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Welcome to the parish church of Rame: St Germanus in the Anglican Diocese of Truro and county of Cornwall England.
The name means ‘the high protruding cliff, the ram’s head’, from which the hamlet and parish take their name. The little chapel of St. Michael on the summit of Rame Head, licensed for Mass in 1397, is probably on the site of a much earlier, Celtic, hermitage. Earl Ordulf, owner of vast estates in the West Country and uncle of King Ethelred, gave Rame to Tavistock Abbey (which he had founded) in AD 981. Over the centuries the manor passed to the Dawneys, the Durnfords and finally the Edgcumbes.
As early as 1486 Plymouth was paying a watchman at Rame to maintain a beacon there to warn shipping and to bring news to Plymouth of important ships, such as the return of the Newfoundland fishing fleet in 1543.
THE CHURCH is dedicated to St. Germanus, the fighting German bishop who is supposed to have landed in the neighbourhood when he came to England to suppress the Pelagian heresy in about AD 400. It is all built of rough slate. The first stone building was consecrated in 1259. The slender, unbuttressed tower with its broached spire (an unusual feature in a Cornish church), the north wall, north aisle and the chancel are all probably of this date, when the church was cruciform in shape. The south transept went in a 15th century extension with a south aisle and arcade added, and some new windows. The south aisle wagon roof is original, and some pews survive from the 16th century, with Devon- style tracery on the bench-ends. There were restorations in 1848 and 1886, when slates replaced the stone-shingled roof. The church still has no electricity, and is lit by candles.
Cawsand was in Rame parish (while Kingsand was in Maker) and the moves to establish a church nearer the people eventually led to the building in the village of St. Andrew’s Church in 1878. Since the two parishes were united in 1943, St. Andrew’s has continued to serve as the church in the village.
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