Just five miles north west of St Austell, St Dennis is one of the many villages in mid-Cornwall set amidst the 'Cornish Alps', the conical spoil tips from the china clay industry and it is said that this industry still employs 25% of the men of this village. In the Doomsday book St Dennis is recorded as Lan-Dines, 'the church on the hill' in Cornish, and atop a hill is, indeed, where the parish church is located, overlooking the rest of the village. An Iron Age hill fort once stood on the same spot. However, there are also connections made to St Dennis the Martyr, and the church was originally dedicated to him. One of the bells of the church dates back to 1167, however of the 19th century building only the tower remains as much was destroyed in a fire in the 1990s. Rebuilding has successfully taken place.
As with many of the mining villages of Cornwall, there has long been a strong Methodist following here and two of the original three chapels here are still functioning. Also often associated with mining villages all over the country are brass bands, and St Dennis is no exception. In its heyday the local band here competed against the best in the country, performing once at the Albert Hall, and has been crowned champion at the Cornish contest held in nearby Bugle nearly thirty times.
The whole of St Dennis is quite high above sea level and on a clear day one can see from the churchyard right across the barren moorland of Goss Moor to the sea on the north coast near Newquay. There are two pubs in St Dennis, the Commercial Inn and the Boscowen Hotel.
Nearby is the granite tor of Roche Rock, with the chapel of St Michael stood on top.