St Materiana’s Church

Perched dramatically on the rugged cliffs of the North Cornish coast, St. Materiana’s Church in Tintagel offers a serene and spiritual retreat, steeped in history and myth.

Dating back to the 11th century, with elements from the Norman period, this ancient place of worship is not only an architectural marvel but also a testament to the enduring faith and community spirit of Cornwall.

Discovering St. Materiana’s Church

St. Materiana’s Church is dedicated to a Welsh saint and stands as a beacon of tranquillity and heritage amidst the wild beauty of Tintagel.

With its stunning cliff-top location, the church offers breathtaking views over the Atlantic Ocean, making it a must-visit for anyone exploring this mystical part of Cornwall.

Highlights of St. Materiana’s Church

Historic Architecture: The church is a fine example of Norman architecture, with a simple yet striking design. Its sturdy structure has withstood the test of time and the elements, offering a glimpse into the past.

Peaceful Graveyard: Surrounding the church is a peaceful graveyard, where visitors can wander amongst the ancient gravestones, many of which belong to shipwrecked sailors and local families, telling stories of lives long past.

Stained Glass Windows: Inside, the church is adorned with beautiful stained glass windows, some of which depict St. Materiana and other significant biblical scenes, casting colourful light on the stone interior.

The Legend of King Arthur: Given its proximity to Tintagel Castle, the legendary birthplace of King Arthur, the church is steeped in the myths and legends that permeate this historic landscape.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

St. Materiana’s Church is located in Tintagel, accessible by car via the B3263.

Tintagel is well-connected to major routes in Cornwall, and parking is available in the town, with a scenic walk leading up to the church.

For those using public transport, regular bus services run to Tintagel from surrounding towns and cities.

Visiting Times

The church is usually open to visitors daily, from morning until dusk.

Entry is free, but donations to the church’s maintenance fund are appreciated.

It’s advisable to check local listings or contact the church directly for any changes to opening times, especially if you’re planning to attend a service.

What to Expect

Respect the Space: St. Materiana’s is a working church, and visitors are asked to respect the sacred nature of the site, especially during services or events.

Accessibility: The church is accessible, but the ancient flooring and graveyard paths may be uneven. Visitors with mobility issues should take care.

Dress Appropriately: While there is no strict dress code, visitors are encouraged to dress modestly out of respect for the church’s religious significance.

Maximising Your Experience

Take a Moment to Reflect: The serene atmosphere of St. Materiana’s is perfect for quiet contemplation and reflection, whether you’re religious or not.

Explore the Surroundings: After visiting the church, take the time to explore the rugged coastline and the nearby ruins of Tintagel Castle, immersing yourself in the history and legend of the area.

Support the Church: Consider purchasing a guidebook or making a donation to help preserve this historic site for future generations.

Nearby Attractions

Tintagel Castle: Discover the ruins of the castle said to be the birthplace of King Arthur, just a short walk from the church.

Merlin’s Cave: Beneath Tintagel Castle, accessible at low tide, this cave is shrouded in legend and offers a magical coastal exploration.

Tintagel Village: With its quaint shops, cafes, and galleries, Tintagel Village is the perfect place to enjoy local crafts, Cornish cream teas, and hearty meals.


St. Materiana’s Church offers a unique blend of spiritual serenity, historical depth, and stunning natural beauty.

It stands as a quiet haven amid the wild Cornish landscape, inviting holidaymakers to step back in time and connect with the myths and legends that define this enchanting part of the world.

Whether you come in search of history, spirituality, or simply the breathtaking views, St. Materiana’s Church in Tintagel is a captivating destination that enriches any Cornish holiday experience.