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The ancient parish of Madron (or St Madron), (Cornish: Eglosvadern), with Morvah is situated in the Deanery of Penwith, and in the western division of the Hundred of Penwith. Named after an unknown saint, this parish is located north-west of Penzance with pleasant views across Mounts' Bay and St Michael's Mount. It was formerly known as Madderne. It comprises two parts: the larger is bounded by Gulval to the north, to the east by the Borough of Penzance and the sea, to the south is Paul and Sancreed and on the west is Morvah. The lesser detached part is bounded on the east, south and west by Gulval and to the north by Zennor. Madron is not mentioned as such in the Domesday Survey of 1086; Madron Church, Tregwainton and Landithy were originally part of the Manor of Roseworthy in Gwinear. However the rest of the parish was taxed under the jurisdiction of the Manor of Alverton.

Its history goes back into the early middle ages. It possesses the mother church of Penzance and the famous holy well of St Madron, where it is claimed many miraculous cures took place. North of Madron is the prehistoric holed stone known as Men-an-Tol, also believed to have had the power of healing. Naked children suffering from rickets were passed through the hole three times in the hope of restoring their health.


The illustrated Story of Madron (entitled Madron's Story) covering the history of the parish has been published by: Bossiney Books, Langore, Launceston, Cornwall PL15 8LD (ISBN 1-899383-48-4).

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In addition to the churchyard, a municipal cemetery of three-quarters of an acre was formed at Heamoor in 1880. There is also a Private burial ground attached to, but not part of, Wesley Rock Methodist Church in Heamoor; the records of this ground have been recovered and published by Peter Doe.

The following records are available:

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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

The church registers for marriages and burials commenced in 1577; baptisms commenced in 1592. (there were earlier records but these have all been lost). They were kept tolerably well for the first 100 years or so, then confusion set in until about 1700. The records of Heamoor are combined with those of Madron; Morvah records were maintained separately.

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Civil Registration

The parish of Madron is in the Penzance Registration District and has been since 1st July 1837. There were sub-districts at St Buryan and at St Just 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 Madron ecclesiastical parish:

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Alverton Manor was in existence before 1066; it comprised the greater portion of the parish of Madron, Penzance, as well as part of Paul and Mousehole.

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Medical Records

The plague hit this part of Cornwall in 1647 as shown by these figures from the Madron burial register (thanks to Tom Hill on CORNISH-L 21 March 2003).

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Apprenticeship Indentures for Madron (Register 1759 - 1831, 1732 to 1835 Register) can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

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  • Population in 1801 - 1564 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1819 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 2011 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 2058 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 2441 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 2529 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 2512 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 2765 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2328 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 2629 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 3364 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 3584 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 3148 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 3167 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 1420 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 1333 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 1280 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 1285 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 1320 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 1533 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 1591 persons

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Probate Records

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The parish comprises 5589 acres of land.

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