Church of St Rumon and holy well
Ruan Minor, Helston TR12 7JL
National Grid Reference: SW7038316426
Nestled in the heart of the village of Ruan Minor, next to the school, is the church of St. Rumon, which is the smallest in the Deanery of Kerrier. It originated as a small thirteenth century chancel and nave, enlarged in the fifteenth or early sixteenth centuries by the addition of a north aisle and western tower. It was restored in 1854-55 and the present chancel is the result of an enlargement in 1879. The earliest stonework survives in the south wall of the four-bay nave as two single-lighted thirteenth-century windows.
There are two fonts – the original Norman granite font with chevron decoration and a fourteenth century font to the west of the porch, taken from Ruan Major. On the chancel wall, there is a small rectangular thirteenth-century piscina set in a later chamfered arch, decorated on its exposed face with two rows of chip carving: on the upper row are four units of eight-point stars in squares; on the lower row four units of saltire crosses in squares. The low tower is a plain structure of one stage, eight metres high. There no newel stairs and entry to the belfry is by ladder. There were originally three bells but only two remain. The oldest is dated 1624.
The charming lych-gate was donated in 1932 and was designed and executed by local craftsmen. The churchyard is also used by members of the Methodist Chapel. In 1987 the benefice of St Ruan with St Grade was united with Landewednack.
St Ruan’s holy well is the most southerly of the holy wells and is equidistant between the churches of Grade and St Rumon. It is situated on the upper southern slopes of a small valley close to the village of St Ruan, as a 15th century stone building with a corbelled roof, measuring 1.7m square by 1.9m high with a rounded arched doorway in the gable end and was restored in the mid-19th century. The well provides an endless supply of very cold pure water which was probably used in baptisms A small granite gable cross, which came from the roof, was removed prior to 1894 and is now in St Grade’s church. The well is Listed Grade II.