The parish of St Levan, (Cornish: Sen Selevan), was originally part of
the parish of St Buryan and has been closely connected with it. It is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith. It
is bounded on the north by St Buryan, on the east and south by sea, and on the
west by Sennen. St Leven takes its name from the patron saint of the church, St
Selevan. The parish is ten miles west of Penzance. Porthcurno,
on the south coast, was the site of the first cable laid across the Atlantic.
Not far from Porthcurno is the Minack Open Air
Theatre, built into the cliffs by Rowena Cade in 1932, which has the sea as
a backdrop to the stage.
The chief village is Teryn (or Treen).
St Levan is also a pleasant village, which in the past relied heavily on shell
fishing as source of income. At Porthgwarra (the higher port), a little
fishing cove, tunnels are cut through the rock to give access to the sand and
ore-weed beach. Penberth Cove is also a fishing place.
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:
- The 1851 Census of St Levan (HO107/1919), Enumeration
Districts 2a and 2b, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- The New Zealand Society of Genealogists have compiled separate surname
indexes of the 1851 Census for each Cornish registration district; St Levan is listed in
Volume 30. The booklets are available in Cornwall at the
Cornwall Centre, (formerly known as the Cornish Studies Library), and is
also available in the Cornwall FHS Library.
- 1861. The 1861 Census of St Levan (RG9/1599), Enumeration
Districts 6D and 7A, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1871. The 1871 Census of St Levan (RG10/2346), Enumeration
Districts 6B and 7A, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1881. The 1881 Census of St Levan (RG11/2351), Enumeration
Districts 6 [including Schools], and 7 plus Merchant Shipping, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1891. The 1891 Census of St Levan (RG12/1861), Enumeration
Districts 6 and 7, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1901. The 1901 Census of St Levan (RG13/2258), Enumeration
District 6 [including Wolf Rock and Longships Lighthouses, and Merchant Shipping], is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- Anglican. The parish
church is located in OS Grid Square SW3822 and is dedicated to St Selevan.
The church consists of a chancel, nave, south aisle and north transept. The
arcade has six low pointed arches, supported on octagonal monolith pillars of
granite. The roofs hare well arved and the bosses appear to have been painted
and gilded. There is a south porch, and a blocked doorway in the angle between
the nave and transept. The tower is of two stages, and is finished with
battlements and pinnacles; it contained two bells.
This parish, together
with St Buryan and Sennen, constitued the deanery of St Buryan, but this was
broken up in 1864.
Details about the plans of the modern church are available on-line.
- Non-Conformist. The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel at Treen and another at
Sawah, which was replaced around 1870 by one built at Poggiga Cross. Mark Hattam has posted photographs of the present chapel.
Generally speaking the St.Levan Registers do not start until 1700. The very, very early records for St Levan were covered by St Buryan. However some early records have been lost due to lack of care; nevertheless, a few early entries have been salvaged.
- LDS Church Records.
- The LDS Church batch numbers for St Levan are: P021041, M021041. These are searchable by surname.
- The IGI coverage of this parish is 1694 - 1875.
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1700 - 1870, Burials 1700 - 1973,
Marriages 1700 - 1981, Boyd's Marriage Index 1694 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1790 - 1812.
- The Cornwall Family History
Society have published on-line transcripts of:
- Pre 1813 Marriages
- 1813-37 Marriages
- 1813-37 Burials
- Banns. Banns 1825 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
- Burials 1700 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Burials at St Levan are available on-line, courtesy of the OPC, as follows:
- Mixed Records. Cornwall Legacy have also published on CD, records of the St Just Wesleyan Circuit. These comprise baptisms (1856 to 1900), Wesleyan Chapel burials (1849-1900), Trewellard Wesleyan Chapel Baptisms 1894 to 1900. The areas cover St Just, St Leven, Sancreed, St Buryan, Madron, Morvah, Botallack and Paul.
The parish of St Levan 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.
- ePodunk's Cornwall page - providing general, plus some historical and genealogical information, about Cornwall and its parishes, together with links (mainly relating to general sites and services, rather than ones that are specific to Cornwall or particular parishes).
- Pictures of
St Levan are available on-line.
OPC Assistance. The On-line Parish Clerk (OPC) scheme operates a service to help family historians; the OPC page for this parish is available on-line, from where the OPC can be contacted by email.
- St Levan parish was part of the Penzance
Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
- Overseers' Accounts
(1729 to 1769) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.
- Population in 1801 - 400 persons
- Population in 1811 - 434 persons
- Population in 1821 - 490 persons
- Population in 1831 - 515 persons
- Population in 1841 - 531 persons
- Population in 1851 - 502 persons
- Population in 1861 - 447 persons
- Population in 1871 - 536 persons
- Population in 1881 - 584 persons
- Population in 1891 - 629 persons
- Population in 1901 - 726 persons
- Population in 1911 - 731 persons
- Population in 1921 - 627 persons
- Population in 1931 - 579 persons
- Population in 1951 - 641 persons*
- Population in 1961 - 615 persons*
- Population in 1971 - 600 persons*
- Population in 1981 - 485 persons
- Population in 1991 - 525 persons
- Population in 2001 - 487 persons
- Population in 2011 - 459 persons
(* includes Wolfe Rock Lighthouse).
The Penwith Local History Group aims:
- To encourage and sustain public interest in the history of Penwith to provide mutual support and encouragement to members in their individual research projects, whether related to Penwith or of wider historical interest.
- To work as a group on specific research projects, with the aim of publication to an academic standard.
- To encourage the strong link with the Morrab Library, supporting the Library in its aims and activities.
The parish comprises 2402 acres of land, 3 acres of water and 31 acres of
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