100-year-old bottle of beer found at St Piran's church

Image source, St Austell Brewery
Image caption,
The beer found in the bottle will be analysed to see what brew was used

A bottle of beer believed to be more than 100-years-old has been found at an ancient church in Cornwall.

The bottle, still containing some of the beer, was found at St Piran's Oratory, near Perranporth, which is believed to be among the oldest places of Christian worship in Britain.

St Piran is the patron saint of tin miners and the phrase 'drunk as a Perraner' also comes from the legend.

The beer will be analysed to see what brew was used.

A spokesman from St Austell Brewery said it was believed the bottle dated back to 1910 and was found in an "immaculate condition".

He added the bottle also had a swastika logo on the cap, a popular brewing symbol at the time.

Archaeologist James Gossip said the bottle was believed to have been left in the sand by a worker in 1910 when the oratory was encased in a concrete structure in an attempt to protect it from the encroaching sand and waves.

The 6th Century remains of St Piran's Oratory are being uncovered in a major archaeological project by the St Piran Trust.

According to legend, St Piran was flung into the sea in the 6th Century by the kings of Ireland who were jealous of his healing powers.

Despite having a millstone around his neck, he did not drown - but "floated" across the sea and landed in Cornwall.

Each year, St Piran's story is retold in a drama on the dunes near the oratory on the Sunday nearest to 5 March.

Image caption,
Tonnes of sand are being removed from the oratory site near Perranporth

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