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St Cleer

The parish of St Cleer, (Cornish: Ryskaradek), is named after its patron, Saint Clarus. It is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of West. It is bounded on the north by Altarnun and North Hill, on the east by Linkinhorne and St Ive, on the south by Menheniot amd Liskeard, and on the west by St Neot from which it is separated by the River Fowey. It was once a mining parish where 'On Saturday nights after pay-day, the populous villages of Caradon Town, Pensilva, Minions and Crows Nest were crowded with men, and resembled in character the mining camps of Colorado and the Far West' (of the USA). (A.K. Hamilton Jenkin.

About a mile to the north of the Church stands the Trevetheye Quoit (Stone). This primitive unwrought monument has occupied its present position for over 2000 years. It is of granite and consists of six upright stones and one large slab covering them in an inclined position. Its place name of Trevethy, Trevedi or Trevithy signifying, in the Cornish language, 'the place of the graves', indicating it was once a burial chamber from the Bronze Age.

Although a great part of the parish consists of wild and extensive moors and commons, there are a number of good and well-cultivated estates in it. St Cleer was once an eminent mining parish with some of the richest and best-paying mines in Cornwall. It is now a dormitory area within Caradon District Council; the vast majority of the inhabitants are commuters to Liskeard or Plymouth. Besides the Churchtown, the main villages are Tremar, Tremar Coom, Common Moor, Railway Terrace (now known as Darite), and Crow's Nest.

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)



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

Civil Registration

The parish of St Cleer has always been in the Liskeard Registration District. There were sub-districts at Callington, Lerrin, Liskeard and Looe, but these closed in the 1930s. Parishes within the district are: Boconnoc, Broadoak, Callington, Calstock (1837-60), Duloe, East Looe, Lanreath, Lansallos, Lanteglos, Linkinhorne, Liskeard, Liskeard Borough, Menheniot, Morval, Pelynt, St. Cleer, St. Dominick, St. Ive, St. Keyne, St. Martin's, St. Neot, St. Pinnock, St. Veep, Southill, Talland and West Looe. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Graylands, Dean Street, Liskeard, PL14 4AH. Tel: 01579 343442.

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 St Cleer ecclesiastical parish:


Military Records

The Muster Rolls for 1569, in respect of St Cleer, are available on-line, courtesy of the OPC.


Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.


  • Population in 1801 - 774 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 780 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 985 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 982 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 1412 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 2343 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 3931 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 3835 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2865 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 2124 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 1652 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 1648 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 1585 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1516 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 1616 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 1524 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 1802 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 2580 persons, including 2015 persons in St Cleer & Tremar Villages
  • Population in 1991 - 3100 persons, including 2470 persons in St Cleer & Tremar Villages)
  • Population in 2001 - 3257 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 3339 persons

Religion and 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 parish comprised 10927 acres of land and 16 acres of water.

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