The original church is approx. 2 miles away buried in the sand dunes of Perranporth it has been cleared many times only for the sand to engulf it once more. Known as the oratory (the lost church) built by Irish Celtic missionaries is the oldest place of worship in Cornwall (unless the remains of St Ellidius on the Isles of Scilly are older ) and there is none other older in the British Isles. It is about 15 feet wide and twice as long.
A few hundred years after the oratory was set up another church was built a short distance away, and for 500 years the two stood side by side. Then a stream drying up, the sands swept and buried the walls. By the end of the18th century the two churches were lost and another church was built farther inland. A tall St Piran Cross marking the site of its predecessor.
The third church which is still in use has some of the materials from the ancient structures- ench ends built into the pulpit and the screen, and the octagonal font with the madonna and child and a representation of the Trinity.
1281-An inventory shows in the churches possession a reliquary containing the head of St Piran and a hearse in which his body was placed (for processions) as well as a tooth of St Brendanus and another of St Martin in a silver pix.
1433- The items mentioned in 1281 were still at the church. Sir John Arundell left 40s to enclose the head of the saint in the best and most honourable way they could.
Note.-Nearby can be found St Piran's Round a vast open air arena which is spoken as Cornwall's oldest theatre, where miracle plays were performed in medieval days. It is a turfed amphitheatre over 40 yards across which would probably of accommodated 2000 people.