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St Austell

The parish of St. Austell is in the Deanery and Eastern Division of the Powder Hundred. It was originally bounded on the north by the parishes of Roche and Luxulyan, on the east by St. Blazey and Par in Tywardreath, in the south by the English Channel and Mevagissey, and in the west by the parishes of St. Ewe, St. Mewan, and St. Stephen-in-Brannel. Named after its patron Saint, the Parish is in Restormel District; the the 19th century, it was commonly spelled St Austle; Originally, it encompassed 11,450 acres of land. In 1847, the parish of Charlestown was created from the eastern section, and Treverbyn was created from the northern half in 1850, leaving St. Austell a parish of 1,339 acres. The town of St. Austell was not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.

The parish is a centre for extremely high-grade china clay extraction since the 1780's. It has been mined for tin and copper even longer; Carclaze mine has been worked continuously for 400 years, first for tin and copper, now for china clay. Tin and copper mining were extremely productive in the early 1800's. After the collapse of copper in 1866, china clay became the primary mineral mined in the parish. It is still being mined today, and is being shipped all over the world.

There are villages scattered across the parish, from Pentewan in the far south to Bugle in the north. About half-way is the town of St. Austell, which is situated in a well-cultivated district on the south side of a hill. The land falls gradually to the River Vinnick. Whilst the town was not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, records exist from the 1100s and it has been a market town for centuries. It has also acted as a coinage town (briefly) and as the head of the county court district. Since the railways came in the 1859 numerous villas have been built. Located within the town is the widely-known St. Austell Brewery. It is a centre for higher education, and includes Cornwall's first college devoted to languages. The St. Austell Union workhouse was at one time located within the town.

The parish has numerous historical sites, as well as recreational areas and interesting museums such as the Wheal Martyn Mining Museum, which is an authentic and complete 1800s clay mine. Famous inhabitants include A. L. Rowse, the historian, Bishop Colenso of South Africa, Loveday Hamblyn 'the Cornish saint', an adherent of George Fox, and Samuel Drew, a miner at 9 who grew into a Methodist preacher and noted theologian.

The town of St Austell is situated in a well-cultivated district on the south side of a hill, which falls gradually to the River Vinnick. Since the coming of the railways, numerous villas had been built. The Workhouse for the St Austell Union was located within the town. St Austell town is still in the civil and ecclesiastical parish of St Austell, whilst the rural area is now a separate civil parish.


A number of articles have been written by people who love Cornwall, and whose families have lived there for centuries. Other have family ties, but have only been able to visit. They all have developed an expertise over the years, and are willing to share their perceptions. These are available on-line.



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:

Church History

Church Records

  • Burials 1564 - 1569 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1570 - 1575 sorted by date. Note: There are no entries for 1574.
  • Burials 1576 - 1583 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1584 - 1588 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1589 - 1592 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1593 - 1596 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1597 - 1605 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1606 - 1615 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1616 - 1619 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1620 - 1629 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1630 - 1650 sorted by date. Note: 1635, 1636, 1639, 1641-47, 1649 are missing.
  • Burials 1651 - 1658 sorted by date. Note: 1659 and 1660 are missing.
  • Burials 1661 - 1664 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1665 - 1669 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1670 - 1672 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1673 - 1677 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1678 - 1682 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1683 - 1686 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1687 - 1689 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1690 - 1693 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1694 - 1699 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1700 - 1704 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1705 - 1710 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1711 - 1716 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1717 - 1723 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1724 - 1729 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1730 - 1734 sorted by date.
  • Burials 1735 - 1739 sorted by date.
  • Burial Records of the Society of Friends (Quakers) in St Austell are available on-line.
  • Burials at Bodmin Asylum of insane patients from St Austell is available on-line.
  • Other Non-Conformist Records. OPC Coverage of Non-Conformist records of this parish is available.

    Civil Registration

    The parish of St Austell has been in the Registration District of St Austell continuously from 1st July 1837. 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.

    Description & Travel



    OPC Assistance.

    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 St Austell ecclesiastical parish:

    Land & Property


    MANORS in St Austell Parish. For information on the location of material on the manors and tenements in St. Austell, the Courtney Library, Royal Institution of Cornwall, has the Henderson Collection - which includes most places in St. Austell. However, the Johnstone Collection at the CRO in Truro would be the place to go for Pentewan material, the Carlyon Collection at the CRO has material for Tregrehan, and the Sawle Collection has material on Tewington.

    The Manorial Documents Register (MDR) notes that, so far as can be established, the parish of St Austell contained the following manors:

    • Austell Prior (alias Austell)
    • Penrice
    • St. Austell Manor
    • Tewington
    • Tregorrick
    • Trenance
    • Trenance Austell*
    • Trenarren*
    • Treverbyn Courtenay
    • Treverbyn Trevanion
    The Cornwall Record Office website includes the following manors, which had (have) subsidiary manorial holdings within St. Austell Parish. (Please see the manorial holdings listed below).
    • Pentewan
    • Prideaux
    • Tredenham
    • Tregrehan
    • Tregenna, in St. Ewe
    • Tregenna, in St. Issey
    The MDR contains the following information for these manors:

    MANORS with subsidiary holdings in St. Austell Parish.

    The above information correlates with the CRO website AND the Historical Manuscripts Commission. All the information regarding what records are held where will be on the OPC website. It should be noted that the Austell Prior 17th cent. survey is in Southampton.


    Military Records

    Names, Personal


    Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.


    • Population in 1801 - 3788 persons
    • Population in 1811 - 3686 persons
    • Population in 1821 - 6175 persons
    • Population in 1831 - 8758 persons
    • Population in 1841 - 10180 persons in the parish, and 140 persons in the Union Workhouse
    • Population in 1851 - 10750 persons
    • Population in 1861 - 11824 persons (including 11823 in St Austell parish)
    • Population in 1871 - 11793 persons
    • Population in 1881 - 11286 persons
    • Population in 1891 - 11377 persons
    • Population in 1901 - 11998 persons
    • Population in 1911 - 13609 persons
    • Population in 1921 - 13577 persons
    • Population in 1931 - 20464 persons (including 8295 in St Austell parish)
    • Population in 1951 - 20813 persons
    • Population in 1961 - 19970 persons
    • Population in 1971 - 16600 (St Austell Town, including Charlestown and Carlyon Bay)*
    • Population in 1981 - 19480 persons
    • Population in 1991 - 20395 persons (incl. 10480 in St Austell parish)
    • Population in 2001 - 21110 persons
    • Population in 2011 - 19630 persons, plus 811 in St Austell Bay)

    The 1971 Census was counted slightly differently; the actual count produced a population figure of 32,265 for St Austell town, parish but this also included Fowey Borough.

    Probate Records

    Church of England Probate Records: Index to Calendar 1773 - 1858 is available on-line.

    Religion & Religious Life



    Originally St Austell parish encompassed 11,450 acres. In 1847, the parish of Charlestown was created from the eastern section, and Treverbyn was created from the northern half in 1850, leaving St. Austell a parish of 1,339 acres of land and inland water.


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