St Gennys, (Cornish: Sen Gwynnys), is situated in the Deanery of Trigg Minor and the Hundred of Lesnewth. It is bounded on the north by the sea and Poundstock, on the east by Jacobstow and Warbstow, on the south by Otterham and St Juliot, and on the west by the sea. The name comes from St.Genesius, the patron saint of the local church. This small village is on high cliffs on the north Cornish coast overlooking Bude Bay; it is remarkable for its uneveness. Its surface consists wholly of lofty hills and deep valleys. The High Cliff, near Crackington Haven measures 735 feet above sea-level. There are three pointed headlans jutting into the sea from this parish, namely: the Cambeak, Dizard Point and Castle Point.
Crackington Haven is situated at the mouth of a picturesque valley which divides the parish in two, each part supporting a thriving Methodist community. Wrecks are said to have supplied much of the building material of houses in the past but now there is more interest in rescues, the Bude Lifeboat being responsible for saving many lives.
The villages of the parish are Crackington, Roskear, and Penkuke.
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 Records Office. The Cornwall FHS offers a census search service for its members.
Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:
1841. The 1841 Census of St Gennys (HO107/140), Enumeration District 10, 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; St Gennys is listed in Volume 5. 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 is located in OS Grid Square SX1497, and was dedicated to St Genesius. It comprises a chancel, nave, and north and south aisles. The south arcade has four obtuse arches with octagonal pillars; the north arcade has four obtuse arches supported chiefly on moulded pillars. There is a south porch, a priest's door, and a blocked north door. The tower is of one stage 22 feet high, surmounted by a pyramidal roof 10 feet in height; it contains four bells. The church was restored in 1871 under the direction of Mr. J. P. St. Aubyn, architect, at an expense of £1,100, when it was re-seated and a vestry added. There are 280 sittings.
Non-Conformist. There was a Wesleyan Association chapel at Brockle built in 1842, and a Bible Christian chapel at Tremaynea.
The parish of St Gennys is in the Stratton Registration District and has been since 1st July 1837; there were sub-districts at Kilhampton, Stratton and Week St Mary but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Jacobstow, Kilkhampton, Launcells, Marhamchurch, Morwenstow, Poughill, Poundstock, St. Gennys, Stratton, Stratton and Bude, Week St. Mary, Whitstone. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: The Parkhouse Centre, Ergue Gaberic Way, Bude, EX23 8LF. Tel: 01288 353209.
The Domesday Settlements of Cornwall, a study undertaken by the Cornwall Branch of the Historical Association, has identified and located settlements listed in the Exeter and Exchequer Domesday Survey of AD 1086. The following places have been identified in St Gennys ecclesiastical parish:
The North Cornwall Regiment of Volunteer Infantry was a force of local militia raised by Lt. Col. Wrey I'Ans of Whitstone House in 1803. Men of the 6th Company were recruited from St Gennys and adjoining parishes. They were almost all farmers, their servants, labourers and apprentices.