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Help and advice for Godolphin

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The little village of Godolphin (Cornish: Godolghan) Cross lies half-hidden in a valley on the Hayle to Helston road. The name is derived from the cross roads which were encountered en route to the estate of the Godolphin family, one of whom married the 4th Duke of Leeds, who then inherited the Godolphin Eastate. They made their fortunes in the rich mining area around Godolphin Hill. Their manor house (Godolphin House), which dates back to the 15th century, still attracts tourists as a National Trust property. The main mines in the parish were Wheal Breage and Wheal Wreeth, both producing tin. Now that mining has ceased the constant thud of the tin stamps is no longer heard and a more peaceful atmosphere prevails. Some farming still continues here.

The parish was created from part of Breage parish in February 1846. However, by the end of the 20th century, the civil parish has ceased to exist and, again, Godolphin is united with Breage and Germoe.

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)


  • Note in front of Parish Burial register for St John Baptist, Godolphin, reads as follows:
    N.B. New Churchyard consecrated Dec 4 1889 by Bishop Speecliley Commissary for Bishop of Truro. Old Churchyard closed Dec 31 1889 by order in Council. 1st Burial in new Churchyard Jan 10 1890.
    S. Rundle
    Vicar of Godolphin
    Rural Dean of Kerrier.
  • Besides the parish churchyard, there is another cemetery in Godolphin Cross, which might be the new one referred to above.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 559 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.
Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:

  • 1841. Census information for Godolphin in 1841 can be found under Breage.
  • 1851.
    • The 1851 Census of Godolphin (HO107/1913), Enumeration Districts 1b to 1e, 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; Godolphin is listed in Volume 33. 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.
  • 1861. The 1861 Census of Godolphin (RG9/1574), Enumeration Districts 1 to 5, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1871. The 1871 Census of Godolphin (RG10/2307), Enumeration Districts 1 to 5, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1881. The 1881 Census of Godolphin (RG11/2326), Enumeration Districts 1 to 5, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1891. The 1891 Census of Godolphin (RG12/1842), Enumeration Districts 1 to 4, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Godolphin area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

  • Anglican. There was formerly a chapel at Godolphin which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary of which there are now no remains.
    Godolphin District was gazetted on 6th February 1846, and the present church was built in 1851. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW6031 and was dedicated to St John the Baptist. The building is buttressed on the square; it is built of stone with granite facings in the gothic style and it comprised a chancel nave, and north aisle and vestry. The bell turret on the west gable, is pierced for two bells. The registers date from 1851.
    The church building is no longer in use, and is now closed. Details about the plans of this church are available on-line.
  • Non-Conformists. There was formerly a Bible Christian chapel here of which there are now no remains. A Meeting House was built in 1832 at Ruth Dower, close to the centre of Godolphin. In 1842 a much larger place was built in the centre of the village; in 1859 this chapel was demolished and an even larger one was built on the site.
    Godolphin Methodist Church still (in 2008) worships every Sunday. It was a Bible Christian (BC) chapel, originally known as Herland Cross; the old BC part of it contains one of the rare Bible Christian Missionary Society memorial plaques. It became part of the Unted Methodist (UM) Church in 1907. The UMs became part of the Methodist Church in 1932 along with the Wesleyans and the Primitive Methodists.

Church Records

  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1846 - 1897, Burials 1851 - 1926, Marriages 1851 - 1982.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1846 to 1901 (unfortunately, some are illegible) for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The OPC has transcribed baptisms at Godolphin. These can be searched as follows:
    • Baptisms 1846 to 1901 for this parish are also available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Banns.
  • Marriages. None.
  • Burials.
    • Burials 1851 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The OPC has transcribed burials at Godolphin as follows:

Researchers should also look at available records for Breage, under which many events in Godolphin were originally recorded.

Civil Registration

The parish of Godolphin was created from Breage which was originally in the Helston Registration District; there were sub-districts at Breage, Crowan, Helston, St Keverne and Wendron. It is now in the Kerrier Registration District.

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

Description and Travel

  • ePodunk's Cornwall page - providing general, plus some historical and genealogical information, about Cornwall and its parishes, together with links (mainly relating to general sites and services, rather than ones that are specific to Cornwall or particular parishes).
You can see pictures of Godolphin which are provided by:


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.
  • The OPC for Godolphin has produced a family history website for the parish.

Historical Geography

Some information on the history and geography of Breage and Godolphin is available.

You can see the administrative areas in which Godolphin has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW590310 (Lat/Lon: 50.129945, -5.373555), Godolphin which are provided by:


Information on Mines in Breage and Godolphin is available on-line.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Godolphin parish was part of the Helston Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.


Godolphin parish was formed in 1846 from Breage parish. Population figures before this date are with Breage.

  • Population in 1851 - 1788 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 1884 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 1709 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 1245 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1061 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 236 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 724 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 626 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 647 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 850 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 0 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 0 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 880 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 935 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 1095 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 0000 persons


The parish comprised 0000 acres of land.