Celtic GlorySpiritual

Little Cudden

Little Cudden Prayer Oratory, Cornwall

Little Cudden is a tiny headland on the south Cornish coast near Prussia Cove and the National Trust’s Cudden Point. It’s accessed by walking in from the NT carpark and then following the coastal path. We passed an old cottage perched in the middle of nowhere and it was a useful landmark to find Little Cudden.

I had heard that there was the site of an ancient chapel, most possibly a Celtic prayer oratory here, hence the adventure. The day we visited was a wild, windy day. Storm Kathleen had been blowing ferociously and the waves were whipped up and crashing loudly on the rocks below the cliff path.

We followed the coastal path, passing Cudden Point but unsure exactly where Little Cudden was. 

Path cudden point


House cudden point
Cudden point

After passing Cuddon Point (shown above), we spotted a path leading down through short scrub to a rocky outcrop and decided to follow it. Precisely as we did, three white doves flew up  in front of us and we glimpsed the remains of the chapel wall and enclosure. It was a surreal moment watching the beautiful doves fly overhead and their significance as symbols of the Trinity was evident. It was as though they were guiding us to the right place.

Prayer oratory little cudden

Some may be cynical about such signs but over many years God has spoken to us through nature, birds, animals and I’ve found if we are listening He often speaks in these unexpected ways.

Oratory little cudden

We followed the path dropping steeply down onto the promontory. It’s a jagged outcrop of rock jutting out from the path. A deep cove is on the left and a higher rock formation to the right, providing shelter from the prevailing winds. As we clambered up into the enclosure, we were shielded from the wind and a calmness pervaded. The chapel rectangular enclosure is tiny, raised on a levelled platform and nestled on the rock. There’s a lookout point beyond the far wall where you are once more out in the wild winds, looking steeply down on the crashing waves. It’s quite an alarming place, a wild ferocious, untamed position: exactly the kind of ‘edge of the world’ locations favoured by the Celtic Christians. But was it also a ‘thin place’?

A plaque embedded in the rock speaks of the glory of God.
It reads - "We have a building of God, a house, not made with hands, 
eternal in the heavens. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

I found it very easy to be aware of Him and to worship. My husband and I found ourselves belting out How Great Thou Art at the top of our lungs. It seemed appropriate in this wild spot surrounded by the elements. Before long a spontaneous hymn of praise poured out of me.

Declare the way of the Lord for he is mighty to praised

Standing on the rock that is Jesus

We declare the way of the lord

For he is worthy to be praised

Oh Lord

Saviour of the world

Oh Lord saviour of the world

And I will praise the glorious one

And I will praise the glorious one

For he alone is worthy to be praised

Declare the way of the Lord

For he is worthy to be praised

In all his majesty

Declare the way of the Lord



He is worthy to be praised

Little cudden oratory

There is deep peace in this place despite the pounding waves. I became aware of a sense that many tears of intercession had been shed here. So we bowed our heads and joined our prayers with those who had gone before us. We cried out to God for Cornwall, for His mercy, for Him to visit the land once more. It is a thin place. I was aware of angelic activity too, with an angel bowing in reverence to Jesus, just below the plaque on the rock.

Oratory little cuddenn2

It reminded me very much of the spiritual feeling of both St Levan’s oratory and the one on Cape Cornwall. All situated in wildly inhospitable places but harbouring peace and a deep presence of God. As I stood on the Rocky cliff, exposed to the buffeting wind and feeling the tremor of the rocks bombarding the cliff face, I was thankful that there truly is only One Rock on which we can safely place our feet, the Rock that is Jesus Christ. Facing the power of nature, we are truly insignificant. It’s good to visit these places to refocus on Him and away from any sense of our own importance. 

Prussia cove

location. OS : SW 5530 2772