The parish of Launcells, (Cornish: Lannseles), is situated in the Deanery of Trigg Major and the
Hundred of Stratton. It is bounded on the north by Kilkhampton, on the east by
Pancrasweek in Devon from which it is partially separated by the river Tamar,
on the south by Bridgerule West and Marhamchurch, and on the west by Stratton
and Poughill. Originally called Lanceles, the small parish of Launcells
is located just inland from Bude and Stratton and contains a few scattered
hamlets. The meaning is taken from Lann (church site) plus unknown word.
However, in this parish was a cell of the Austin Canons, belonging to Hartland
Abbey, which was leased by Henry VIII in 1537 to Sir John Chamond. It had been
supposed that this cell gave its name to the parish, but there is also evidence
that it was a family name. In the reign of King John (1199-1216) that Matilda,
the widow of William Launcell, granted her wood in Launcell Manor to
Hugo, Abbot of Hartland Abbey, for which she received ten shillings. Launcells
Manor was mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086 and so indicates a Norman
church was here at that time.
The Cornwall Family History
Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for
Launcells is set in a secluded valley
three miles east of Bude; it is away from everywhere, charming in its
loveliness among the fields. There is no Launcells village; the Church is
located at Launcells Barton, and the chief hamlets are Grimscott and Butsber or
Butsbeer, (now called Buttsbear).
- The Parish Church - 648 entries
- Grimscott Methodist Chapel - 159 entries.
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:
- The 1851 Census of Launcells (HO107/1897), Enumeration
Districts 3a and 3b, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- The New Zealand Society of Genealogists have compiled separate surname
indexes of the 1851 Census for each Cornish registration district; Launcells is listed in
Volume 5. The booklets are available in Cornwall at the
Cornwall Centre, (formerly known as the Cornish Studies Library), and is
also available in the Cornwall FHS Library.
- 1861. The 1861 Census of Launcells (RG9/1513), Enumeration
Districts 5 and 6, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1871. The 1871 Census of Launcells (RG10/2216), (Enumeration
Districts 5 and 6), is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Launcells (RG11/2270), Enumeration
Districts 5 and 6, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Launcells (RG12/1797), Enumeration
Districts 5 and 6, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census
- Anglican. The parish
church is located in OS Grid Square SS2405; it was initially dedicated to
St Andrew on 16th October 1321, but was later rededicated to St Swithin. It is
divided into a chancel, nave, and north and south aisle. The tower is of four
stages, and is 64 feet in hight to the battlements. It is surmounted by 12 feet
long pinnacles. The belfry contains six bells.
The church of St. Swithin
has a very old door with an immense lock leading to a delightfully unrestored
interior with some fine examples of carved bench-ends, barrel roofs and some
interesting 15th Century floor tiles from the Barnstaple potteries. The grave
of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney lies here and 40 yards south of the church is the
small but impressive well of St. Swithin.
Details about the plans of the modern church are available on-line.
- Non-Conformist. There were Wesleyan Methodist and Bible Christian chapels at Grimscott.
- LDS Church Records.
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1708 - 1989, Burials 1708 - 1988,
Marriages 1642 - 1977, Boyd's Marriage Index 1642 - 1812, Pallot's Index Index 1800 - 1812, BTs 1618 - 1673.
- The Cornwall Family History
Society have published on-line transcripts of
- Pre 1813 Marriages
- 1813-37 Marriages
- 1813-37 Burials.
- Baptisms. The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, baptisms 1709 to 1842 for this parish.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1618 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
- Phillimore's marriages 1642 to 1812, and marriage transcriptions 1838 to 1911, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Phillimore's Marriages
of Launcells 1642 to 1812 are also available on-line from UK Genealogy Archives.
- Burials in this parish 1674 to 1804 (Bishop's transcripts), and 1708 to 1911, are available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book and CD formats.
The parish of Launcells is in the Stratton
Registration District, and has been since 1st July 1837; there were
sub-districts at Kilhampton, Stratton and Week St Mary but these have now been
abolished. Parishes within the district are: Jacobstow, Kilkhampton, Launcells, Marhamchurch, Morwenstow, Poughill, Poundstock, St. Gennys, Stratton, Stratton and Bude, Week St. Mary, Whitstone. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: The Parkhouse Centre, Ergue Gaberic Way, Bude, EX23 8LF. Tel: 01288 353209.
- ePodunk's Cornwall page - providing general, plus some historical and genealogical information, about Cornwall and its parishes, together with links (mainly relating to general sites and services, rather than ones that are specific to Cornwall or particular parishes).
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.
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 Launcells ecclesiastical parish:
- Buttsbear (Bretelesbeorge, Brecelesbeorge), Grid Reference 261043.
- Cann Orchard (Orcet), Grid Reference 230047.
- Launcells (Landseu, Landsev), Grid Reference 244056.
- Great Moreton (Mortuna, Mortvne), Grid Reference 279071.
- Norton (Nortona, Nortone), Grid Reference 253085.
- Higher & Lower Pigsdon (Pighesdona), Grid Reference 281091.
- Thurlibeer (Tirlebera, Tirlebere), Grid Reference 253046.
- Launcells parish was part of the Stratton
Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
- Overseers' Accounts
(1707 to 1856) are available in the Cornwall
- Population in 1801 - 647 persons
- Population in 1811 - 672 persons
- Population in 1821 - 891 persons
- Population in 1831 - 848 persons
- Population in 1841 - 855 persons
- Population in 1851 - 728 persons
- Population in 1861 - 693 persons
- Population in 1871 - 594 persons
- Population in 1881 - 551 persons
- Population in 1891 - 547 persons
- Population in 1901 - 512 persons
- Population in 1911 - 517 persons
- Population in 1921 - 493 persons
- Population in 1931 - 478 persons
- Population in 1951 - 421 persons
- Population in 1961 - 390 persons
- Population in 1971 - 372 persons
- Population in 1981 - 415 persons
- Population in 1991 - 408 persons
- Population in 2001 - 563 persons
- Population in 2011 - 531 persons
The parish comprises 6186 acres of land.
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