This spring make some time to say farewell to Saint Piran. He is preparing to make another miraculous journey.
His passage from Ireland to Cornwall floating on a granite millwheel was a few hundreds years ago and when he drifted ashore on the wild Cornish coast he brought with him christianity and the secret of smelting tin. Now in 2018 our patron saint is getting ready for another exciting journey our neighbouring Celtic nation, Brittany.
Weighing 5 tons and standing 3.5m (11ft) high this beautiful statue was created by sculptors David Paton and Stephane Rouget. Carved out Carnsaw granite in the Trenoweth quarry near Mabe Saint Piran will be the 100th statue to be placed in La Valle des Saints in Brittany.
Before and after!
The Valley of the Saints project not only aims to highlight our Celtic connections, indeed there are plans for further statues from Wales, Ireland and Scotland, but to also celebrate traditional granite craftsmanship. Our Cornish saint will be the first to join the 99 other statues already in the park.
This is David at work:
In May this giant statue will be loaded onto La Nebuleuse, a traditional tuna fishing boat from Brittany which I was lucky enough to go aboard when she paid a visit last summer. Saint Piran will then, along with his millwheel carved from Irish granite, sail across the channel from Falmouth to the coast of France.
The Nebuleuse in Falmouth last summer:
At the moment you can view the completed statue in the quarry (minus the completed millwheel) during normal working hours. I really suggested you make the time to go and visit! He won’t be here forever and the statue is an impressive demonstration of the beauty of ancient craftsmanship!
There is the postcode for your Satnav below or you will find it signposted just outside of Mabe. Please remember this is a working quarry and you visit at your own risk!
You can also find out more about the Giant’s crossing HERE
If you enjoyed this post you may also like to read: What has St Piran ever done for us? or Cornwall & The Nebra Sky DiscI provide all the content on this blog completely FREE, there's no subscription fee. If however you enjoy my work and would like to contribute something towards helping me keep researching Cornwall's amazing history and then sharing it with you then you can DONATE BELOW. Thank you!
9 thoughts on “The Giant’s Crossing – Statue of Saint Piran, a journey to Brittany”
I knew about the statue but not that it was possible to see it now. We’re heading to the far west very soon. I wonder if we can make a detour…. 🙂
For several years we attended a granite carving outdoor sculpture competition in northern Maine. They were all for outdoor display after the competition. What a thrill to watch the figures emerging from those huge chunks of stone. We later went to a granite quarry in Vermont to watch the large chunks be broken off the cliffs. I love the saint and the story here.
That sounds great! Thank you for sharing!
Our Hayle twinning association intends to visit the Discovery Quay on Thursday 10th May with our visitors from our twinned town of Pordic to see the statue before it sets sail to Paimpol we then intend to go across to Perran sands to the oratory, because when we travel over in August we will be going to the valley of the stones to see it again thanks to our friends from Pordic a former president of Pordic twinning has already been over to Mabe quarry Jean Paul Le Dantic.
Maurice Trathen. Chairman Hayle Twinning.
Credit to the crew of the “Nebuluese” who strengthened the deck to take the weight of the statue of St Piran for the 130 nautical mile voyage from Falmouth to Paimpol. This vessel is one of the last Thoniers (Tuna Longliners) that fished for tuna in all weathers in the Bay of Biscay and now takes parties of all ages sailing on the Brittany coast.. David Buckpitt
Such an impressive statue and an incredible journey. Looking forward to seeing it in situ on top of the hill at La Vallee des Saints!