The Cornish Rebellion of 1497 started in St Keverne. The leader of the rebellion Michael An Gof (the "smith" in Cornish) was a blacksmith from St Keverne and is commemorated by a statue in the village. Before his execution, An Gof said that he should have "a name perpetual and a fame permanent and immortal". In 1997 a 500th anniversary march celebrating the An Gof uprising, (Keskerdh Kernow 500) was held, which retraced the route of the original march from St Keverne, via Guildford to London.
St Keverne was in the Middle Ages the site of an important monastery. The church is dedicated to St Akeveranus though for a considerable period this was corrupted to Kieran. The church is very large for a village church and in its present form is 15th century: however parts of the stonework appear to have been reused from a previous church building. The tower is topped by a spire (unusual in Cornwall) and features of interest include the bench ends and a mural painting.
A 32-pounder carronade that divers recovered in 1978 from the wreck of HMS Primose stands by the lych-gate to the churchyard. (Primrose was wrecked on The Manacles off The Lizard on 21 January 1809 with the loss of 125 lives and only one survivor, a drummer boy.)