St Piran

Perranporth beach wide sands

Ireland was at war with Ireland..the tribes were always fighting each other. Kieron was a holy man, helped anyway he could, feeding 10 kings and their 10 armies for 10 days with 3 cows, and raising 7 harpers from their boggy graves. Unfortunately his tribe was suspicious of miracles, they decided to get rid of the holy man for good. One dreadful, stormy day a crowd gathered round Kieron, but they hadn't come to hear him preach, they held him and tied him fast to a millstone with thick chains.  As the thunder crashed and the huge waves smashed they rolled the heavy millstone over the edge of of a high, high cliff. Stone and Kieron fell through the air the storm abated, the sun came out and Kieron landed on a sea calm as a mill pool, smooth as glas, and the heavy stone didn't sink, it floated!

The holy man calmly sat on the millstone as it drifted down the coast of Ireland and across the sea to Cornwall. It pitched up on a wide sandy beach, and Kieron decided to stay. He prayed on the shore, and curious animals came to listen, a boar and a badger and a fox. The local people were curious too, wondered at the animals gathered round this strange man in his long robe. They heard him pray and they heard him preach and soon they were convereted to Christianity. They asked the stranger his name. He said Kieron but they heard Piran, so Piran he became.

Piran collected rocks and other curiosities from his walks along the coast of Cornwall. He studied everything he found, while out exploring he had also noticed the different coloured veins running through the rocks along the shore. One night he found he needed a stout rock to prop up his fire, he chose one already black as char, found only the day before. He set about making his supper and put a fish on to cook, as he was thinking and praying waiting for his dinner, the fire got hotter, it glowed amber and red, and then something peculiar caught Piran’s eye. A pure white liquid was oozing from the black rock. This was surely a miracle, what could it be?

As the liquid cooled it hardened. It was a metal. It was tin.

His friend Chiwidden helped Piran find a way to produce the metal in vast quantities. The people of Perranzabuloe and St Agnes set to work mining, the metal was abundant in the rock and great excitement ensued as it began to sell to people from far and wide. Tin markets were established on islands off the coast, and the Cornish standard, a white tin cross on a black rock background, was hoisted in the wind.

Retold by Anna Chorlton and Sue Field

Source  'Popular Romances of the West of England'     Robert Hunt                                                                                                                                                                                            Class 4 Perranporth School

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