Parishes: St Gennys - Gwithian

Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1814.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. Public Domain.


Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons, 'Parishes: St Gennys - Gwithian', Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall, (London, 1814), pp. 112-130. British History Online [accessed 18 June 2024].

Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons. "Parishes: St Gennys - Gwithian", in Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall, (London, 1814) 112-130. British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024,

Lysons, Daniel. Lysons, Samuel. "Parishes: St Gennys - Gwithian", Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall, (London, 1814). 112-130. British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024,

In this section

St. Gennys

ST. GENNYS, in the hundred of Lesnewth and in the deanery of Trigg-Major, lies about eight miles and a half north of Camelford, which is the post-office town, and about the same distance south-west of Stratton. The principal villages in this parish are Crackington or Cracketton, Penkuke, and Roskear.

The manor of St. Gennys belonged to the family of Treise, and was the property of the late Sir John Morshead, Bart., who married the sister and coheiress of the last heir-male of that family.

The manor of Crackhampton, commonly called Crackington or Cracketton, was part of the great possessions of the Botterell or Bottreaux family, from whom it passed by heirs-female to the families of Hungerford and Hastings. It is now the property of Lord Rolle, in whose family it has been for several generations.

The manor of Treworgye, which had belonged to the prior and convent of Launceston was annexed by King Henry VIII., in 1540, to the duchy of Cornwall, being one of those given in lieu of the honour of Wallingford. The barton was for many years on lease to the family of Mill; afterwards to the Braddons. Capt. William Braddon of this place, who had been a distinguished officer on the parliamentary side during the civil war, died in the year 1694, and lies buried within the rails of the communion-table at St. Gennys, where is an epitaph to his memory, with some English verses beginning—

"In war and peace I bore command,
Both gown and sword I wore."

This has occasioned a tradition which appears to be groundless, that he was vicar of St. Gennys. It is certain that he was a member of the parliament in 1658; and it is probable that in Cromwell's time, as magistrate he celebrated marriages, which gave rise, perhaps, to the tradition. Treworgye is now a farmhouse, the leasehold property of Mr. Henry Spry, of Boyton.

Treveeg, in this parish, formerly a seat of the Yeos, is now a farm-house. Lord Eliot is patron of the vicarage, and impropriator of the great tithes, which belonged formerly to the priory of Launceston.

St. Germans

ST. GERMANS, in the hundred and deanery of East, a decayed market and borough town, lies about eight miles from Plymouth dock, about 23 from Launceston, and 230 from London. It takes its name from St. German, Bishop of Auxerre, who is said to have resided at this place for a time, during his visit to England. Mr. Whitaker supposes a bishop's see to have been established at this place as early as the year 614. That St. Germans was the episcopal see so long as an episcopal see existed in the county of Cornwall, he has proved in the most satisfactory manner; but of its existence at that early period, his learned volumes on the subject of the cathedral of Cornwall afford no proof; nor have we any intimation from history of any Bishop of St. Germans before the year 910, when Athelstan was appointed to that see. King Athelstan made Conan Bishop of St. Germans in 936. After the death of Bishop Burwold, Livingus Bishop of Crediton procured this bishopric to be annexed to his own, and his successor Leofric made interest to have them both united to that of Exeter. Bishop Leofric changed the seculars of a college, founded by King Athelstan at St. Germans, into canons of the order of St. Augustine, between whom and the Bishop the manor of St. Germans was divided. Leland says, that Bartholomew (Iscanus), Bishop of Exeter, who died in 1172, changed the monks of St. Germans into canons regular, on account of the laxity of their lives (fn. n1). At its suppression in 1535, it was valued at 227l. 4s. 8d., clear yearly income. King Henry VIII. leased the site of the priory and other lands to John Champernown and others, and soon afterwards granted the see to Katherine (widow of the said John), John Ridgway, and Walter Smith. Carew's story relating to the grant of St. Germans priory is as follows: "John Champernowne, sonne and heire apparant to Sir Philip of Devon, in Henry the Eighth's time, followed the court, and through his pleasant conceits, of which much might be spoken, wan some good grace with the King. Now when the golden showre of the dissolved abbey lands rayned wellnere into every gaper's mouth, some two or three gentlemen (the King's servants), and Master Champernowne's acquaintance, waited at a doore where the King was to passe forth, with purpose to beg such a matter at his hands: our gentleman became inquisitive to know their suit; they made strange to impart it. This while, out comes the King: they kneel down, so doth Master Champernowne. They preferre their petition; the King graunts it: they render humble thanks, and so doth M. Champernowne. Afterwards, he requireth his share; they deny it; he appeals to the King: the King avoweth his equal meaning in the largesse; whereon, the overtaken companions were fayne to allot him this priory for his partage." Norden has strangely mistaken this story, and says, that King Henry VIII. bestowed the priory of St. Germans upon an ancestor of the Eliots, "being full of pleasant conceytes, wherewith the Kinge was delited." It is certain that the Champernowns became sole possessors of the priory estate, and that in 1565 they conveyed it to Richard Eliot, Esq. of Coteland, in Devonshire, in exchange for that manor. Sir John Eliot, son of Richard, was a distinguished patriot in the reign of James I., an active opposer of the Duke of Buckingham and the court measures, particularly that of raising taxes without the consent of Parliament: for some bold speeches on this subject he was committed to the tower, where he died, in the year 1632. Daniel Eliot, his grandson, left an only daughter, married to Browne Willis, the celebrated antiquary, by whom we are informed that his father-in-law, in order to keep up the family name, bequeathed his estates to Edward Eliot, grandson of Nicholas, fourth son of Sir John abovementioned. The grandson of this Edward Eliot was, in 1784, created Baron Eliot, of St. Germans, and in 1789 had His Majesty's permission to take and use the name and arms of Craggs, in consequence of his father's marriage with a natural daughter of Secretary Craggs, in 1726. His grandson and successor, Edward Eliot Craggs, now Lord Eliot, is the present possessor of the priory estate and manor of St. Germans, as well as lessee of the Bishop's manor. Port Eliot, His Lordship's residence, was formerly called Porth-Prior: it occupies the site of the priory, but retains no traces of the conventual buildings. The old paintings mentioned by Mr. Whitaker as having belonged to the priory are now in the gallery; among other portraits at Port Eliot, are those of Sir John Eliot the patriot, Locke, Hampden, Secretary Craggs, Major-Gen. Richards, the brave defender of Alicant, and several family pictures by Sir Joshua Reynolds; among which is one of his earliest groupes, painted in the year 1746.

The town of St. Germans had a market when the survey of Domesday was taken; it was then held on Sunday, but had been reduced to almost nothing in consequence of the Earl of Moreton's market (most probably Saltash), then lately established in the neighbourhood. The market was afterwards changed to Friday; in Browne Willis's time, it was very inconsiderable, and has been long wholly discontinued. There are two cattle fairs, May 28, and August 1.

Leland calls St. Germans "a poor fischar town," and adds, that "the glory of it stood by the priory." Carew, speaking of this town, says, "the church-towne mustereth many inhabitants and sundry ruines, but little wealth, occasioned eyther through abandoning their fishing trade, as some conceive, or by their being abandoned of the religious people, as the greater sort imagine." The town of St. Germans is governed by a portreeve, who is elected annually at the lord's court-leet, and forty censors. It has sent two members to parliament ever since the year 1562; the right of election is vested in all householders who have resided twelve months within the limits of the borough: there are only nineteen houses within the limits.

Besides the borough and vill of St. Germans, the parish contains the hamlets of Bake, Catchfrench, Coldrinnick, Cuddenbeck, Cutcrew, Hendra, Molineck, Polemartin, Treskelly, and part of Tidiford. There is no village of any size except Hessingford, which contains about twenty houses.

The manor of Cuddenbeck has been long held on lease under the Bishops of Exeter by the Eliot family. The mansion, which was a country-seat of the Bishop's, was some time a jointure-house of that family; and in 1793, was occupied by the widow of Daniel Eliot, Esq.: it is now a farm-house, retaining some vestiges of its ancient consequence. The manors of Heskin, Little-Deviock and Molineck, and the barton of Hendra, belong to Lord Eliot. Heskin has been in the family more than two centuries. Little-Deviock had been successively in the Mohuns, Courtenays, Carews, and Rashleighs, and was purchased of the latter about the year 1767: Molineck, which had been the ancient property and seat (fn. n2) of the Scawens, was purchased about 1780. Hendra, now a farm-house, some time a seat of the Austens, and afterwards of the Hancocks, was purchased of the representatives of the latter (the Kellys of Kelly in Devonshire), by the late Lord Eliot.

The manor of Bake was anciently in a family of that name, from whom it passed, by a female heir, in the reign of Edward III., to the Moyles, who have resided at this place for many generations. Thomas Moyle, of Bake, was Speaker of the House of Commons in the reign of Henry VIII. Walter Moyle, who was chosen member for Saltash in the 7th year of King William, distinguished himself in the house by his speech, in support of the bill for the encouragement of seamen. He soon afterwards relinquished his seat in parliament, and spent his time chiefly in studious retirement, at Bake, where he died in 1721, at the age of 49. After his death, his works, consisting of political pamphlets, critical dissertations, letters, &c. were published in two octavo volumes, to which was prefixed his portrait from the original at Bake: this manor is now the property, and Bake the occasional residence, of Sir Joseph Copley, Bart., whose grandfather, Joseph Moyle, Esq., took the name of Copley on succeeding to a large estate at Sprotborough, in Yorkshire. He was created a baronet in 1778, being described of Sprotborough. Sir Joseph Copley has another manor in this parish called Trewall.

The manor of Bonialva, formerly parcel of the possessions of the prior and convent of Launceston, was one of those annexed to the duchy of Cornwall, in lieu of the honor of Wallingford, in 1540: it is now the property of Francis Glanville, Esq.

The manor of Maders belonged to the Vyvyan family, of whom it was purchased, in 1761, by the late Rev. Joshua Howell: his son, David Howell, Esq., gave it in exchange for other lands to the Trelawnys of Coldrinnick. Coldrinnick was for many generations the seat of a younger branch of the Trelawnys, which became extinct by the death of Charles Trelawny, Esq., in 1764. Having passed by devise successively to the families of Darell, Crabbe, and Stephens (fn. n3), who took the name of Trelawny, it is now the property of Charles Trelawny, a minor, son of the late Edward Trelawny, Esq. (some time Stephens.) Coldrinnick pays great tithes to the parish of Menheniot. Tregonick, formerly a seat of the Smiths, is now a farm-house, the property of Sir Joseph Copley, Bart. South-Paderda, the seat of the ancient family of Paderda, was purchased in 1763, by the Rev. J. Howell, of Mr. Peter Charlick, and exchanged with the Trelawnys for other lands. Catchfrench, now the seat of Francis Glanville, Esq., was for several generations in the family of Kekewich, who acquired it by marriage with the heiress of Talverne of Talverne, in Northill: it was afterwards in the Boscawens, from whom it passed, by a female heir, to the Fortescues: in 1728, it was purchased of Hugh Fortescue, Lord Clinton, by Julius Glanville, Esq., ancestor of the present owner.

The parish-church, formerly the conventual church, has been spoken of already under the head of Ancient Architecture; and it has been stated, that the south aisle was rebuilt in the year 1261, as appears by the Exeter registers. "A great part of the chauncell," says Carew, "fell suddenly downe upon a Friday, very shortly after the publick service was ended, which heavenly favour, of so little respite, saved many persons lives, with whom immediately before, it had been stuffed; and the devout charges of the well-disposed parishioners quickly repayred this ruine." In this church are some monuments of the Eliot family, particularly a very handsome one by Ryssbrack, in memory of William Eliot, Esq., who died in 1723. This gentleman founded a parochial library, and endowed it with an annual income, for the purchase of books. There is a monument, also, for John Glanville, Esq., of Catchfrench, great-grandson of the Judge.

The great tithes of this parish, formerly appropriated to the priory, are held by Francis Glanville, Esq., under the church of Windsor. Mention is made in the registers of the see of Exeter, of a chapel of St. Wynnel in this parish. (fn. n4)

In the year 1657, Nicholas Hony, Esq. founded a school at St. Germans, and endowed it with land, now let at 10l. 10s. per annum.

St. Germoe

ST. GERMOE, in the deanery and in the east division of the hundred of Kirrier, lies about five miles west of Helston, which is the post-office town, and about eight miles east of Penzance. The principal villages in this parish are Tresowes, and Buscreege or Boscreeg. The chapel of St. Germoe, or Germoch, who is said to have been an Irish king, was given by William, Earl of Gloucester, to the priory of St. James in Bristol. St. Germoe is considered as a separate parish, but the church is subordinate to that of Breage, and included in the same presentation. The impropriation of the great tithes is vested in the representatives of the late Mr. James Richards. The ancient building in the church-yard, called St. Germoe's chair, has been already spoken of. The Godolphin tin-mines are in this parish.


GERRANS, in the deanery and west division of the hundred of Powder, lies east-north-east from Falmouth, about five miles by water, but by land, through Tregony and Truro, twenty-six; from St. Mawes, in the same direction, about a mile and a half by water, and four miles by land. Tregony, which is the post-office town, is eight miles distant. The principal villages in this parish are Polskatho and Trewithian.

The manor of Tregeare has belonged from time immemorial to the see of Exeter: it was held on lease for many years by the family of Noseworthy, the last of whom, dying suddenly at Dunkirk in 1701, Bishop Trelawny leased it to his own family. The present lessee is James West, Esq. The barton, which had been in ancient times a country-seat of the Bishops of Exeter, was some time on lease to the Trevanions of Trelegan, a younger branch of the Caerhayes' family, who sold the lease to the Hoblyns of Bradridge. In 1712 it was purchased of the latter by Samuel Kempe, Esq., of Carclew, and is now vested in John Kempe, Esq.; it is occupied as a farm-house.

The manors of Pettigrew and Nanquitty are the property of Francis Enys, Esq., in whose family they have been for a considerable time. The manor of Trelugan or Trelegan, which had been forfeited by the Marquis of Exeter, was, in the year 1540, annexed to the duchy of Cornwall, with other manors, in lieu of the honor of Wallingford. The barton was for a considerable time the seat of a branch of the Trevanions, the last of whom, Hugh Trevanion, died Governor of the Poor Knights at Windsor, in 1730. His father had sold this barton to Stephen Johns, Gent. The estate is now in severalties, belonging to Richard Johns, Esq., of Trewince in this parish (formerly a seat of the Courtenays), Mathew Garland Cregoe, Esq., of Trewithian, and others. Trewithian has been many years in the family of Cregoe.

Rosteage was, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the seat of Reginald Mohun (younger brother of Sir William Mohun), a captain under Sir Walter Ralegh, who, in 1619, sold it to Nicholas Kempe. The present proprietor, Henry Harris, Esq., purchased it of the Kempes, in 1780. Tregassa-Vean, within the manor of Tregeare, some time a seat of the family of Hobbs, is now occupied as a farm-house.

The Bishop of Exeter is patron of the rectory. The rector has all the tithes of the barton of Tregeare, and the estates of Tregarvon and Vradon-hay. A moiety of the tithes of the rest of the parish is vested in Richard Johns, Esq. The church is called in the old Valors, Ecclesia de St. Gerendo.

On an estate called Cargurrell, in this parish, is the ancient fortification called Dingerein, about a mile and a quarter from the church-town, which Mr. Whitaker supposes to have been the residence of King Gerennius. (fn. n5)

St. Gluvias

ST. GLUVIAS, in the deanery and east division of the hundred of Kirrier, lies about a quarter of a mile north of Penryn, which borough is situated within this parish. The principal villages in the parish are, Burnthouse, Ponsnooth and Treluswell.

The manor of Cosawis, Casawse or Gosose, belonged to the Bodrugans, and after the attainder of Sir Henry Bodrugan, was given by King Henry VII. to Sir Richard Edgcumbe, whose descendant (Lord Mount-Edgcumbe) has lately sold it to Sir William Lemon, Bart. The barton of Casawse was formerly a seat of the Carveths, as lessees under the Edgcumbe family, and the birth-place of Capt. Carveth, a distinguished naval officer in the reign of Charles II. On the death of the last heir-male of this family, it passed to the Levertons. Casawse is now a farm-house.

Roscrow is said by Hals to have been, at an early period, the seat of a family to whom it gave name, and who became extinct in the reign of Henry VI.; but his account is incorrect, when he states that it passed by female heirs to the family of Pendarves. Thomas Killigrew, Esq. died seised of the manor of Roscrow, held under the Bishop of Exeter, in 1484. (fn. n6) Tonkin says that Thomas Hary, who settled at this place in the reign of Henry VIII., took the name of Roscrow, and that his grandson sold this barton to Samuel Pendarves, Esq. It was the seat of this family-till the death of Alexander Pendarves, Esq., M. P. for Launceston, the last heir-male of that branch, in 1725; when it passed to his niece Mary, the relict of Francis Basset, Esq., and is now the property of his grandson Lord de Dunstanville. Treluswell, which was a seat also of the Roscrows, has passed with Roscrow, except a fourth part which one of the coheiresses of Sir Benedict brought to the family of Daungers, and is now the property of Sir William Lemon, Bart.

Enys, now the seat of Francis Enys, Esq., has been in his family ever since the reign of Edward I., if not from an earlier period. In the Cornish play of the "Creation of the Universe," (in the Bodleian library,) Enys, and some neighbouring lands, are given as a reward to the builders of the universe. The Magna Britannia of 1720 speaks of Enys as celebrated for its fine gardens. There is a view of the house in Borlase's Natural History. Gwarder, formerly a seat of the Hallamores, was sold by Henry Hallamore to John Worth, Esq., before 1736. It is now a farm-house, the property of Francis Enys, Esq.

An estate called Bohelland, in this parish, is said to have been the scene of the unnatural murder which forms the subject of Lillo's tragedy of "Fatal Curiosity." The site of the house is still pointed out; but the name of the family is not known. The particulars of this horrid event are detailed in a pamphlet (fn. n7) published in the year 1618, when it is said to have happened; and are also given by Saunderson, in his Annals of King James I. (fn. n8) : that author observes, that "the imprinted relation conceals the names, in favour to some neighbours of repute and kin to the family," and that "the same sense made him therein silent also."

At a place called the Burnt-town, was a seat of the Beauchamps, as lessees under the Edgcumbe family. It is now the property of Mrs. Nagle and Lady Miller, daughters of the late John Beauchamp, Esq., of Pengreep.

In the parish-church is the tomb of Thomas Killigrew, who died in the year 1484, with figures on brass-plates of himself and his two wives Joanna and Elizabeth. There are monuments also of the families of Pendarves of Roscrowe, Enys of Enys, and the Rev. John Penrose, vicar of Gluvias, who died in 1776.

Lord de Dunstanville is impropriator of the great tithes which belonged formerly to the college of Glaseney. The Bishop of Exeter is patron of the vicarage. Norden speaks of St. Gluvias as a chapel to Budock, and says that it was in ancient times called the chapel of Bohelland, because it was built in Bohelland fields. There was formerly a chapel dedicated to St. Magdalen, near Casawse, supposed to have been a chantry chapel connected with Glaseney college. The ruins of it remained in 1736. (fn. n9)

The borough of Penryn, an ancient town which lies within the parish of Gluvias (fn. n10), was incorporated by King James I. The corporation consists of a mayor, recorder, portreeve, eleven magistrates, and twelve assistants. King James's charter gave this town the privilege also of sending two members to parliament. The right of election is in the freemen at large, the number of whom at the last election (in 1812) was nearly three hundred. The boundaries of the borough extend about half a mile north of the town. There is a silver cup and cover belonging to the corporation, given by Jane Lady Killigrew, with this inscription: "From maior to maior to the towne of Permarin when they received me that was in great misery, J. K. (Jane Killigrew) 1633." Hals says, that this lady had gone on board two Dutch ships with a party of ruffians, and having slain two Spanish merchants, their owners, robbed them of two barrels of Spanish pieces of eight. The lady, he adds, was by means of great interest pardoned; but her accomplices all executed. Hals's stories are not much to be depended on; it is more certain that she was divorced from her husband, and that in consequence she was protected by the inhabitants of Penryn, who bore no good will to Sir John Killigrew, and his rising town of Smithick. (fn. n11) Jane Lady Killigrew was daughter of Sir George Fermor, Knt., of Easton-Neston, ancestor of the Earl of Pomfret: she died in 1648.

A market at Penryn on Mondays, and a fair at the festival of St. Thomas the Martyr, were granted to the Bishop of Exeter in 1258 (fn. n12), and a fair at the festival of St. Vitalis in 1312. (fn. n13) The charter of King James I. grants two markets to be held on Wednesday and Saturday, and three fairs, May 1, July 7, and December 21. The fairs are still kept up, and there is now a fourth on the 8th of October: they are all considerable cattle-fairs. There is now only one market, on Saturday, well supplied with butchers'-meat, fish, poultry and vegetables. Poldavies are made at Penryn, and a great quantity of moor-stone sent from thence by water to London.

Penryn was a garrison of the King's during the civil war: it was surrendered to Sir Thomas Fairfax, in the month of March 1646. (fn. n14)

The manor of Penryn-Foreign and Penryn-Borough have belonged, from time immemorial, to the Bishops of Exeter, who had formerly a country-house at or near Penryn.

The college of Glaseney, in Penryn, of which there are now no remains, was founded in the thirteenth century for secular canons and vicars. The foundation is generally attributed to Walter Stapledon, Bishop of Exeter, who died in 1326; but Leland says, "Walter Good or Brunscombe (fn. n15) made it yn a more called Glasenith, in the bottom of a park of his for a provost, twelve prebendaries, and other ministers." Bishop Grandison, who died in 1369, was so great a benefactor to this college, that he shares the honour of the foundation. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Thomas the Martyr. The tithes of St. Allen, St. Budock (including Gluvias), and St. Feock, were appropriated to this college, the revenues of which, at its suppression in 1535, were estimated at 205l. 10s. 6d. clear yearly value. It appears by the will of Thomas Killigrew, bearing date 1500, that the church of St. Thomas the Martyr, at Glasenith, was then re-building, for he bequeaths the sum of 100 marks to the new fabric. Leland describes Glasenith college as "strongly wallid and castellid, having three strong towers and gunnes at the but of the creek." In another place he speaks of it, as "a college well wallid and dyked defensably (fn. n16), cawled St. Thomas, wher be secular canons and a provost." The last tower of Glaseney college was pulled down about the beginning of the last century, and a dwelling-house built on the site, which belongs to Lord de Dunstanville, by inheritance from the Pendarves family. Most of the lands belonging to Glaseney college came into the possession of the Godolphin family, and are now the property of the Duke of Leeds. Queen Elizabeth founded a grammar-school at Penryn, and endowed it with 61. 13s. 4d. per annum, issuing out of the duchy of Cornwall.

There was formerly a chapel in Penryn, as appears by the following passage of Leland: "a chapel in the town, and a quarter of a mile out of it the paroch chirch." There are meeting-houses at Penryn, for the Independent and Wesleyan methodists.

St. Gorran

ST. GORRAN, in the deanery and in the east division of the hundred of Powder, lies about two miles from Mevagissey, which is the post-office town; about five from Tregony, and about six from St. Austell. The principal villages in this parish, exclusively of the church-town, are Port-East or Gorran haven (fn. n17), where great quantities of pilchards are taken and cured, and a few coals imported; Boswringan; Penare or Pennair; Rescassa; Tregavaras; and Trevarick. There is a small fishingcove called Porthmellin. The manor of Trevascus and Gorran, which belonged to the ancient family of Trevascus, and passed with its heiress, about the year 1600, to the Hoblyns, was purchased of their descendant, the Rev. Robert Hoblyn, by William Slade Gully, Esq., the present proprietor. The barton-house of Trevascus, which had been successively the residence of the families of Trevascus and Hoblyn, has been taken down. Mr.Slade Gully resides at the barton of Trevenen, which had been the seat of his ancestors, the Slades (fn. n18), at least as early as the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The manor of Trevenen, partly in this parish and partly in St.Ewe, belonged to the priory of Tywardreth, and was one of those annexed to the duchy of Cornwall by King Henry VIII. in 1540, in lieu of the honour of Wallingford. The manor of Treveage, which belonged also to the Hoblyns, and passed by a female heir to the Bickfords, was purchased of the latter by William Slade Gully, Esq., who is the present proprietor. There are two farm-houses on the barton estate.

The manor of Treveor was formerly the property and seat of a family of that name. Tonkin speaks of a part of the mansion of Sir Henry Treveor as remaining in 1736. The manor afterwards belonged to the Scawens: it is now the property of Thomas Graham, Esq. The manor of Goloures belonged to the equestrian family of Hiwis or Hewish, from whom it passed by a female heir to the Coleshills (fn. n19). It was afterwards in the Bevills of Gwarnick, one of whose coheiresses brought it to the Grenvilles. In the reign of Henry VIII. it passed by purchase to Richard Roscarrock, Esq. In the reign of James I. it was in the Tanners (fn. n20); and is now, by descent from the Luttrells, the property of the Rev. Dr. Luttrell Wynne. Above Goloures wood is a round entrenchment, called Castle-hill, the site, probably, of a castle, which had been the residence of the Hiwis family. The manor of Treninick, which belonged anciently to the Hiwis family, was afterwards in the Gaverigans, whose coheiresses married into the families of Trefusis and Godolphin. This estate is now the joint property of Lord Clinton, as representative of the Trefusis family; and Sir John St. Aubyn, as heir of one branch of the Godolphins.

The manor of Bodrugan or Bodrigan belonged to an ancient family of that name, who held it under the Champernowns (fn. n21). This family became extinct in the male line of its elder branch, about the year 1330. In the reign of Richard III. this place was the property and seat of Sir Henry Bodrugan, an opulent knight, whose name is said to have been originally Trenowth. It does not appear how he was connected, or whether he was at all connected, with the ancient Bodrugan family; it is very probable that he took the name, as was not unusual, upon settling at this barton. Hals speaks of this change of name, but Tonkin doubts it. Leland, who lived so near his time, does not mention the circumstance; but Norden, writing in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, calls him Sir Henry Trenowth. It is certain, however, that he bore the name of Bodrugan; and, having been attainted on the accession of King Henry VII., fled into Ireland, and his large estates, including this manor and barton, were seized by the crown. Tradition relates, that Sir Henry Bodrugan was in arms in Cornwall, against the Earl of Richmond; that he was defeated on a moor not far from his own castle, by Sir Richard Edgcumbe and Trevanion; and that he made his escape by a desperate leap from the cliff into the sea, where a boat was ready to receive him (fn. n22). Most of Bodrugan's estates, including this manor, were granted to Sir Richard Edgcumbe, and now belong to his descendant the Earl of MountEdgcumbe. Borlase (fn. n23) describes the remains of Bodrugan castle as very extensive, and says, that there was nothing in Cornwall equal to it for magnificence. He describes a chapel converted into a barn, the large hall, and an ancient kitchen with a timber roof; and supposes the architecture to have been about the time of Edward I. All these buildings were pulled down about the year 1786. A great barn, spoken of also by Dr. Borlase, and described as capable of containing one thousand bushels of wheat in the straw, still remains.

The manor of Tregennow, partly in this parish and partly in St. Mewan, was long in the Arundell family, and has been recently purchased of Lord Arundell, by Edward Coode, Esq. Part of the manor of Lansladron extends into this parish. (fn. n24)

The barton of Tregardin, Tregarthen or Trewarthin, belonged anciently to a family of that name, a coheiress of which brought it to Tripcony. It was purchased of the latter by the Trevanions, from whom it passed, by successive female heirs, to the families of Major and Goodall. This estate has been lately purchased of J. Tillie Coryton, Esq., the representative of the Goodalls, by the Rev. H. H. Tremayne.

Trewolla was for many generations the property and seat of an ancient family of that name, by whom it was sold, in the reign of Charles II., to the Trevanions. It is now a farm-house, the property of J. T. B. Trevanion, Esq. The barton of Nancallan belonged to the Roscarrocks, from whom it passed, by successive fales, to the families of Hill, Denham, Hancock, and Tremayne. The old mansion was in ruins in 1736: there is now a farm-house on this barton, the property of the Rev. H. H. Tremayne.

In the parish-church are a monument of Richard Edgcumbe, Esq., of Bodrugan, 1656; and some memorials of the Slades and Trevanions. (fn. n25)

The great tithes of Gorran are held on lease under the Bishop of Exeter: the present lessee is William Fortescue, Esq. The house belonging to the rectorial estate is called Polgarran, and was for some time a seat of the family of Wills, being lessees of the rectory. The house was rebuilt by Mr. Anthony Wills. It is said that this gentleman and his six sons joined the Prince of Orange on his landing at Torbay; that one of the sons became a general officer of great distinction; and in the reign of King George I. had the chief command of the army against the Scottish rebels, in Lancashire (fn. n26). On the death of Mrs. Jenophatha Wills, widow, this estate fell in to the Bishop, who leased it to Mrs. Dorothy Crewys. The afterwards became vested in Thomas Tonkin, Esq., the Cornish antiquary, who sometimes resided at Polgarran. There were chapels at Bodrugan and Goloures, and one at Gorran haven, of which there were some remains in 1736.

Hals speaks of this parish as having been the residence of Dr. James Gibbs, an eminent physician, whose son, of the same name and profession, was author of some medical and poetical works.


GRADE, in the deanery and in the west division of the hundred of Kirrier, lies in the district of Meneage, about nine miles south-south-east of Helston. The principal village in this parish is Cadgwith.

The manor of Erisey, the ancient property and seat of the Eriseys, now belonging to Lord Falmouth, is partly in this parish and partly in that of Ruan-Major. The manor-house, now occupied by a farmer, stands on the division of the parishes.

In the parish-church are several monuments of the Erisey family. On the outside of the north aisle of the chancel is a monument in memory of Hugh Mason, Gent., who died in 1671, with the following inscription:

"Why here? Why not? it's all one ground,
And here none will my dust confound:
My Saviour lay where no one did;
Why not a member, as his head:
No quire to sing, no bells to ring?
Why, sirs, thus buried was my King!
I grudge the fashion of this day,
To fat the church and starve the lay;
Though nothing now of me be seene,
I hope my name and bed is greene."

The church of Grade is a rectory, in the patronage of John Rogers, Esq., of Penrose. The tithes of several estates in St. Keverne, a third of the barton of Erisey, and the whole of those of the tenement of Trenoon, in Ruan-Major, belong to this church.


GULVALL, in the hundred and deanery of Penwith, lies about a mile northeast of Penzance, which is the post-office town, and about two and a half west from Marazion. The principal villages, exclusively of the church-town, are Chyendower, Trevarrack, and Trezela.

The manor of Lanestley or Lanisley, which was formerly the name of the parish, belonged at an early period to the family of De Als, who took their name from the manor of Alsa or Als, in St. Buryan. Simon de Als gave it, in 1266, to the priory of St. Germans. King Henry VIII. granted it to Beaumont and Parry, from whom it passed to the family of Tripcony. About the year 1620, it became the property of Sir Nicholas Hals, ancestor to Mr. William Hals who wrote the parochial history of Cornwall, and who describes himself as descended from the family of De Als before-mentioned. After some mortgages and sales, which became the subject of a suit in Chancery, it was purchased by the Onflow family (fn. n27), and is now the joint property of Admiral Sir Richard Onflow, Bart., and his brother Dr. Onslow, Dean of Worcester.

Kenegie was formerly the seat of a family of that name: the heiress of the Kenegies married Tripcony, whose descendant resided at this place in the reigns of Henry VIII. and Queen Elizabeth. About the year 1600, Kenegie became the seat of a younger branch of the Harris's, of Heyne in Devonshire, who, on the extinction of the male line in the elder branch, removed to Heyne. Christopher Harris, Esq. (who died in 1775) bequeathed this barton to William Arundell, Esq., of Menadarva, who took the name of Harris, and was grandfather of William Arundell Harris, Esq., of Lifton in Devonshire, the present proprietor. Kenegie is at present in the occupation of Rose Price, Esq. There is a plate of the house in Borlase's Natural History: from the terrace there is a very fine view of Mount's-bay.

In the parish-church is the monument of Arthur Harris, Esq., of Heyne, governor of Mount St. Michael, who died in 1628, with other memorials of the Harris family. Joseph Beauchamp, Esq. is impropriator of the great tithes, which belonged formerly to the priory of St. Germans. The King is patron of the vicarage.

The superstitious notions relating to the spring called Gulfwell, or the Hebrew brook, in this parish, have been elsewhere spoken of. (fn. n28)


GUNWALLOE lies in the deanery and in the west division of the hundred of Kirrier, about four miles and a half south of Helston, which is the post-office town. The principal villages in this parish are Beripper and Chiverloe.

The great manor of Wynyaton (fn. n29), now Winington, was parcel of the ancient demesnes of the crown. In the year 1235 it belonged to Roger Earl of Cornwall, who then gave it to Gervase de Hornington, in exchange for Bosyny (fn. n30). Not long afterwards, it was in the Carminows; and on the partition of the estates between the two coheiresses of the elder branch of that ancient family, who married Trevarthian and Arundell, this manor fell to the share of the former. From the Trevarthians, it passed by a female heir to the Reskymers, who continued to possess it in the reign of Edward IV (fn. n31). At a later period it was in the Arundell family, and is now the property of John Rogers, Esq., of Penrose, who purchased it of the late Lord Arundell in or about the year 1801.

Gunwalloe is a daughter-church to Breage, and included in the same presentation. It is said to have been dedicated to St. Winwallo, Abbot of Tauracum, whose festival is on the third of March. The great tithes are vested in the Rev. R.G. Grylls, John Rogers, Esq., and Mr. Joseph Hendy.


GWENNAP, in the deanery and in the east division of the hundred of Kirrier, lies about three miles east-by-south from Redruth; about four and a half from Penryn; and about six from Truro. The principal village, exclusively of the church-town, is St. Daye, where a market on Saturdays, for butchers'meat and other provisions, was established a few years ago, by Mr. Williams, for the accommodation of the miners. At this place was formerly a fair, held on Good-Friday: it is now a mere holiday-fair, and kept on Easter-Monday.

The manor of St. Daye, which belonged to the family of Hearle, is now in severalties. The manor of Pensignance, which anciently gave name to the parish, was many years in the Carew family, and occasionally the residence of Richard Carew the historian (fn. n32) : it is now the property of Lord Clinton.

Trefyns, now written Trevince, was in ancient times the seat of a family of that name, from whom, at an early period, it passed by marriage to the Beauchamps. It is now the property of Joseph Beauchamp, Esq., of Pengreep, in this parish. Trevince is now a farm-house. Scorrier-house, in this parish, is the seat of John Williams, Esq.

The church is dedicated to a female saint, whose name was Wenepe or Wenap. The great tithes are appropriated to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, who are patrons of the vicarage. There was formerly a chapel at St. Daye, of which there are now no traces: the tower was taken down not long before 1780. Norden speaks of this chapel as dedicated to the Trinity, and says, "that in times past, men and women from far came to it in pilgrimage: the resort was so great that it grew to a kind of market, and continueth a market to this day without further charter."

The great mine of Poldice, formerly one of the most productive tin-mines in Cornwall, (now worked as a copper-mine,) is in this parish (fn. n33). It is said to have employed, for forty years, from eight hundred to one thousand men.


GWINNEAR, in the hundred and deanery of Penwith, lies about seven miles south-west of Redruth, and nearly the same distance north-west of Helston. The principal villages in this parish are, Cattebidrew, Drannock, Fraddam, Penhal, Tregortha, and Wall.

The manor of Polkinhorne belonged to an ancient family of that name, whose heiress, in the reign of Charles II., married Thomas Glynn, Esq. of Helston. Thomas Glynn (the grandson), who was of Polkinhorne, left an only daughter and heiress married to Richard Gerveys Grylls, Esq., of Helston, whose son, the Rev. Richard Gerveys Grylls, and the representatives of his brother, the late Thomas Grylls, Esq., are the present proprietors: the barton is now occupied as a farm. The manor of Drannock or Kirland in Gwinnear, was in six severalties as early as the reign of Queen Elizabeth: one sixth, which belonged to the Trenwiths, was sold by them to the Burgess family, and passed by inheritance to the Rev. Robert Hoblyn, who is the present proprietor; another sixth belongs to the Honourable Mrs. Agar, as representative of the Robartes family; a third is the property of James Buller, Esq., M.P., of Downes; the others are subdivided.

The manor of Roseworthy was formerly in the Courtenay family, and was one of those given by Joan Lady Carew to her son John (fn. n34). At a later period, Roseworthy was the seat of the Willyams family, ancestors of J. Willyams, Esq. of Carnanton, who sold it to the Arundells. It is now a farm-house, the property of William Harris, Esq., who purchased it of the late Lord Arundell, about the year 1803.

The barton of Coswin or Cossawin belonged to an ancient family of that name, extinct about the middle of the seventeenth century: it is now a farm-house, the property of Mr. Harris.

The barton of Lanyon appears to have taken its name from a branch of the ancient family of Lanyon, of Lanyon in Maddern, having settled there; and in this respect, perhaps, it differs from any other in Cornwall; it is apparent, however, that they were the same family, branched off about the latter end of the sixteenth century (fn. n35), and it does not appear that before that time the name of Lanyon, as a barton, was known in this parish. Lanyon was sold, about the year 1785, to the late John Thomas, Esq., of Tregolls, and is now the property of Admiral Spry, who married his sister: it is still occupied by the younger brothers of Mr. Tobias Lanyon, surgeon at Camborne, who is the present representative of this branch of the Lanyon family. The elder branch is extinct.

The great tithes of this parish are vested in the rector and fellows of Exeter College in Oxford. The Bishop of Exeter is patron of the vicarage, which was endowed by Bishop Stapledon in 1319. The patron-saint is called St. Wynnear, and sometimes St. Wymer: in the ecclesiastical taxations, the church is called Ecclesia St. Wymeri.

Gwithian or Gothian

GWITHIAN or GOTHIAN, in the deanery and in the east division of the hundred of Penwith, lies about seven miles from Redruth, which is the nearest market-town. The regular post-office town is Marazion, but there is a bye-post to Hayle-Copperhouse, in the parish of Phillack. The only village of any consequence in this parish, except the church-town, is Trevernon.

The great manor of Conarton, as parcel of the honor of Gloucester, belonged, before the conquest, to Brictric, a Saxon. The Conqueror gave it to Alan Earl of Britanny, but being resumed by the crown, it was settled on Queen Maud. William Rufus gave it to Robert Fitzhamon, whose daughter brought it by marriage to Robert, the illegitimate son of King Henry I., who was created Earl of Gloucester (fn. n36). Robert Earl of Gloucester, son of this Robert, gave Conarton, in 1154, to Richard Pincerna (Butler), whose son took the name of Conarton, from his residence on this manor; the grandson, settling at Lanherne, took the name of Lanherne, and his heiress brought both manors, with other large estates, to the Arundells. This great manor, to which many extensive privileges, together with the lordship of the hundred of Penwith (fn. n37), are annexed, was purchased not long ago, of Lord Arundell, by Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bart. Most of the lands belonging to it had been before alienated. The site of the manor of Conarton, which anciently gave name to the parish, is said to have been formerly occupied by a large town, which had two parish-churches. This must have been what Leland calls Nikenor; his account of which is as follows: "Nikenor a 2 miles from Ryvier, sumtyme a great town, now gone; 2 paroch chirches yet seene, a good deale several on from the other, sumtyme in the towne, but it is now commonly taken to be in St. Guivians paroch."

The manor of Godrevy, which formerly belonged to a family of that name, extends into this parish: the greater part of the estate, which is in Gwithian, belongs to Lord De Dunstanville, and was purchased chiefly of the Arundells of Menadarva, in 1740 (fn. n38).

The advowson of this parish, called in old records Conarton, was given by William Earl of Gloucester, in the reign of Henry II., to the priory of St. James in Bristol. Near the parish-church is the site of an ancient chapel, of which there are no remains. A considerable portion of the parishes of Gwithian and Phillack is covered with sand-hills, supposed to have been originally brought from the sea-side by hurricanes, probably at a remote period; and we are informed, that among the Arundell papers there is mention of such an event having happened in the twelfth century. The disproportionately high valuation of the rectory of Gwithian, in the old Valors, when compared with that of other parishes, which were then rated much lower, though now of very superior value, affords a probable conjecture that much land has been lost by the influx of the sand. It is known by oral tradition, that whole farms have been overwhelmed, at a period not very remote. We have been informed by Mr. Hockin, the rector, who has obligingly favoured us with a communication on this subject, that the barton of Upton, one of the principal farms in Gwithian, was thus overwhelmed; that his great-grandfather remembered the occupier residing in the farm-house, which was nearly buried in one night, the family being obliged to make their escape from the chamber-windows. It is very remarkable that the ruins of this house, which had never been seen by the oldest man living, were again exposed to view in consequence of the shifting of the sands in the winter of 1808-9. The present rector remembers two fields lost at Gwithian, having been buried with sand ten or twelve feet deep. The church-town would have shared the same fate, had it not been prevented by the timely exertions of the churchwardens, who, with all possible expedition, caused large plantations to be made of a species of rush, which grows abundantly in that neighbourhood, and by the rapid spreading of its long fibrous roots, affords the only known method of checking the progress of the sands. (fn. n39)

In this parish is an extensive earth-work, called Trevarnon Rounds; it has a moat and rampart, with an advanced work, which seems to have been occupied in times not very remote, a cannon-shot having been dug up within its site, by some labourers employed by the late rector.


  • n1. Collectan. I. 75.
  • n2. It is now a farm-house.
  • n3. See the Appendix.
  • n4. Borlase's Collections.
  • n5. Cathedral of Cornwall, I. 294.
  • n6. Esch. I Ric. III.
  • n7. This pamphlet is entitled, "News from Perin in Cornwall; of a most bloody and unexampled Murther very lately committed by a Father on his owne Sonne (who was lately returned from the Indyes) at the instigation of a mercilesse Step-mother. Together with their severell most wretched endes; being all performed in the month of September last, anne 1618." It consists of eight leaves, printed in black-letter, with several wood-cuts.
  • n8. P. 465.
  • n9. Tonkin.
  • n10. Penryn, although not esteemed a separate parish, is in some respects distinct from the parish of Gluvias: it has a separate poor-rate, and two church-wardens, one named by the vicar of Gluvias, the other by the mayor of Penryn. St. Gluvias has only one, named by the vicar. Penryn pays two parts, St. Gluvias one part of the church-rate.
  • n11. MS. history of the Killigrew family.
  • n12. Cart. 43 Hen. III. m. 5.
  • n13. Cart. 5 Edw. II.
  • n14. Whitlocke.
  • n15. Bishop of Exeter, who died in 1280.
  • n16. This building appears in the ancient chart of Falmouth harbour, inserted at p. 99.
  • n17. This little fishing-town is supposed to have been formerly of more consequence: it has an ancient pier, said to have been constructed by some of the Bodrugan family.
  • n18. They were certainly possessed of it in 1576, as appears by papers amongst the evidences of Mr. Slade Gully's estates. Norden speaks of it as a seat of the Tremaynes in 1584; but this must have been a mistake, arising probably from the name of the place, which, from papers of that date, appears to have been called Trevenon otherwise Tremaynon. Mr. Slade Gully succeeded his uncle (Mr. Slade) in this estate, in 1783.
  • n19. See p. 79.
  • n20. Extent. Terrar. Ducat. Cornub. 17 Jac. 1.
  • n21. See Esch. 2 Edw. II.
  • n22. Tonkin's MSS.
  • n23. In his MS. Collections.
  • n24. See p.96.
  • n25. Mr. Charles Trevanion died in 1717, aged 93; and Mr. William Trevanion, the last of this branch of the family, in 1727.
  • n26. Hals. The Scottish rebels, under the command of General Forster, capitulated to General Wills at Preston, on the 13th of November, 1715.
  • n27. Col. Onflow, a younger son of Foot Onslow, Esq., possessed it in 1737. (Tonkin.)
  • n28. See p.ccii.
  • n29. This was the ancient name of the parish.
  • n30. Cart. 20. Hen. III.
  • n31. Esch. 5 and 11 Edw. IV.
  • n32. Norden calls it "a howse and manor of Richard Carew, Esq., but his moste abode is at Anthony."
  • n33. See more of the Gwennap mines in p. ccvi. and ccviii. of the General History.
  • n34. Carew's Survey, f. 102. b.
  • n35. See p. cix.
  • n36. Bowles's account of the hundred of Penwith.
  • n37. See p. xxv.
  • n38. Some part was purchased by Lord de Dunstanville, of F. Gregor, Esq., in 1800.
  • n39. See more relating to this rush, p. cxcix.