Page:The parochial history of Cornwall.djvu/64

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22
ALTAR NUN.

and was taxed in Domesday Roll either under the name Trewint, Treuint, the spring, fountain, or well town, situate upon the fens or springs, otherwise under the jurisdiction of Trewen. In the inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester aforesaid, 1294, this church was rated to the Pope's first-fruits, Ecclesia de Altar Nun, in Decanatu de Lesnewith viiil. the vicar xls. In Wolsey's inquisition 1521, temp. Hen. VIII. 18l. 14s. lOd; the patronage in the Dean and Chapter of Exon, who endowed it; the incumbent Hatton. This parish was rated to the 4s. per pound Land-tax 1696, 204l. l6s.

For the modern name of this church, Mr. Carew, in his Survey of Cornwall, is of opinion it is derived from the Altar of St. Nun's Pool in this parish, heretofore much frequented for the cure of mad people, the manner of which cure is set down by him, liber ii. p. 123, (p. 289 of Lord Dunstanville's edition,) but, for my own part, I conceive the word Altar in this place is not to be construed as a derivative from altare, an altar, whereon offerings or sacrifice was made to God by fire or otherwise at this pool; but rather, as I am better informed, the chancel of the present church was a chapel pertaining to the nuns or nunnery once here, afterwards augmented and converted to a vicarage church as it now stands; and that the ground whereon the vicarage house is now extant. Contiguous therewith was of old the nunnery-house itself, wherein those virgins resided; the stones and materials of which old house are concerted in the new vicarage brave mansion, and, to prove this tradition, there yet appears in the fields the channel or water-course wherein the waters of St. Nun's Pool was carried into this old nunnery-house in former ages.

So that I conclude the name Altar Nun must be interpreted as a corruption of or derivative from Alter-Nun, to alter or change from one thing to another, from that of a nunnery of religious votaresses, to that