The parish of Marazion, (Cornish: Marghasyow), is located on the south-west coast of Cornwall directly opposite St Michael's Mount. The parish was created in 1813 from St Hilary parish. Its modern name derives from the important fairs and markets that were held here. The origin of name, "marghas byghan", means 'little market' and "marghas Yow", or Jew (Thursday Market). Time has blurred the pronunciations to Marazion.
The town of Marazion is situated on the shore of Mount's Bay. The oldest record in which it is named is a charter of Richard, King of the Romans and Earl of Cornwall, circa 1250, where it is called Marhasgon. As already stated, it has also been known as Margas-jewe or Marhas-gou, Markasion. The appellation of Market-Jew has led to the supposition that it once had a market, chiefly attended by foreign Jews, for the purchasing of tin.
This quaint town can claim to be the oldest town in Britain, called Ictis by the Romans. In 1170, it was sending two members to Parliament in London; this continued until the dissolution of the Priory of the Mount. The first charter of incorporation was granted by Henry III in 1257. This charter of incorporation was reaffirmed by Elizabeth I on 13th June 1595. This permitted a mayor, eight aldermen and twelve capital burgesses. It also granted a market on Saturdays, and a fair on 11th June and another on 30th November. It appears that at that time, the town was run-down having been laid waste during a rebellion in the time of the reign of Elizabeth's brother, King Edward VI. Marazion was the major town in West Cornwall until the late medieval period when it was overtaken by Penzance.
Towards the end of the 18th century, the town was prospering and villa residences were being built, which increased in number during the 19th century. The town was surrounded by many mines, some having such enigmatic names as Wheal Prosper, Wheal Crab, Wheal Rodney, Tolvadden and South Neptune. These and other mines in the area remained active until the depression in the tin and copper industries in the late 19th century. Some of these mine names are still preserved in some form or other today.
Marazion has always attracted visitors; many came as pilgrims to the Benedictine Monastery or Priory on St Michael's Mount, and who stayed in the town until the causeway was revealed by the ebbing tide. Nowadays, it is possible to walk or take a ferry, depending upon the tide, to St Michael's Mount - the island home of the St Aubyn family. Interest is centred on the excellent beach and the splendid sailing and windsurfing waters, but there are also some lovely coastal and inland walks. When the priory was founded on St Michaels Mount in the tenth century, both Marazion and the Mount were thriving ports, and even as late as the eighteenth century there was a trade in cured fish, tin, copper and coal.
The mild climate has encouraged an important local agricultural industry; crops such as potato and broccoli can be harvested early in the season. Bulbs and flowers are another major part of the local economy and wild flowers add to the beauty of the stone-hedged fields. At the start of the 21st century, Marazion still attracts many tourists who are drawn to visiting St Michael's Mount.
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)