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The parish of Marhamchurch, (Cornish: Eglosvarwenn), is situated in the Deanery of Trigg Major and Hundred of Stratton. It is bounded on the north by Stratton and Launcells, on the east by Bridgerule, on the south by Week St Mary and Poundstock, and on the west by the sea. It was founded as a monastic settlement by St. Morwenna - the 'Church of St Marwen'. This saint could be another one of the children King Broccan or could be St Merwenn, the 10th century abbess of Romsey in Hampshire. The parish is in the north-east corner of Cornwall near the Devon border, which may explain the English-sounding name. The manor of Marham Church is the Maroncirche and Maronacirca of the Domesday Survey of 1086: "Hamelin holds MARONECICHE. Broder held it before 1066, and paid tax for 1½ furlongs. 1 virgate of land there, however. Land for 2 ploughs; 1 plough there, with 1 slave and 1 villager and 2 smallholders. Pasture, 20 acres. Formerly 10s; value 6. [20 sheep Exon]".
The Churchtown village lies on the course of the old Bude canal, built in the 19th century, which connected Launceston and Holsworthy to the port of Bude. In 1888 the railways made the canal obsolete. The only villages are the Churchtown and Tetson.
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.
Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:
- 1841. The 1841 Census of Marhamchurch (HO107/151), Enumeration Districts 6 and 7, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- The 1851 Census of Marhamchurch (HO107/1897) (Enumeration Districts 4a and 4b), 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; Marhamchurch 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 Marhamchurch (RG9/1513), Enumeration Districts 7 and 8, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1871. The 1871 Census of Marhamchurch (RG10/2216), Enumeration Districts 7 and 8 [plus Merchant Shipping], is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Marhamchurch (RG11/2270), Enumeration Districts 7, and 8 [including Merchant Shipping], is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Marhamchurch (RG12/1797), Enumeration Districts 7 and 8 [plus Merchant Shipping], is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SS2203, and was dedicated to St Morwenna. It consists of a chancel, nave, north aisle, and south transept. The arcade consists of five four-centred arches. The entrances are a south porch and a priest's door; the north door is blocked. The tower has three stages, is buttressed at the angles, and is finished with battlements and pinnacle; the belfry contains five bells.
- Non-Conformist. In the Churchtown were chapels for the Wesleyan Methodists, Bible Christians, and the United Methodist Free Church.
- LDS Church Records.
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1558 - 1866, Burials 1558 - 1890, Marriages 1558 - 1977, Boyds Marriage Index 1558 - 1812.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
- Pre 1813 Marriages
- 1813-37 Marriages
- 1813-37 Burials
- Baptisms 1719 to 1866 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, baptisms 1740 to 1840 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
- Burials 1719 to 1890 for this parish 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 CD or Book formats.
The parish of Marhamchurch 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).
- Photographs of Marhamchurch are available on-line.
- More pictures of Marhamchurch are available, courtesy of Steve Potter.
You can see pictures of Marhamchurch which are provided by:
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 Marhamchurch ecclesiastical parish:
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS220030 (Lat/Lon: 50.799094, -4.527349), Marhamchurch which are provided by:
- Marhamchurch parish was part of the Stratton Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
- Overseers' Accounts (1819 to 1838) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.
- Population in 1801 - 414 persons
- Population in 1811 - 448 persons
- Population in 1821 - 647 persons
- Population in 1831 - 659 persons
- Population in 1841 - 659 persons
- Population in 1851 - 584 persons
- Population in 1861 - 581 persons
- Population in 1871 - 591 persons
- Population in 1881 - 535 persons
- Population in 1891 - 484 persons
- Population in 1901 - 445 persons
- Population in 1911 - 466 persons
- Population in 1921 - 464 persons
- Population in 1931 - 471 persons
- Population in 1951 - 588 persons
- Population in 1961 - 473 persons
- Population in 1971 - 449 persons
- Population in 1981 - 470 persons
- Population in 1991 - 648 persons
- Population in 2001 - 754 persons
- Population in 2011 - 728 persons
The parish comprises 2703 acres of land, 13 acres of water and 92 acres of foreshore.