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Gorran (St Gorran)

The parish of Gorran (or St Gorran/Goran, as it is often called), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Powder. It is bounded on the north by St Ewe and Mevagissey, on the east by Mevagissey Bay, on the south by Veryan Bay and St Michael Caerhays, and on the west by St Ewe. Gorran parish occupies a peninsula on the south coast of Cornwall with the 370 feet high Dodman Point at its extreme tip. A massive cross was erected on top of the point by the rector of St Michael Caerhayes to act as a daymark for shipping. St Goron is believed to have been at Bodmin at the same time as St Petrock but left him to form a new settlement in this area.

There are several farms and hamlets in the parish, the little village of Gorran with its 15th century church being about a mile inland from the small fishing port of Gorran Haven, which is now the main centre of population.

Gorran Haven was originally called Point East.

Besides the Churchtown and Gorran Haven, the villages are Portmellin, Boswinger, Rocassa, Trevarrick and Tregavarras.

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)

Cemeteries

Census

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:

Churches

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the St Gorran 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 are two Angican churches in Gorran parish:
    • The parish church is located in the Churchtown at OS Grid Square SX0141; it was dedicated to St Gorran (Goronus). It comprises a chancel, nave, south aisle, north transept, and vestry. The arcade has eight obtuse arches of Pentewan stone, supported on pillars of the same material. The porch itself is finshed with battlements and pinnacles; there is a blocked north door. The tower is of three stages, buttressed on the square, and finished with battlements and crocketed pinnacles.
      St Goran's stands on the site of a Norman-built cruciform church, some parts of which remain and are incorporated into the church which was later built onto the site, evolving more or less as many older churches, with additions such as the south aisle in the late 14th century, and the tower later in the 15th century, while the North doorway is apparently of the 13th century. Within the nave there are 53 ancient beech (pew) ends, more than in most churches; whilst in the chancel are some fine examples of more modern wood carvings. The tower, which was rebuilt in 1606 in place of a steeple which was taken down in consequence of having fallen into decay, is now a well-known day mark for shipping, and can be seen from a considerable distance.
      Details about the plans of the modern church are available on-line.
    • There is a separate Anglican Church at Gorran Haven. This is the St Just (Chapel of Ease) which stands well down into that part of the parish which contains an old fishing village (of Goran Haven), possibly resting on the footings of a very ancient building, but the present building is mainly 15th Century. It is a gem of a little church which has had a somewhat chequered history, especially after the Reformation, when it was closed as a place of worship apparently, and became a "fish cellar" and net store, until the 19th century, when it was restored to religious worship.
  • Non-Conformist. There were Wesleyan Methodist and Calvinist chapels at Gorran Haven. There was also a Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Gorran High Lanes. The Bible Christians had a chapel at Boswinger.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1661 - 1989, Burials 1661 - 1989, Marriages 1688 - 1975, Boyd's Marriage Index 1607 - 1812, BTs 1607 - 1673.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1750 to 1773 (BTs) for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD baptisms 1724 to 1840 for this parish.
    • Baptisms from St Gorran 1662 to 1669, and 1881 to 1998 are also available on-line, courtesy of the OPC.
    • Cornwall Legacy have published Baptisms of Mevagissey Wesleyan Methodist Circuit 1838 - 1900 on CD. The Circuit covers Mevagissey, Tregony, Cuby, Gorran, Pentewan, Grampound, St Ewe, Gorran Haven, part of St Austell and Fowey.
    • Transcription of the baptisms of the Mevagissey Bible Christian Circuit 1838-1907, taken from LDS film 2276210 images 1913-2413 (courtesy of the Church of Latter Day Saints). These records relate to several parishes close to Mevagissey including Gorran, Veryan, St Ewe, St Austell, Gerrans, St Just in Roseland, Ruan Lanihorne etc.
    • Cornwall Legacy have published on CD baptisms (1838 to 1900) of the Mevagissey Bible Christian Circuit. The Circuit covers Mevagissey, Gorran, Veryan, Gerrans, St Ewe, St Mewan, part of St Austell and Ruan Lanihorn.
  • Marriages.
  • Burials.

Civil Registration

The parish of Gorran 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 are: 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.

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).
  • Photographs of Gorran Haven are available on-line.
You can see pictures of St Gorran which are provided by:

Genealogy

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 Gorran has provided a genealogical website for this parish.

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 St Goran ecclesiastical parish:

You can see the administrative areas in which St Gorran has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

History

A history and Genealogy of Gorran parish is available on-line.

Maps

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX000423 (Lat/Lon: 50.246694, -4.806613), St Gorran which are provided by:

Names, Personal

Occupations

Details of some of those involved with Gorran Haven fishing 1800 - 1990 are available on-line, courtesy of the OPC.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Gorran parish was part of the St Austell Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.

Population

  • Population in 1801 - 1009 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1116 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1203 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1205 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 1232 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 1188 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 1055 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 1005 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 916 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 928 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 785 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 729 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 693 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 685 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 785 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 750 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 945 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 1085 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 1315 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 1271 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 1260 persons

Religion and Religious Life

  • In the May of 1641 it was agreed and ordered that every Member of the House of Commons and House of Lords should make a protestation (declaration of loyalty) to the crown. The Protestation was printed and then distributed by the Members to their counties. The Protestation was to be made by everyone and the Rectors, Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor, had to appear before the Justices of the Peace in their Hundred to make their protestation and, on returning to their parishes, any two of them were to witness the taking of the Protestation Oath by all males over the age of 18 years. All names were listed and anyone who refused was to be noted.
    The Protestation Returns of 1642 for Gorran are available on-line.
  • A list of the Vicar's of St Goran Church are available on-line, courtesy of the OPC.

Schools

Class photographs of the pupils of Gorran School have been placed on-line by the OPC.

Statistics

The parish comprises 4808 acres of land.