The village church of St. Winwaloe is said to be one of the oldest in Cornwall and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Curiously situated at the foot of the sand dunes, with only the rocks of Castle Mound separating it from the sea, the church’s detached bell tower is actually embedded in the side of the cliff. It was originally known as ‘the Church of the Storms’. Its precarious position has meant that it has frequently, over the centuries, had to be reinforced by depositing large quantities of granite into the gap between the church and Dollar Cove to break the force of the waves.
Nothing now remains of the original fifth century church which once occupied the site, the present detached bell tower is believed to date from the thirteenth century while the rest of the building is mainly of fifteenth century origin but was heavily restored in 1869 by Edmund Sedding after incurring heavy damage caused by storms.
In the churchyard stands an early cross which once guided pilgrims across the stream. The church contains two surviving parts of the early sixteenth Century Rood Screen, depicting the Apostles. The screen was made from wreckage of The St. Antonio (St. Anthony) of Lisbon, captained by Antonio Pacheco, the ship was wrecked at Gunwalloe on Saturday, 19th January, 1527, on the way from Lisbon to Antwerp, the wreck has now been located off Fishing Cove.