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The parish of Gunwalloe (Cornish: Sen Gwynnwalo), alias Winninton, is situated in the Meneage district of the Lizard, in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier. It is bounded on the north by Carminow Creek and the parish of Mawgan, on the east by the parishes of Cury and Mullion, and on the south and west by Mullion. Gunwalloe is a small parish, lying between Cury and the sea. It extends northwards along the shore to the Loe Pool, forming the northwest side of the peninsula of Meneage. The village and church of Gunwalloe are romantically situated amongst the sand dunes and cliffs on the west coast of the Lizard and there are local stories of smuggling, looted wrecks, and buried treasure.

The Primrose sloop of war was lost in 1807, with all her crew except one boy, in Gunwalloe Cove.

The parish name is taken from the Breton saint Winwaloe, whose mother is reputed to have grown a third breast when she had triplets! The village was originally owned by the Penrose family but was eventually sold, mostly to sitting tenants and the National Trust. In the past fishing was important from a shingle beach with the name of Fishing Cove, but this has largely died out. To the west of the church are the Halzephron cliffs, on which the bodies of many shipwrecked seamen and military have been interred. A little to the west of those cliffs is the village of Gunwalloe, which was once a fishing village.

Villages in the parish are Berepper, Gunwalloe and Chivarloe.


The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 281 entries.

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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 Gunwalloe 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. 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.

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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 Gunwalloe ecclesiastical parish:

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

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  • Population in 1801 - 216 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 296 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 252 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 284 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 298 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 284 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 244 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 222 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 181 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 176 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 135 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 152 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 191 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 165 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 254 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 215 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 199 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 210 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 226 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 221 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 272 persons

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Religion & Religious Life

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The parish comprises 1438 acres of land, 24 acres of water, one acre of tidal water and 66 acres of foreshore.

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