THERE IS A tradition that Lelant and Phillack towns were all meadow land, and that the whole was covered with sand in a single night. Also that the low tract of land extended on both sides of Hayle far beyond the present bar, so that the sea has swallowed up some hundreds of acres.

The people say that the sight of the ancient church and village of Lelant was somewhere seaward of the Black Rock;-the ancient burial-ground has been long washed away, and that human teeth are still frequently found on the shore after a great undertoe, that takes the sand out to sea.

Many circumstances seem to confirm the probability of the tradition. The sand was drifting inland at such a rate before the reed-like plant called by the present inhabitants the spire was planted, that the whole of the land about the village would have been rendered worthless ere this, but for the stability given to it. The land from which the sand has been cleared, on the sea side of the church, has evidently been ploughed as the furrows are quite apparent between the ridges.

They say that there was a market held in Lelant when St Ives was scarcely a village. Lelant being the mother church would seem to prove this. One can easily understand how a large tract of land of the nature of that under Lelant sand-hills would be washed away in a comparatively short time, as the soil at the low-water level is a early clay. This is constantly being washed down by high tides, and carried away by the undercurrent, as it contains no stone to form a pebbly beach, and therefore there is nothing left to protect the shore.

Note from Nancy of Michigan:
My grandmother was from St. Ives. I had heard this also from her. Nana also added her own twist to the story, as she often did, claiming that if the light was right (or in the light of a certain moon, depending on her mood), and you had the "sight", you could still see it. Both she and her sister claimed to have seen it. They also both claimed that if you were out in a boat, in exactly the right place with the sun at exactly the right angle, you could look into the sea and see the village on shore. Nancy in Michigan