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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)



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 parish of Gwennap was originally in the Redruth Registration District until its dissolution. There were sub-districts at Camborne, Gwennap, Illogan, Phillack and Redruth which have now been abolished. It is now part of the Registration District of Truro. Parishes in this registration district were: Camborne, East Phillack, Gwennap, Gwinear, Gwithian, Illogan, Phillack, Redruth, St. Sithian's, West Phillack.

The address of the Superintendant Registrar of Truro is: Dalvenie House, New County Hall, Truro, TR1 3AY.
Tel: 01872 322241.

Description & Travel



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 Gwennap ecclesiastical parish:



The OPC has produced a webpage of extracts from local Newspapers which relate to events in Gwennap in the 19th century.


Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Gwennap parish was part of the Redruth Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief. Overseers' Accounts (1818 to 1821) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


Two new parishes were created from parts of this parish: St Day in 1833 and Lanner in 1845. Figures reflect the inclusion of part of this Parish in Redruth and the formation of Carharrack & St Day civil parish in 1985.

  • Population in 1801 - 4594 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 5303 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 6294 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 8539 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 10794 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 10465 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 10535 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 8397 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 6209 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 6269 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 5662 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 5483 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 4985 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 4866 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 1138 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 1095 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 1232 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 1480 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 1460 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 1501 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 1532 persons

Probate Records

Religion & Religious Life


The Carharrack Old Cornwall Society News Page is on-line.


The parish comprises 3659 acres of land.

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