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St. Sennen, (Cornish: Sen Senana), is just east of Lands End and is the most westerly village in the county. It is located in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith. The parish of St. Just is to the north, St. Leven to the south, Buryan to the east; to the west is Land's End and the Atlantic Ocean. The parish rests on granite only. The cliff that bounds Land's End is more abrupt than elevated, not being more than 60 ft. above sea-level.

The name is compounded from Sen-nan (Holy Valley), but is derived from the patron saint of the parish church. St Sennan (Sinninus) was an Irish Abbot who was, supposedly, at Rome with St. Patrick, and came to Cornwall with St. Breage. However the parish is not mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086.

The parish is very exposed to wind and the sea air. In the 19th century it was a peaceful agricultural and fishing community. The coming of the railways brought increasing numbers of tourists, culminating in the large entertainment complex which exists there today.

The Inn at the Church-Town is known by the name "The First and Last Inn in England". Principal villages in the parish are: Churchtown, Treave, Maen, Sennen Cove, Escalls and Trevescan. On Land's End isthmus, Wesley is said to have composed the verse of one of his hymns commencing: "Lo! on a narrow neck of land".


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Census information for this parish (1841 - 1901) is held in the Cornwall Records Office. The Cornwall FHS 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

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Civil Registration

The parish of Sennen 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.

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Description & Travel

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A copy of the following Directories are available on-line:

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Military Records

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Names, Personal

Some people who were born in Sennen but living elswhere at the time of the 1881 UK Census are listed.

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Apprenticeship Indentures for Sennen 1817 - 1833 can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

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

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  • Population in 1801 - 431 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 495 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 537 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 689 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 659 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 652 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 613 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 630 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 678 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 679 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 644 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 663 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 646 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 692 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 691 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 704 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 755 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 850 persons, plus 195 in Sennen Cove Village and 560 in Sennen Village
  • Population in 1991 - 850 persons, plus 205 in Sennen Cove Village and 645 in Sennen Village
  • Population in 2001 - 829 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 806 persons

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Probate Records

Wills & Admons for Sennen parish, 1700-1799 are available on-line.

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Religion & Religious Life

The Incumbents of St Sennen church are listed.

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The Penwith Local History Group aims:

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The parish consists of 2284 acres of land, 6 acres of water and 64 acres of foreshore.

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