Old Kea Church, Truro

Old Kea church is mysterious, an intangible, hidden place of ruin and decay.

I have been there once as a very small child, and retain the impressions generated at that time.

The area to the west of Truro river is great for quiet running along lanes, with Trelissick estate a pretty change to easy trail, lovely river views and some quad busting hills (looking at you – up to Porth Kea from Cowlands and Calenick to Porth Kea on the other side!), real stinkers and I am struggling to love them as I should.

With only the length of time it takes to train a dragon for the second time available to me, I headed out; planning only to drop down the back of county hall to the old railway and run along to Calenick, doing 45 minutes out, turn and allow 1hr 15 to get home. I’d left the car for the returning cinema goers. No plans, just see where I got to before turning around.

With 4 minutes left on my 45 out I found myself at the signpost for Old Kea or Coombe, either direction led down (meaning either way I’d be running up on my return…). I took the Old Kea road thinking I’d do the 4 minutes, then head up without seeing the actual village, but it’s deceptive how far you travel even at my pace in 4 minutes – and spoiler – no village.

I was musing on mysteries as I ran and found myself looking across the valley and slowly picking out the tower, overgrown in the trees. It sort of materialised out of the woods and took shape as I looked, which is exactly how it should have behaved, in its role as a keeper of childhood romance. Only moonlight and mist would’ve been better.

By the time I had one minute left to run before turning back it was within 1/4 mile and clearly I had to go and have a look.

Only the 13th century tower still stands of the original church. I have memories of family discussions about the need for lightning conductors, and had formed the impression as a child that it was ruined because of the lightning strike, although the parish history seems to suggest that problems with the integrity of the nave was the reason for eventually demolishing it and the tower could conceivably have been struck later, as it is missing one of the corner statues.

There is a small church built in the grounds, and an ancient stone, referred to in the parish history above.

Lovely to find this while out running – some might point out that’s hardly a discovery and the place was never lost, but there you go. I’m exploring places I would never come across otherwise, and find it nurturing for the soul. So.

Finished up only 10 minutes after the film party got home and with 10 miles tucked under my soles for the day, heard a little about some other dragons who have perhaps been enlightening the England squad on aspects of dragon lore. Some great memes going around on that too 😁