In the 1840s the little village of Herodsfoot became a boom town. There had been some lead mining nearby for centuries but the engine houses and new shafts appeared on either side of the valley producing tons of lead and also some silver, copper and tungsten, all needed by the new factories in the Midlands. Soon there were bunk houses for the miners, four public houses and a school but no church.
So with the encouragement of the rector of Duloe, Revd Robert Scott, it was decided to build a church on the hill above the village in a prominent position to make an impression on the miners. Herodsfoot became a parish in its own right and a vicar was appointed. The Old Vicarage (now privately owned) was built in 1864.
In the 1880s mining ceased and Herodsfoot became a rural village again but its mining past is still visible. On the hillsides can be seen the chimneys of engine houses above the shafts and the Deer Park Holiday Cabins are built on the site of the gunpowder mill where the explosives were made for the mines.
The church has changed very little since Victorian times and the chancel is still lit by seven oil lamps. An eighth lamp hangs above the Norman font (from the demolished ancient chapel of St Martin at Respryn). The pulpit, choir stalls, pews and altar rail are all original features and give the church a timeless feel. There is a wonderful feeling of peace in the mellow interior lit by the newly renovated stained glass windows.
Herodsfoot is one of only 13 Thankful Villages in the UK, so named because all villagers serving in the armed forces of both World Wars returned safely home.