Gull Rock, Holywell Bay, Cornwall, England, United Kingdomby Artographique ~ Cornwall
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ABOUT THE ART
Rising up from the sea, the famous Gull Rocks at Holywell Bay are simply stunning and with the gorgeous beach stretching out before them, it’s no wonder the very spot was chosen as a film set for the Bond movie 'Die Another Day'. Buried beneath the shifting landscape of Britain's highest sand dunes are the remains of two abandoned churches. The first, St Piran's oratory, lies completely hidden under a grassy mound, its location marked by a small plaque. Believed to date from the fifth or sixth century, this humble stone oratory and its surrounding graveyard were abandoned in the 10th century because of encroaching sand. Locals built a replacement, Old St Piran's church, on the other side of a nearby stream and this flourished until the 1700s, when tin-mining operations drained the stream and the sands once again began to threaten to encroach upon the building. Parishioners eventually had to dig their way in and out of the building. By 1805 much of this second church had been dismantled and rebuilt further inland. The rest was abandoned to the sand.