The parish of Mawnan, (Cornish: Sen Mownan), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier. It is bounded on the north by Budock, on the east by the sea, and on the south and west by the Helford Creek and Constantine. The origin of the name is, 'church of St Maunan'. Mawnan is a delightful village and parish north of the Helford River. The parish is now known by its modern name of Mawnan Smith, most probably because a smithy used to be in the centre of the village.
The gardens, created at Glendurgan and Trebah by the Quakers Alfred and Charles Fox, are now open to the public.
The villages are Mawnan-Smith, Carlidnack or Carlinack, and Bareppa.
Most parish and church description(s) on these pages are from Lake's Parochial History of the County of Cornwall by J Polsue (Truro, 1867 - 1873)
Census information for this parish (1841 - 1901) is held in the Cornwall Record Office. The Cornwall Family History Society offers a census search service for its members.
Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:
1841. The 1841 Census of Mawnan (HO107/138), Enumeration District 6, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
The 1851 Census of Mawnan (HO107/1911), Enumeration District 2, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
The New Zealand Society of Genealogists have compiled separate surname indexes of the 1851 Census for each Cornish registration district; Mawnan is listed in Volume 23. The booklets are available in Cornwall at the Cornwall Centre, (formerly known as the Cornish Studies Library), and is also available in the Cornwall FHS Library.
Anglican. The parish church of St Mawnan (Maunanus) and St Stephen stands above the estuary and has extensive views; it is located in OS Grid Square SW7827. It comprises a chancel, nave, and north and south aisles. A chancel arch of oak was added in 1861. The north arcade consists of five four-centred arches supported on monolith granite pillars; the south arcade consists of three four-centred arches with similar pillars, and one eliptical arch. It has a south door, the porch of which was removed in 1830 to extend the aisle; there is also a north door. The tower is of two stages, is 45 feet high, and is finished with battlements and stump pinnacles. There is a substantial lych gate on the north side of the churchyard. On rebuilding the north wall in 1827, the foundations of a building and fragments of carved stone were discovered, which evidently belonged to a former church. A second church, St Michaels, was built in the centre of the village in 1876.
Roman Catholic. In July, 1952 Mawnam Catholics asked the Bishop to send them a priest to say Sunday Mass in the village Memorial Hall. He complied with their request on the condition that the congregation was never less than twenty. The number was often difficult to sustain, but, within a decade, attendance at Mass had risen, sometimes to 120 residents and visitors.
In July, 1962, Canon Adrian Chapple came to Falmouth from Bournemouth and was offered land for a church by a Mrs. Pilgrim of Nandiswell, the gift being in memory of her husband. Parishioners and visitors combined to raise funds for a building and furnishings, including a fine stained glass window of St. Edward the Confessor which stands thirty feet above the porch. The Church was completed on 8th December 1964. The solemn opening and blessing by Bishop Cyril Restieaux took place on 19th December 1964, followed by a votive Mass of St. Edward.
Non-Conformist. The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel at Durgan and Mawnan-Smith.
The parish of Mawnan is in the Falmouth Registration District, and has been since 1st July 1837; there were sub-districts at Constantine, Falmouth, Mylor and Penryn. Parishes within the district are: Budock, Constantine, Falmouth, Mabe, Mawnan, Mylor, Penryn, Perranarworthal and St. Gluvias. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Berkely House, 12-14 Berkeley Vale, Falmouth, TR11 3PH. Tel: 01326 312606.