The Pendeen (Cornish: Penndin) parish name means 'headland of a fort' it was tranferred to the 19th century mining village on the south-west 'toe' of Cornwall. The Geevor tin mine incorporated part of the old Levant mine, with one gallery 2,000 feet below the sea-bed. Pendeen House was the birthplace of William Borlase, the antiquarian and writer on the history of Cornwall.
The parish of Pendeen encompasses several hamlets; Bojewyan, Boscaswell, Lower Boscaswell, Trewellard, Carnyorth and Levant being the main ones. Renowned for its copper and tin mines Pendeen grew in size to serve the mining community until the turn of the century. With the decline of the industry many of its sons emigrated seeking new lives in mines opening up all over the world and there are few old families without some connection to America, Australia, South Africa and other mining areas. The Pendeen Lighthouse, built in 1900, is open to the public. On the 29th October 1919, over 30 miners were trapped and killed in the Levant Mine disater when the man-engine, bringing up miners, failed; reports on this incident are available on-line.
Census information for this parish (1851 - 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:
Anglican. The ecclesiastical parish of Pendeen was formed in 1845 from St Just parish. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW3834 and was dedicated to St John the Baptist.
The ecclesiastical district was gazetted on January 9th, 1846. The church, which is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was built in 1854. It was designed by the then incumbent, the Rev. Robert Aitken, on the plan of the ancient cathedral of Iona. He was not only the architect but also the master builder, and the parishioners of the district their own masons and carpenters. This very fine cruciform church which is 135 feet long, and lofty in proportion, cost little more than the value of the materials. It was built entirely by the people of the village and chiefly in their extra hours. Such circumstances invest Pendeen church with an interest which attaches to no other modern church in the county. [More recent observers are less charitible both about the quality of the architecture and the exploitation of the parishioners in building it at their own expense.]. The church registers date from 1849.
The church comprises a chancel, nave, transepts and south porch. There is also an embattled western tower into which a clock was inserted in 1889. This tower contains 12 tubular bells which were installed in 1908.
Non-Conformists. There were chapels here for the Wesleyans, built in 1838, the Bible Christians and United Methodists.
Pendeen is in the Penzance Registration District, and has been since its creation. There were originally sub-districts at Marazion, Penzance, St Buryan, St Just, St Ives and Uny-Lelant but these have now been abolished.
The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Alphington House, Alverton Place, Penzance, TR18 4JJ. Tel: 01736 330093.
Description and Travel
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