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Par

Par, (Cornish: An Porth), is in the Hundred of Powder and the Deanery of St Austell. It is located on the south coast of Cornwall, five miles east of St.Austell and west of the parish of Tywardreath. Par is a product of the Industrial Age of the 19th century. The harbour was constructed in the 19th century to export copper, granite and china clay.

Today the port is far from idle and still exports kaolin (from china clay). The surrounding sandy beaches provide tourists with camping and caravan sites.

The parish was created 1849 from parts of St. Blazey and Tywardreath parishes.

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)

Cemeteries

The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 831 entries.

Census

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:

Churches

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Par 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

  • Anglican. The Parish of Par was formed out of the Parishes of Tywardreath and St. Blazey; it has two Anglican churches. The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin is situated in Biscovey (in OS Grid Square SX0553) and was completed in 1849. St. Mary's stands on the perimeter of the Parish. The land was given unconditionally by Edward Carlyon, the owner of Tregrehan House at that time, in a conveyance dated 9th July 1847. This was the area, 240 feet from east to west and 170 feet from north to south, locally known as Biscovean. The land included a quarry adjoining the same on the south, (which is believed to have been situated where St. Mary's Car Park now stands), and a wood or plantation adjoining the eastern side of the quarry. There is a gate on the west side of the churchyard where the servants from Tregrehan House entered the churchyard after walking across the fields to attend church services and is still there today, albeit a little dilapidated.

    The new church was consecrated on 1st November 1849 and the burial ground surrounding the church on 26th May 1857. An additional burial ground was consecrated on 20th March 1909. St. Mary's was built mainly from the reddish coloured Biscovey slate, taken from the adjacent quarry, the architect preferring to use local materials where appropriate. The general effect of the exterior created by Street, is picturesque and a revival of the medieval. The quoins, or corner stones, are hewn from Pentuan stone brought from the cliffs near Mevagissey, a stone that was used locally in the 13th and 14th centuries. The most impressive aspect of the church is the square tower with broached octagonal belfry (containing one bell) and stone spire, standing at the west end of the south aisle. The church comprises a chancel, nave and three bay south aisle, each having a separate gabled roof. Early descriptions of the church suggest the original seating to be 360. The porch was an addition some time after 1886 and would seem to have been merely a separated area using wood screens much the same as it is today and could have originally been a seated area. Also, it is known that pews were removed from the back of the church, where the organ now stands, the previous organ being situated in front of and to the right of the choir stalls. This could account for the loss of the seating capacity, the present day seating being approximately 200. The south aisle was converted into a side-chapel and dedicated to St. Francis, and the stained glass windows over the altar there are in memory of Frank Garrett, who was Vicar of Par from 1872 to 1885. There are 11 stained glass windows in the Sanctuary and Chancel, which were put in when the church was built. The Chancel was renovated in 1899.

    Par church is part of the Team Ministry of St Blazey-with-Par, and there is a parish website available.

    The Mission Church of the Good Shepherd was built at Par Green in 1896 and the total cost of £850 met by Bishop John Gott, the third Bishop of Truro, as a thanks offering for a great mercy. Bishop Gott lived at Trenython which stands on the hill above Tywardreath. The Church was designed by Edmund Sedding a pupil of George Edmund Street and built of granite with facings of Polyphant stone. Details about the plans of the modern church are available on-line.
  • Non-Conformist. The Wesleyan Methodists, Bible Christians and Primitive Methodists all had chapels in this parish.

Church Records

Civil Registration

The parish of Par has been in the Registration District of St Austell continuously from its creation in 1849. There were sub-districts at Fowey, Grampound, Mevagissey and St Austell, but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Creed, Fowey, Gorran, Grampound, Mevagissey, Roche, St. Austell, St. Blazey, St. Dennis, St. Ewe, St. Mewan, St. Michael Carhays, St. Sampson, St. Stephen in Brannel, Tywardreath. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: 12 Carlyon Road, St Austell, PL25 4LD. Tel: 01726 68974. Fax: 01726 68974.

You can see pictures of Par which are provided by:

Genealogy

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 OPC has produced a genealogical website for the parish.

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Par 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 SX070530 (Lat/Lon: 50.345146, -4.714015), Par which are provided by:

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Par parish became part of the St Austell Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief following its creation in 1849.

Population

The parish was created 1849 from part of St. Blazey parish; before that date, population figures are included with St Blazey.

  • Population in 1851 - 1844 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 2327 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 1530 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 1520 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1634 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 1777 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 1934 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 2040 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 2312 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 1932 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 920 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 880 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 1340 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 1370 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 3161 persons (Tywardreath and Par)
  • Population in 2011 - 3192 persons (Tywardreath and Par)

Statistics

The parish comprises 1819 acres of land.