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The parish of Colan (Cornish: Lannwydhek) has sometimes been called Little Colan or St Colan; it is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Pydar. It is bounded on the north and west by St Columb Minor, on the east by St Columb Major, and on the south by St Enoder and Newlyn East. The parish, which is located towards the North Cornwall coast, is named after its patron: Saint Colanus.

The principal villages are Besoan or Besoughan (Bosoughan), Melancoose, and Mountjoy.


The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 297 entries.


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:

Church History

Church Records

Civil Registration

The parish of Colan was originally in the St Columb Registration District. There were sub-districts at Newlyn, Padstow and St Columb Major, but these have now been abolished. It is now in the Registration District of St Austell. Parishes within the old St Columb district were: Colan, Crantock, Cubert, Little Petherick, Mawgan in Pyder, Newlyn, Newquay, Padstow, St. Breock, St. Columb Major, St. Columb Minor, St. Enoder, St. Ervan, St. Eval, St. Issey, St. Merryn, St. Wenn.

The Superintendant Registrar of St Austell can be contacted at: 12 Carlyon Road, St Austell, PL25 4LD. Tel: 01726 68974. Fax: 01726 68974.

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.

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 Colan ecclesiastical parish:



Apprenticeship Indentures for Colan (1781 - 1827) can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.


  • Population in 1801 - 191 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 221 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 259 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 261 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 217 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 254 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 255 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 231 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 243 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 222 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 192 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 140 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 158 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 157 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 1017 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 1165 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 718 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 1400 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 1780 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 1766 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 1759 persons


The parish comprises 2047 acres of land, and 2 acres of water.

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