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The parish and Borough of Fowey (Cornish: Fowydh) is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Powder. It is bounded on the north by the parishes of Tywardreath and St Sampson (Golant), on the east by Fowey Harbour which separates them from Lanteglos-by-Fowey, on the south by the English Channel, and on the west by Tywardreath. Fowey was rated in the Domesday survey of 1086 under the parish of Tywardreath. The market was first granted to the Prior of Tywardreath in 1316. The trade of Fowey in the 19th century was principally in the importation of timber, coals and lime; there was also a small fishery here. Fowey was a 'Rotten Borough' until the Reform Act of 1832. Up to this date, it had returned two members of parliament from 1570. The Dutch admiral, De Ruyter, made an unsuccessfull attempt on Fowey harbour in 1667.

Today, Fowey is a busy, sheltered, deep water working port offering extensive facilities for the visiting yachtsmen, popular with tourists. It is now a busy place, with an harbour full of pleasure craft in Summer. Fowey Town itself clings to the hill side. It is full of character having many narrow streets.


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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 Fowey has been in the Registration District of St Austell continuously from 1st July 1837. There were sub-districts at Fowey, Grampound, Mevagissey and St Austell, but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district were: Creed, Fowey, Gorran, Grampound, Mevagissey, Roche, St. Austell, St. Blazey, St. Dennis, St. Ewe, St. Mewan, St. Michael Carhays, St. Sampson, St. Stephen in Brannel, Tywardreath. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: 12 Carlyon Road, St Austell, PL25 4LD. Tel: 01726 68974. Fax: 01726 68974.

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Description & Travel

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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.

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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 Fowey ecclesiastical parish:

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

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These population figures include Polkerris.

  • Population in 1801 - 1155 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1319 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1455 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1767 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 1643 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 1452 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 1414 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 1344 persons, plus 45 on shipping
  • Population in 1881 - 1515 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1957 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 2258 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 2276 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 2388 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 2575 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 2347 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 2263 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 2369 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 2130 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 2121 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 2273 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 2395 persons

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The parish comprises 1953 acres of land.

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