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The parish of Carnmenellis (Cornish: Karnmanalys) was created by Act of Parliament, and was gazetted on 9th January 1846. It was created from part of Wendron parish to meet the requirements of increasing population. The the parish is named after the Cornish for a rocky hill 'Carn' plus an unknown word. The hill rises to an altitude of 822 feet. On its summit is a pile of rocks, consisting of four flat thin stones; the upper one is circular, its diameter being about 19 feet. The pile is encircled with a row of stones and a trench about 36 feet in diameter. There are also two or three tumuli on the top of this hill, in which Roman coins have been found.

Carmenellis is situated on open moorland; it remains only at the centre of the area. The landscape was cleared of most woodland cover at an early date. Carnmenellis was also fairly densely populated in the Bronze Age, when the climate was much milder than it is today. Many settlements were probably abandoned about 1000 BC. Although there are many prehistoric field systems, most of the area was open grazing land and the history of the landscape since the later prehistoric times has been one of piecemeal enclosure and the exploitation of mineral resources.

During the 18th and 19th centuries this area was one of the foremost tin and copper producing areas in the world and a major centre of invention and engineering during the Industrial Revolution. The resultant wealth financed the growth of centres such as Redruth and many small mining villages in areas that were formerly open heath and moorland. In the mid- to late-19th century, however, foreign competition hit the Cornish mining trade hard and many mines were forced to close leaving their legacy of ruined buildings and waste tips in the landscape. Today, the parish is surrounded by patterns of both irregular older fields and the rectilinear enclosures of the 18th and 19th centuries. Groups of miners' cottages and ruined engine houses are dotted across the landscape and its bleak and exposed appearance only gives way to more sheltered sites in the south-east where there is land in arable and horticultural use. The most apparent reminders of the mining industry are in the north, towards Camborne and Redruth. Here there are the characteristic remains of mine engine houses, the rough ground of mine 'burrows' and old shafts, old tramways and scarred land. There is an unusually dense pattern of settlement, with haphazard mixes of farm cottages, short terraces of mining cottages and clusters at road junctions.

Penmarth, a nearby village within the parish, is sometimes referred to locally as Carnmenellis. The parish of Carnmenellis is now united with, and is part of, Stithians parish.



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. 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:

Church History

Church Records

Civil Registration

The parish of Carnmenellis was originally in the Helston Registration District as part of Wendron; then there were sub-districts at Breage, Crowan, Helston, St Keverne and Wendron. It is now part of the Kerrier Registration District. Parishes in this registration district were: Breage, Crowan, Cury, Germoe, Gunwalloe, Grade, Helston, Landewednack, Manaccan, Mawgan-in-Meneage, Mullion, Ruan Major, Ruan Minor, St. Anthony in Meneage, St. Keverne, St. Martin in Meneage, Sithney, Wendron.

The address of the Registration Office is: The Willows, Church Street, Helston, TR13 8NJ.
Tel: 01326 562848.

Description & Travel


OPC Assistance. The On-line Parish Clerk (OPC) scheme operates a service to help family historians; the OPC page for this parish is available on-line, from where the OPC can be contacted by email.


Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Carnmenelis parish became part of the Helston Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief on its creation.


The parish of Carnmenellis was created in 1846 from part of Wendron parish. Population figures before this date are with Wendron.

  • Population in 1851 - 2760 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 3769 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 3094 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2423 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1670 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 1480 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 1454 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 1320 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1349 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 1306 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 0 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 0 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 585 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 565 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 000 persons


The parish comprises 3094 acres of land.

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