St Piran's Oratory to be excavated

In 1910, the remains of St Piran's Oratory near Perranporth, Cornwall were encased in a concrete bunker to preserve them from the coast's harsh weather, but now archaeologists have received permission to excavate the sixth century chapel, believed to be Britain's oldest place of Christian worship. (photos)

Saint Piran was a Cornish abbot, originally from Ireland, who is the patron saint of tin-miners. In the sixth century he, along with a small community of Christians, built the Abbey of Lanpiran and re-established the science of tin-smelting. Excavations of the chapel are set to begin in 2014.