ST PIRAN--PERRAN ZABULOE
"IT is rather a curious circumstance," says Davies Gilbert, "that the word Zabuloe added to Perran, for the distinction of this parish, is not Celtic, but through the French sable, from sabalum, a word frequently used by Pliny, as indicative of sand or gravel.
"The encroachments of the sand have caused no less than three churches to be built, after considerable intervals of time, in this parish. The last was commenced in 1804; and in this year (1835), a building has been discovered more ancient than the first of these churches, and not improbably the Oratory of St Perran himself. The length of this chapel within the walls is 25 feet, without, 30 feet; the breadth within, 12 ½ feet; and the height of the walls the same.
" At the eastern end is a neat altar of stone covered with lime, 4 feet long, by 2 ½ feet wide, and 3 feet high. Eight inches above the centre of the altar is a recess in the wall, where probably stood a crucifix; and on the north side of the altar is a small doorway, through which the priest may have entered. Out of the whole length, the chance! extended exactly 6 feet. In the centre of what may be termed the nave, in the south wall, occurs a round arched doorway, highly ornamented. The building is, however, without any trace of window; and there is only one small opening, apparently for the admission of air.
"The discovery has excited much curiosity throughout the neighbourhood; which has, unfortunately, manifested itself by the demolition of everything curious in this little oratory, to be borne away as relics."--Gilbert.
"Very little is known concerning the saint who has given his name to the three Perrans. He is, however, held in great veneration, and esteemed the patron of all Cornwall, or at least of the mining district."--Hals.