The parish of Gwennap (Cornish: Lannwenep) is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier. It is bounded on the north by St Agnes, and a detached part of Kenwyn and Kea, on the east by Perranarworthal, on the south by Stithians, and on the west by Wendron and Redruth. Little is known about the saint that gave her name to this parish which is situated to the south-east of Redruth. Gwennap is better known for it's strong associations with Methodism and John Wesley. In the 18th century Wesley preached here to huge crowds in the stepped open-air amphitheatre known as Gwennap Pit. (An extract from his diary recording his visit to Gwennap is available). At that time Gwennap was the hub of Cornwall's richest mining area, but by the 20th century most pits had closed down. This parish is now a scene of desolation and dreariness; the mines are of great depth, and have been worked for ages, but they are now all stopped. For long periods together their produce exceeded in value £1000 per day, and often more. The value of the whole produce of the parish, in tin and copper, during the 19th century, cannot have been much less than £10,000,000 sterling.
Villages in the parish are the Churchtown, Carharrack, Trevarth, Crofthandy and Sunnycorner. Two new parishes were created from parts of this parish: St Day in 1833 and Lanner in 1845.
Gwennap Parish Council was formed on 4 December 1894 and Carharrack formed part of the area looked after by that Council until, after a government review and pressure from the local inhabitants, Carharrack became a civil parish in its own right in 1985. The first meeting of the newly-formed Carharrack Parish Council took place on 28 May 1985.
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)