The parish of St. Austell is in the Deanery and Eastern Division of the Powder Hundred. It was originally bounded on the north by the parishes of Roche and Luxulyan, on the east by St. Blazey and Par in Tywardreath, in the south by the English Channel and Mevagissey, and in the west by the parishes of St. Ewe, St. Mewan, and St. Stephen-in-Brannel. Named after its patron Saint, the Parish is in Restormel District; the the 19th century, it was commonly spelled St Austle; Originally, it encompassed 11,450 acres of land. In 1847, the parish of Charlestown was created from the eastern section, and Treverbyn was created from the northern half in 1850, leaving St. Austell a parish of 1,339 acres. The town of St. Austell was not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.
The parish is a centre for extremely high-grade china clay extraction since the 1780's. It has been mined for tin and copper even longer; Carclaze mine has been worked continuously for 400 years, first for tin and copper, now for china clay. Tin and copper mining were extremely productive in the early 1800's. After the collapse of copper in 1866, china clay became the primary mineral mined in the parish. It is still being mined today, and is being shipped all over the world.
There are villages scattered across the parish, from Pentewan in the far south to Bugle in the north. About half-way is the town of St. Austell, which is situated in a well-cultivated district on the south side of a hill. The land falls gradually to the River Vinnick. Whilst the town was not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, records exist from the 1100s and it has been a market town for centuries. It has also acted as a coinage town (briefly) and as the head of the county court district. Since the railways came in the 1859 numerous villas have been built. Located within the town is the widely-known St. Austell Brewery. It is a centre for higher education, and includes Cornwall's first college devoted to languages. The St. Austell Union workhouse was at one time located within the town.
The parish has numerous historical sites, as well as recreational areas and interesting museums such as the Wheal Martyn Mining Museum, which is an authentic and complete 1800s clay mine. Famous inhabitants include A. L. Rowse, the historian, Bishop Colenso of South Africa, Loveday Hamblyn 'the Cornish saint', an adherent of George Fox, and Samuel Drew, a miner at 9 who grew into a Methodist preacher and noted theologian.
The town of St Austell is situated in a well-cultivated district on the south side of a hill, which falls gradually to the River Vinnick. Since the coming of the railways, numerous villas had been built. The Workhouse for the St Austell Union was located within the town. St Austell town is still in the civil and ecclesiastical parish of St Austell, whilst the rural area is now a separate civil parish.
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)