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Knill's "steeple" or monument is located at the summit of Worvas Hill, just outside St. Ives and was intended as a mausoleum for John Knill - Collector of Customs at St. Ives from 1762-82, and Mayor in 1767. Though not a native (he was born in Callington), he developed a great affection for the people of St. Ives. In his will he expressed a desire to be remembered a little longer than usual. Accordingly, in 1782 he built his celebrated steeple; and in 1797 drew up a trust deed containing the necessary provisions for the quinquennial ceremony which is still carried out to the present day - the next one due this year (2016) in fact).
The monument itself is a triangular pyramid set on a square base. It bears Knill's coat of arms, with the motto 'Resurgam', and the text 'I know that my Redeemer liveth'. The pyramid is hollow; and on the south side is a low arch which is occasionally opened up to give a view of the interior. The cavity contains a stone sarcophagus in which Knill intended to be interred, but difficulties regarding consecrations made this impossible, and following his death in 1811 at his chambers in Gray's Inn Square, he was buried in London.
This aerial view shows St. Ives Bay in the background, with Godrevy Lighthouse to the extreme right. On the left in the far distance is the town of St. Ives itself with the iconic "Island" surmounted by its chapel.
Worvas Hill is now covered in lush vegetation, but in the 19th. century it was intensively mined for tin and copper and would have looked very different from its pastoral setting today!
Uploaded by malcolm osman on 13 October 2018