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Truro, St Mary

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St Mary's, (Cornish: Truru Sen Maria), is the ancient parish of Truro; it now contains the cathedral and central part of the city. Originally it comprised the old municipal borough of Truro, which was situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Powder. The parish is situated at the junction of the Kenwyn and Allen rivers and having an outlet to the sea on the south Cornish coast, it was for a long time a busy port and centre of commerce. In 1877 Truro was granted city status and three years later the foundation stone of the cathedral was laid. This was the first cathedral to be built in England since 1710, a site being chosen right in the centre of the town incorporating part of the 16th century parish church of St.Marys.


There was originally a church burial ground but this was very small. A new cemetery at the northern extremity of the borough was consecrated on 15th July 1780, to which an addition was made in 1805. The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for St Mary's Parish Church - 2986 entries. St Mary's cemetery no longer exists, and a municipal burial ground was opened in the 19th century (see Truro City).


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

Although originally Truro, St Mary was treated as its own parish, it became subsumed under the civil administrative arrangement of the City of Truro during the 19th century.

Description & Travel


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.

Land & Property


Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Truro St Mary parish was part of the Truro Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.


Truro St Mary is the original ancient parish of Truro. Population figures are listed under Truro City, which was known as Truro Urban District. The following figures are the population of the parish of St Mary's which are part of that total:

  • Population in 1841 - 3043 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 598 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 3105 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 2923 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2766 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 2500 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 2443 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 2314 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 2056 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1970 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 1387 persons


The parish of Truro St Mary comprised 51 acres of land.

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