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The parish of Sithney, (Cornish: Merthersydhni), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier. It is bounded on the north by Crowan, on the east by Wendron and Helston and the Looe Pool which separates it from Gunwalloe, on the south by the sea, and on the west by Breage. It is named after the patron saint of the church, who chose to be the patron saint of mad dogs (in preference to young women). The parish lies about three miles north west of the town of Helston in a mainly agricultural area. In the 19th century there were at least eight tin mines in the area, none of which are working today. There are the ruins of an old farmhouse Plane-an-Gwary, meaning 'place of the plays'. Here Cornish Miracle plays were acted in medieval times, and later Cornish wrestlers were seen here on feast and fair days.

The principal villages are the Churchtown, Porthleven, St Johns, Penrose, Mellangoose, Lower Prospidnick, Dowga, Sithney Common, Sithney Green, Coverack, Crown Town (or Gudna), Lowertown, Chyreen and Lower Tregadjack. Porthleven, which was originally part of this parish, became a separate parish in 1844.



Census information for parishes in this town (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

Church Records

Civil Registration

The parish of Sithney was originally in the Helston Registration District; there were sub-districts at Breage, Crowan, Helston, St Keverne and Wendron. It is now in the Kerrier Registration District. Parishes in this registration district are: Breage, Crowan, Cury, Germoe, Gunwalloe, Grade, Helston, Landewednack, Manaccan, Mawgan in Meneage, Mullion, Ruan Major, Ruan Minor, St. Anthony in Meneage, St. Keverne, St. Martin in Meneage, Sithney, Wendron.

The address of the Registration Office is: The Willows, Church Street, Helston, TR13 8NJ.
Tel: 01326 562848.

Description & Travel


Historical Geography

The Domesday Settlements of Cornwall, a study undertaken by the Cornwall Branch of the Historical Association, has identified and located settlements listed in the Exeter and Exchequer Domesday Survey of AD 1086. The following places have been identified in Sithney ecclesiastical parish:

Land & Property


Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.


The parish of Porthleven was created from parts of this parish and Breage parish in 1846.

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)
  • Population in 1801 - 1420 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1552 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 2238 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 2772 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 3362 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 2768 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 3306 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 3561 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 1457 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 3290 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 3075 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 2691 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 2540 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 2519 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 765 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 772 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 736 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 695 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 710 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 767 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 836 persons

Probate Records


Sithney/Porthleven Board School Admissions - 1886-1921 are on-line, courtesy of the OPC.


The parish comprises 4028 acres of land.

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