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The parish of Phillack, (Cornish: Sen Felek), is located to the north of Hayle, and is now one of Nature Conservancy's Sites of Special Scientific Importance. It was situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith; it is bounded on the north by Gwithian, on the east by Gwinear, on the south St Erth, and on the west by St Ives Bay and Hayle estuary - the latter separates it from Lelant. This is an area of sand dunes stretching from the mouth of the Hayle river at Riviere Towans, northwards to Godrevy Point. It is not mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086, but the site once appeared to have a Celtic monastery.

The parish church is dedicated to an unknown saint, Felek. St Elwyn in Hayle was created from part of this parish 1888. In 1935 Phillack was amalgamated with Hayle civil parish.


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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:

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Church History

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Church Records

If you cannot find what you were looking for in the St Elwyn or Phillack transcriptions, check the St Erth parish register transcriptions as many St Erth parish register entries refer to residents of Phillack and Hayle.

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Civil Registration

The parish of Phillack was originally in the Redruth Registration District until its dissolution. There were sub-districts at Camborne, Gwennap, Illogan, Phillack and Redruth which have now been abolished. It is now part of the Registration District of Camborne-Redruth. Parishes in this registration district were: Camborne, East Phillack, Gwennap, Gwinear, Gwithian, Illogan, Phillack, Redruth, St. Sithian's, West Phillack.

The address of the Superintendant Registrar of Camborne-Redruth is: Roskear, Camborne, TR14 8DN. Tel: 01209 612924.

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Description & Travel

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The entry for the Parish of Phillack in 1873 from the Kelly's Directory of Cornwall - 1873 is available on-line.

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Land & Property

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

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Hayle St Elwyn parish was created from part of this parish in 1888.
Phillack was incorporated into Hayle (St Elwyn) parish in 1935. In 1891, West Phillack contained 694 persons, and in 1901 the population was 668; after 1931 Phillack population figures were included as part of Hayle.

  • Population in 1801 - 1475 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 2119 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 2529 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 3053 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 4055 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 4777 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 5381 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 4854 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2691 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 3979 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 3881 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 3661 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 3471 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 3233 persons

A STUDY OF THE POPULATION OF THE PARISH OF PHILLACK by John Higgans (and taken from Old Cornwall Magazine, published in Autumn 1969 on pages 222 -231) is available on-line.

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Probate Records

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Religion & Religious Life

In the May of 1641 it was agreed and ordered that every Member of the House of Commons and House of Lords should make a protestation (declaration of loyalty) to the crown. The Protestation was printed and then distributed by the Members to their counties. The Protestation was to be made by everyone and the Rectors, Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor, had to appear before the Justices of the Peace in their Hundred to make their protestation and, on returning to their parishes, any two of them were to witness the taking of the Protestation Oath by all males over the age of 18 years. All names were listed and anyone who refused was to be noted.

The Protestation Returns of 1641 for Phillack are available on-line.

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The parish comprises 2905 acres of land, 4 acres of water, 29 acres of tidal water and 279 acres of foreshore.

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