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The pleasant little village of Gulval (Cornish: Lannystli) is near Penzance overlooking Mounts Bay. The parish was originally called Lanisley, taken from the old Cornish Lan meaning church and ishei lower meaning the low (or lower church) which agrees with the situation. The present name, which has been used for many centuries, is probably derived from St Gulval, about whom nothing is known but was believed to be a female. There is a legend of a St Gulval's Well where one could seek news of absent friends by gazing into the water.

The parish of Gulval, otherwise known as Lanesly, is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith; it is bounded on the north by Zennor, a detached portion of Madron which it nearly surrounds, and Towednack, on the east by Ludgvan, on the south by Mount's Bay and on the west by Madron. it is mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086. The surrounding area abounds in archaeological remains which show evidence of habitation since earliest times. The Bolitho family were influential in this parish and Mr RF Bolitho was responsible at the turn of the 20th century for building many of the granite houses, the almshouses and Lanisley Hall. Since the last war there have been many new housing developments and Europe's first heliport (Penzance) is located nearby.

Gulval was incorporated into the parishes of Penzance, Madron and Ludgvan in 1934, and is now virtually a suburb of Penzance.


The Cornwall Family History Society have not yet published any Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church.

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Census information for this parish (1841 - 1901) is held in the Cornwall Records 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 Gulval has been in the Penzance Registration District continuously from 1st July 1837. There were originally sub-districts at Marazion, Penzance, St Buryan, St Just, St Ives and Uny-Lelant but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Gulval, Ludgvan, Madron, Marazion, Morvah, Penzance, Perranuthnoe, St. Buryan, St. Erth, St. Hilary, St. Ives, St. Just in Penwith, St. Levan, St. Michael's Mount, St. Paul, Sancreed, Sennen, Towednack, Uny-Lelant, Wolfe Rock Lighthouse, and Zennor. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Alphington House, Alverton Place, Penzance, TR18 4JJ. Tel: 01736 330093.

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Description & Travel

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OPC Assistance.

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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 Gulval ecclesiastical parish:

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Apprenticeship Indentures for Gulval (1773 - 1832) can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

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Gulval was incorporated into parishes of Penzance, Madron and Ludgvan in 1934. Population figures from 1951 are usually included with Penzance.

  • Population in 1801 - 1076 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1224 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1353 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1467 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 1941 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 1859 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 1743 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 1668 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 1623 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1476 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 1476 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 1332 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 1292 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1223 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 770 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 1055 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 0000 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 0000 Persons

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Probate Records

Wills & Admons for Gulval parish, 1660-1773 are available on-line.

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The Penwith Local History Group aims:

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The parish comprises 4355 acres of land.

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Voting Registers

The Gulval Register of Electors in 1914 is available on-line.

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