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Tywardreath, (Cornish: Chi war Dreth), parish is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Powder. It is bounded on the north by Luxulyan and Lanlivery, on the east by Golant (St Sampson) and Fowey, and on the south and west by the sea, Par harbour and the River Par, which separates it from St Austell and St Blazey. Tywardreath has suffered from a multitude of different spellings since it appeared in the Domeday Survey of 1086 as Tiwardrai. The name possibly means 'House on the strand' (O.J.Padel). It is located inland from Par Sands on the south coast of Cornwall. A Benedictine priory was established here soon after the Norman Conquest. The occupants however seemed more concerned with amassing wealth rather than spreading the word of God, and consequently received a reprimand from their bishop. The priory was eventually dismantled in 1540.

The village of Tywardreath lies on the Pilgrim's Way and through which many pilgrims passed on their way to Fowey for onward travel to holy shrines in southern Europe and the Holy Land. The parish has been closely associated with the Rashleigh family, some of whom lived here. Apart from Tywardreath, the villages are: Polkerris, Highway, Par, Polmear, Middleway Bridge, and Chapel Down. Tywardreath is now closely connected with the parish of Golant (St Sampson).

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)


The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 1176 entries, and the municipal cemetery.


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.
Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Tywardreath area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

  • History. In around 1135, the parish church is located in OS Grid Square SX0854 and was dedicated to St Andrew by David Mageraghty, Archbishop of Armagh, on 30th July 1347. It comprises a chancel, nave, south aisle and north transept. The arcade has six semi-circular arches supported on monolith granite pillars. There are a south porch, a north door, a priest's door, and a vestry door. The tower, which was added in 1480, has four stages, and is finished with battlements only; it contains six bells. Apart from the Tower, the church was almost completely rebuilt in 1880, when an organ chamber was added and a new organ installed.
    William Rashleigh built the chapel-of-ease at Tregaminion in 1815.
  • Non-Conformists. The Wesleyan Methodists built a large stone chapel in Tywardreath town in 1828, and another was located at Polkerris. The Bible Christians also built a chapel at Tywardreath in 1858; they had built another at Highway in 1841.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for Tywardreath are: C0533501, C021682, P0216681. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage for this parish is 1608 - 1875; it is NOT believed to be fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1642 - 1967, Burials 1642 - 1972, Marriages 1642 - 1975, Boyd's Marriage Index 1608 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1790 - 1812, BTs 1608 - 1673.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials
  • Baptisms.
  • Marriages.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Marriages in the Parish 1642 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
    • Phillimore's marriages 1642 to 1812, and an index of marriages 1642 to 1837, in this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Burials.

Civil Registration

The parish of Tywardreath 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 and Travel

  • 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).
  • Photographs of Tywardreath are available on-line.
You can see pictures of Tywardreath which are provided by:


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.

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 Tywardreath ecclesiastical parish:

You can see the administrative areas in which Tywardreath has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX080540 (Lat/Lon: 50.354456, -4.700487), Tywardreath which are provided by:

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Tywardreath parish was part of the St Austell Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1819 to 1837) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


  • Population in 1801 - 727 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 741 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1238 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 2288 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 3152 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 3287 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 3379 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 2370 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2129 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 2097persons
  • Population in 1901 - 2215 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 205 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 199 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 2414 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 2512 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 2617 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 2625 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 2477 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 2638 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 3161 persons (Tywardreath and Par)
  • Population in 2011 - 3192 persons (Tywardreath and Par)

Religion and Religious Life

Vicars of Tywardreath from AD 1261 are listed and are available on-line.


The parish comprises 3365 acres of land.