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Cardinham (Cornish: Kardhinan) is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of West; it is bounded on the north by Blisland and Temple, on the east by Warleggan, on the south by Bradock and St Winnow, from which it is separated by the river Fowey, and on the west by Lanhydrock, Bodmin and Helland. The parish is named after the Cornish word 'Car' (or 'Caer') meaning fort plus the word 'Dinas' also meaning fortress. This parish is very large (over 9,000 acres); it stretches from near Lanhydrock park in the south to a point 5 miles north of Bodmin on the A30 road. This includes much of the lovely wooded Glynn Valley and the high moorlands above it. The name shows that there was a fortified castle here well over 1,000 years ago, when Cornwall was an independent kingdom. There are several ancient inscribed stones in the parish, dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries, when Christianity first came to Cornwall.

The site of Cardynham Castle is on high ground to the south of the church; the castle was built soon after the Norman Conquest, probably by Richard Fitz Turold, whose family called "de Cardinan" after their dwelling place, lived here for 200 years after that. The shape of the castle can still be seen, but no ruins remain. The oratory founded by St Meubred was no doubt altered and enlarged over the centuries many times.

The main villages in the parish are Cardinham, Millpool and Mount. There is now a small airfield at Cardinham, sometimes called Bodmin Airfield, which is the home of the Cornwall Flying Club.


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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. The Cornwall Family History Society have also published on-line census detail by surname on the FamilyHistoryonLine site.

Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:

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Church History

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Church Records

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Civil Registration

The parish of Cardinham is in the Bodmin Registration District and has been since 1st July 1837; there were sub-districts are Bodmin, Egloshayle, Lanlivery and St Mabyn but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Blisland, Bodmin, Bodmin Borough, Cardinham, Egloshayle, Endellion, Helland, Lanhydrock, Lanviet, Lanlivery, Lostwithiel, Luxulion, St. Kew, St. Mabyn, St. Minver Highlands, St. Minver Lowlands, St. Tudy, St. Winnow, Temple, Wadebridge, Warleggon, Withiel.

The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Lyndhurst, 66 Nicholas Street, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 2AG. Tel: 01208 73677.

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Description & Travel

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Historical Geography

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 Cardinham ecclesiastical parish:

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Some Indentures of individuals from Cardinham are available on-line:

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Cardinham parish was part of the Bodmin Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.

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  • Population in 1801 - 552 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 662 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 775 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 728 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 802 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 782 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 717 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 632 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 585 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 590 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 577 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 583 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 574 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 517 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 520 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 461 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 433 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 440 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 560 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 588 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 625 persons

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Religion and Religious Life

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The parish comprises 9612 acres of land and 22 acres of water.

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