‘Banner of the female saints of Cornwall’


female saint banner

Our current exhibition, “Create to Commemorate” takes place between the Royal Cornwall Museum and Truro Cathedral. Here’s my own piece, “Banner of the Female saints of Cornwall,” hanging between the Archways of Truro Cathedral.

The saints included are (in descending order) St Ursula (who attempted a pilgrimage with a thousand maidens), St Non (the mother of St David), St Materiana (who built a church), St Julietta (who built a church at Tintagel), St Morwena (who built a church with her own bare hands), St Mabena (another church builder), St Endelienta (who owned a beloved cow), St Menfreda (who beat up the devil using just her comb), St Wenna (also a church builder), St Adwen (Cornwall’s own patron of young lovers), St Keria (church builder), St Keyne (a traveling holy woman with her own holy well), St Tetha (another church commissioner), St Ia (who got to Cornwall from Ireland via giant floating leaf), St Senara (who survived being thrown into the sea in the barrel, whilst also giving birth to her son St Budoc, before settling at the mermaid famous Zennor), St Kew (who also built a church… after taming a man eating bear (or boar)) and St Breaca (church builder and follower of Ireland’s own St Brigid).

On the back are lines from the hymn of St Endelienta.

Lessons learnt throughout this project and researching: Anglo Saxon women saints are tough as nails (and particularly excellent at leaf surfing).