Roche is a rock near St Austell of great geological interest and it is likely that the rock was used from earliest times. Not surprisingly it has attracted much folk-lore. The rock now has a 15C chapel on top which in 1409 was dedicated to St Michael like many other outstanding rocks, i.e. St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall and Skelling Michael off south west Kerry. But we can be fairly sure it was used long before then. An iron ladder affords access. The rock is truly iconic of the solitary life, but who lived there?
The local church is dedicated to St Gomondas who may be the same as a Breton saint called Conan. There is a holy well a mile away dedicated to Gundred. Gundred bathed her leper father there but the date of this ‘saintly’ woman is the 16C.
St Michael the archangel is said to have appeared to some Cornish fisherman in 495 and ever since the tidal island and summit of 91m has been called St Michael’s Mount. Eventually a hermitage or monastery was begun there.