting flocks of pilgrims to the medieval Chapel of the Holy Trinity. Sited on the ancient land route to St Michael’s Mount, by the 15th century the chapel had become Cornwall’s second great medieval shrine. The position of the chapel and its possible ‘lan’ enclosure is now preserved in the shape of the road that curves around the site.
Today St Day has a thriving and active community, served by a small cluster of village shops, with numerous activities and events throughout the year.
The most common reaction from visitors to St Day, from both near and far, is “I had no idea it was like this”, so why not come and explore for yourself and discover the hidden corners of this historic town in miniature.
For more information see: www.stday.org.uk