Mawnan church is situated about a mile from the present village of Mawnan Smith, in a superb position overlooking the estuary of the Helford River. It is dedicated to St Mawnan and St Stephen: the former was believed to be a Celtic saint who came, like many Celtic saints, from Ireland in the 6th century; the latter was added in the 15th century by the bishop of Exeter as part of his attempt to displace the Celtic saints.
Little is left of the 13th century church and the present building largely dates from the 15th and 16th centuries. It underwent extensive repairs in the 19th century and in recent years it has been further repaired and a fine musicians gallery added at the west end.
There is an interesting 17th century poor box and section of the 15th century rood screen with painted figures of saints. The church also has a particularly fine set of kneelers, worked by a group of parishioners in the 1960’s.