Legend has it that St. Piran, the Patron Saint of Cornwall fled Ireland in the 5th. century and landed here at Perranporth having crossed the Irish sea on a millstone. ( There may be some factual basis to this as a millstone makes perfect ballast for a small coracle type boat commonly used during this period. ) Having arrived in Cornwall, Piran set about building his oratory among the dunes but over the centuries the tiny chapel was overwhelmed by encroaching sand. During the 9th. century it was abandoned and a second church was built on higher and firmer ground. In the latter part of the 18th. century, this church too was under threat from sand drift and so it was decided to dismantle it and rebuild it some distance inland at Perranzabuloe. St. Pirans Cross stands close to the remains of the second church and is mentioned in a charter of  960 AD. It is of interest as it is a three-holed cross, only one other of which is known in the county. In the early 19th. century shifting sands once again revealed the ruins of the oratory, said by some to be the first Christian church in England. Excavations unearthed 3 headless skeletons beneath the chapel floor, one of which was of tall stature and said to be that of  St. Piran himself. At this time, it was decided to build a hideous concrete shell to protect the remains of this sacred site but a new problem -that of flooding - forced a decision to rebury the oratory for its own protection. Today the site is marked by a granite block.