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The parish of Morvah, (Cornish: Morvedh), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith. It is bounded on the north by the sea and Zennor, on the east by Madron, on the south by Madron and St Just, and on the west by St Just/Pendeen and the sea. One interpretation of the parish name is sea-grave, and it is believed a saint's grave was once revered here. This parish is located on the north coast of the south-west 'toe' of Cornwall, between Zennor and Pendeen. Amongst spectactular scenery there is an abundance of prehistoric archaeological sites. Chun castle was a habited fort with surviving hut circles and stone walls. Other sites of interest are Chun Quoit, Lanyon Quoit and Gurnards Head Promontory Fort, which is one mile north of Porthmeor.

Villages in the parish are the Churchtown, Tregaminion, Trevowan, Trevean.

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

Photographs of the church and chapel in Morvah are available.

Church Records

Civil Registration

The parish of Morvah has been in the Penzance Registration District continuously from 1st July 1837. There were originally sub-districts at Marazion, Penzance, St Buryan, St Just, St Ives and Uny-Lelant 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.

Description & Travel




Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Morvah parish was part of the Penzance Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.


  • Population in 1801 - 282 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 273 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 325 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 377 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 407 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 367 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 380 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 356 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 184 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 172 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 116 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 105 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 112 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 86 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 72 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 65 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 77 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 65 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 80 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 79 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 49 persons

Probate Records

Religion and Religious Life


The Penwith Local History Group aims:


The parish comprised 1270 acres of land, one acre of water and 14 acres of foreshore.


Entries from the Hearth Tax 1662 - 1664 for Morvah are availble on-line.

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