The parish of Week St Mary, (Cornish: Gwig Sen Maria), is situated in the Deanery of Trigg Major and the Hundred of Stratton. It is bounded on the north by Marhamchurch, on the east by Whitstone, North Tamerton and Boyton, on the south by North Petherwin (which was in Devon) and a detached part of Jacobstow, and on the west by Jacobstow and Poundstock.
The name has Anglo-Saxon origins: wic meaning settlement. The word "Week", "Wyke" or "Wick" which is found in so many English place names is an Anglo-Saxon form of the Latin "vicus" meaning dairy farm or village, and St Mary is the dedication of the village church, so that Week St. Mary was in the old days know as St. Mary Week to distinguish it from other villages, like Pancrasweek a few miles away in Devon. It seems to have been of some importance for centuries; just west of the village is a flat topped circular hill know as Ashbury - all round it can be seen earthworks which surrounded a prehistoric fort dating from the Iron Age. Later the Normans settled in what was then hostile country.The parish is in north-east Cornwall between the Devon border and the coast.
It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086:
Richard also holds WICH. Cola held it before 1066, and paid tax for ½ hide; 1 hide there, however. Land for 8 ploughs; 3 ploughs there; 4 slaves. 6 villagers and 10 smallholders. Woodland, 2 acres; pasture, 1 league long and as wide. Formerly 20s; value now 30s. [2 cattle; 8 pigs; 40 sheep; 20 goats. Exon].
In the 15th century a shepherdess, Thomasine Bonaventure, lived here. She attracted the attention of a wealthy London merchant who took her back to London to work in his household, and on the death of his wife married her. After his death Thomasine married two more weathy men in succession; the last being Sir John Percival who became Lord Mayor of London in 1497. After being widowed for the third time she returned to Cornwall and used her money for good causes. She built a school which has now become a group of cottages, she endowed a chantry in the parish church and left the vicar of Liskeard a beautiful chalice.
The village of Week St Mary is the only village in the parish.
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)