Tuesday, 14 December 2010




Centuries after these descriptive primitive names were given, Moeshayle* became the market-town of the west, when few, if any other, buildings were in what is now Penzance, except the small chapel or oratory on the rocks, which acquired for the projecting cairn the name of Penzance (holy headland)
William Bottrell, 1870
* Mousehole
See below the response from Cornwall Council, when asked what they have done with the remains of our ancient chapel, the first building in Penzance - the building that put the 'Zance' into the 'Pen'.
Reference Number: IAR-003878
Response provided under: Freedom of Information Act 2000
Request and Response:
I would like to know the following:
1) Who gave the order to remove three extremely large pieces of stone from the dark-ages site of St.Anthony's Chapel, Barbican Lane, Penzance, August '09?
2) On what date was the order given?
3) To whom was the order given?
4) Where are these three extremely large pieces of masonry now?
5) What plans exist for the future of St.Anthony's Chapel site?
6) To date, are there any plans to consult the public about their wishes concerning the most ancient religious site in Penzance?
1 No idea – not sure that the alleged stones ever existed
2 No details exist
3 No details
4 No idea - See answer 1
5 No change to existing site is planned to date
6 See 5 no plans to change anything as far as I am aware
Information provided by: Environment Service - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

To: Gemma Stephenson,
'Freedom of Information' Dept., Cornwall Council, 14.12.2010
Dear Gemma,
Your Ref: IAR-003878,
My Ref: St.Anthony's Celtic Chapel Site:

Since the reply I recieved on 13th December 2010 was totally evasive and unsatisfactory, I am now forced to ask the following:

1) who composed the reply from the Environment Service? Who issued the reply to me? In future I request that all letters be signed - is this not normal procedure?

2) Has the council any juristiction or authority over the piece of ground, currently being used as a car-park, between the old Vospers building and Barbican Lane, including the site of St.Anthony's Chapel?

3) Has the council ever taken any action whatsoever, on or concerning the above territory? If so, please specify ALL actions taken by the council regarding this territory.

4) Is the author of the previous reply to me, representing the Council, prepared to state categorically that he (Mr Marks?) or she, having asked all or any persons who are now, or have been in the past, concerned with this matter, and having consulted all relevant files; that the council has definitely not removed any stones from this site? (Bearing in mind that I have a letter from Mr Alec Robertson refering to stones being removed from the site which has been published on the internet)

5) Re: your answer No.2) "No details exist": Are you - or any of your colleagues - claiming that the details have been (a) destroyed? (b) supressed?

6) Also RE; Your answer No.2: Are you claiming that no such order was ever issued?

7) Re: Your answer No.3) (a) Are you claiming that the order was never recieved? (b) Or that the details of that order have been destroyed? (c) Or is it a simple refusal to provide the information?

8) (a) Regarding the current whereabouts of the stones: Is the council denying that the three very large stones were removed by official action?
(b) Is the council asserting that it cannot possibly discover the whereabouts - past and present- of these three stones, weighing many tons??
(c) has the council destroyed these stones? (d) has the council sold these stones?
(e) have these vast stones been stolen by somebody?

Since you point out the considerable expense of FOI requests, and since it is the legal right of the public to have them fullfilled, I suggest that rather than evading the matter, the council actually ANSWERS the questions asked.
Sincerely, Jeremy Schanche
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Saint Anthony's Chapel Site, Penzance, Cornwall.
View Contact

Dear Complaints Officer 14.12.2010
Re: IAR - 003878

I wish to complain about the above reply to my request for information on the whereabouts of three stones, weighing several tons, that were removed from the site of St.Anthony's Chapel, Barbican Lane Penzance, in August 2009. By reading the relevant documentation you can plainly see that my enquiry has been evaded and no satisfactory information given to me whatsoever. I would be very grateful if you would facilitate the genuine flow of information on this matter of considerable cultural, religious and historical importance.
Thank you very much.
Sincerely, Jeremy Schanche

Please follow link to read The History of St.Anthony's Chapel, Penzance:


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