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Help and advice for Newquay

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The parish and town of Newquay, (Cornish: Tewynn Pleustri), is a thriving tourist resort on the north coast of Cornwall. This one-time fishing village, was originally called Towan Blystra and unknown apart from its pilchard catch. The shoals of fish were sighted by the huer perched in the Huer's Hut on the headland - giving rise to the expression "hue and cry' as he shouted to the villagers to direct them to the pilchards off the coastline. The quay here was first recorded in 1439. This pilchard industry has now gone, and the town is now famed for its large beaches and surfing. The international surfing championships are held here on Fistral Beach from time to time.

The cliffs on this part of the coast are lofty and interesting. The town has a railway station and the nearby RAF St Mawgan military air base also doubles as Newquay's civil airport. During the summer months the town is very busy with visitors from all over the UK and many from Europe and the rest of the world.

The ecclesiastical parish of Newquay was created 1882 from part of St Columb Minor parish. In 1960 Newquay formally subsumed St Columb Minor civil parish, which has become a suburb of Newquay.

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)


The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for OLD Cemetery - 542 entries.


Census information for this parish from its creation, and that for St Columb Minor (1841 - 1901) is held in the Cornwall Record Office. In the 19th century it was always enumerated under St Columb Minor.
The Cornwall Family History Society offers a census search service for its members.
Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Newquay area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

  • Anglicans. The parish was created 1882 from part St Columb Minor parish. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW8161. There had been a chapel-of-ease here before the present church was built in 1910, in a fine Cornish Perpendicular style. It is dedicated to St Michael.
  • Roman Catholics. There is a record of Mass being celebrated at Newquay, occasionally, in 1897, in a private chapel of "The Tower" (now the Golf Club), a house owned by Lady Molesworth. Great efforts were made to organise a weekly Mass. In 1902, the Canons Regular from Bodmin agreed to send a priest every Sunday. In 1903, Lady Molesworthy donated part of her estate for a Church and Miss Ellis of Hayle donated five hundred pounds for the building.
    With great joy on Trinity Sunday 1903, the Catholic Church of the Most Holy Trinity was opened. In 1918, Newquay was made a Parish. The Lady Chapel was built in 1935 and the Parish Hall in 1938. In 1981, the Church was extended by the provision of a narthex. Although for some time the Parish continued to be served by the Bodmin Fathers, in 1985 it was transferred to the Diocese of Plymouth. The induction of the first diocesan priest in Newquay by His Lordship Bishop Christopher Budd took place in January 1988.
  • Non-Conformist. The Wesleyan Methodists and Bible Christians both had chapels here.

Church Records

  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings of Newquay parish are not known.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1882 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • See also under St Columb Major. Wesleyan Methodist baptisms at Newquay (St Columb Circuit) 1857 to 1902, Newquay Claremont United Methodist baptisms 1908 to 1911, and Newquay Wesleyan Methodist baptisms 1904 to 1911, are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Banns. Banns 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Marriages. Marriages 1882 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Burials. Burials 1911 to 1936 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Other Non-Conformist Records. OPC coverage of other Non-Conformist records of this parish is also available.

Civil Registration

The parish of Newquay was originally in the St Columb Registration District. It is now in the Registration District of St Austell. There were sub-districts at Newlyn, Padstow and St Columb Major, but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the old St Columb district were: Colan, Crantock, Cubert, Little Petherick, Mawgan-in-Pydar, Newlyn, Newquay, Padstow, St. Breock, St. Columb Major, St. Columb Minor, St. Enoder, St. Ervan, St. Eval, St. Issey, St. Merryn, St. Wenn.

The Superintendant Registrar of St Austell can be contacted at: 12 Carlyon Road, St Austell, PL25 4LD. Tel: 01726 68974. Fax: 01726 68974.

Description and Travel

  • The Notebook of James Edward Veal of Newquay (b 1880, d.1961) Compiled by Merv Davy Published 2008 is available on-line, courtesy of the Old Cornwall Society.
  • 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).
  • Pictures of Newquay are available on-line.
You can see pictures of Newquay 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.
  • Susan Old is undertaking the reconstruction of parishes in the Hundred of Pydar.

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Newquay has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW810610 (Lat/Lon: 50.407892, -5.083579), Newquay which are provided by:

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Newquay parish was part of the St Columb Major Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.


The parish was created 1882 from part of St Columb Minor parish. From 1961 the figures include those of St Columb Minor parish which is no longer separately enumerated.

  • Population in 1801 - 1298 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1484 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1686 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1864 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 2131 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 2704 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 2448 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 2681 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 3119 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 3357 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 4529 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 6084 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 8312 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 7651 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 9930 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 11881 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 15017 persons
  • Population in Newquay parish in 1981 - 14205 persons
  • Population in Newquay Town in 1981 - 14125 persons
  • Population in Newquay parish in 1991 - 17510 persons
  • Population in Newquay Town in 1991 - 17395 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 19423 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 20836 persons


The Newquay Old Cornwall Society News Page is on-line.


The parish comprises 3467 acres of land.