Originally intended as a mausoleum to it's eccentric creator, John Knill, the structure remains empty as Knill was actually buried in Holborn, London.
John Knill led a fairly exceptional life. His positions and occupations include Mayor of St Ives, private secretary to the Earl of Buckingham, Bencher of Gray's Inn, Collector of Customs and was also reputedly a very succesful smuggler. One theory as to the existence of the Knill is it was a useful shipping point of reference for Knill's contraband operations.
The steeple is located on Worras Hill behind Carbis bay and can be seen from many miles around. On it's faces are various inscriptions and the Knill family coat of arms. One of the inscriptions reads 'Nil Desperandum', reflecting the sense of humour of a man also responsible for leaving the sum of £5 to the parents of the greatest number of childeren raised to the age of ten without the assistance of the parish!