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The parish of Grade (Cornish: Sen Grad) is situated on the Lizard, in the Menege district, and in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier. The parish was divided into four detached portions. The first portion, upon which the church stands, is bounded on the west and north by Ruan Minor, on the east by the sea, and on the south by Landwednack. The second portion was bounded on the north and east by St Keverne and the sea, on the south by Ruan Minor, and on the west by Ruan Major. The third portion is surrounded by the parish of Ruan Major. The fourth portion was bounded on the on the north, east and south by the parish of Ruan Major, and on the west by Mullion.

Grade is situated on the most southerly peninsula in Cornwall. The fishing village of Cadgwith, which was partly in this parish and partly in Ruan Minor, is still active but was more important in the days of pilchard fishing, when the cry of 'Hevva! Hevva!' alerted the fisherman that a shoal of fish had been sighted. By the end of the 19th century the pilchards had completely disappeared.

Because of small populations, in 1934 Grade united with Ruan Major and Ruan Minor to form a single parish of Grade - Ruan.

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)



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 modern parish of Grade-Ruan was originally in the Helston Registration District as Grade, Ruan Major and Ruan Minor; there were sub-districts at Breage, Crowan, Helston, St Keverne and Wendron. It is now in the Kerrier Registration District. Parishes in this registration district are: 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



Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

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


In 1934, Grade parish united with both Ruan Major and Ruan Minor to form a single parish called Grade - Ruan. Since 1951, the population figures include all three former parishes.

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)
  • Population in 1801 - 320 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 306 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 355 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 306 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 333 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 315 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 327 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 318 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 298 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 293 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 276 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 328 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 328 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 339 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 300 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 677 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 664 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 835 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 965 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 1070 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 1180 persons

Probate Records

Wills & Admons for Grade 1660-1773 are available on-line.

Religion & 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 Grade are available on-line.


The parish comprises 2007 acres of land.

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