Bude Haven


"BUDE, BUDEHAM, or BUDEHAVEN, a chplry. and small seaport in. the par. and hund. of Stratton, in the co. of Cornwall, 2 miles to the W. of Stratton, its post town, and 15 miles from Launceston. It is seated on the shore of a small shallow hay of the same name, and is resorted to as a bathing-place. The harbour is subordinate to Padstow, and only admits vessels of small burthen. It is liable to be choked with sand, which accumulates here in immense quantities. The sand is collected by the inhabitants and sent inland for manure, The business of the place was greatly promoted by the construction of the Bude canal, which is 21 miles long, and connects the village with Launceston. This work was undertaken in 1819. A small coasting trade is earned on. The living is a perpet. cur. in the dioc. of Exeter, val. £50, in the patron, of Sir T. D. Acland, Bart. The well-known Bude light took its name from this village, in which its inventor, Mr. G. Gurney, resided."

From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, 1868.

The parish of Bude Haven (Cornish: Porthbud), better known as Bude, is located on the north Cornwall coast. The origin of the name is not known; it could have been taken from an unknown word, possibly connected with water. Bude Haven, or Budeham, was created in 1836 from part of Bude-Stratton parish. The town is now more commonly referred to as just Bude.

The town is famed for its canal. The idea of the Bude Canal (wikipedia)was conceived in 1774 by Cornishman John Edyvean originally to carry the chemically rich Bude sea sand to poor inland soils. The project took a number of years to take shape and it was not until 1819 that the Bude Harbour and Canal Company was formed with 330 shareholders. The town is situated on the Atlantic Heritage Coast of Cornwall, adjacent to fine sandy beaches, and on the South West Coastal Path. Bude and nearby beaches provide some of the finest surfing to be had in all England; most beaches have lifeguard cover during the Summer months.

The two civil parishes of Bude and Stratton are once again united as Bude-Stratton parish.





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:

  • 1841. In the 1841 Census, Bude was enumerated as part of Stratton. (See Stratton).
  • 1851. The 1851 Census of Bude Haven (HO107/1897), Enumeration District 2b, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1861. The 1861 Census of Bude Haven (RG9/1513), Enumeration Districts 3 (including Workhouse), 4 and HM Shipping, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1871. The 1871 Census of Stratton (RG10/2215), Enumeration District 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project. This includes Bude.
  • 1881. The 1881 Census of Stratton, St Michael (i.e. Bude), (RG11/2270), Enumeration District 4, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1891. In the 1891 Census, Bude was enumerated as part of Stratton. (See Stratton).

Church History

  • Anglican On the southern side of the harbour, a chapel was built by Sir T. D. Acland, Bart., who also endowed it. The chapel is now the parish church; it is located in OS Grid Square SS2106 and was consecrated on 29th September 1835, and is dedicated to St Michael & All Angels. The church was built of stone brought from Trerice in Newlyn East. The building has a turret containing two bells and a clock.
  • Roman Catholic St. Peter's Church was built by the Augustinian Canons Regular of the Lateran (from Bodmin) in 1926. The Prior of Bodmin bought land for one hundred and twenty pounds. He then begged and borrowed the money for construction. It was a long and difficult struggle since the parish (part of Launceston till 1976) was so small.
  • Non-Conformist. The Wesleyan Methodists and the United Methodists Free Church also had chapels here.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records. The LDS Church batch numbers for Bude Haven are: St Michael C073491. These are searchable by surname.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1836 - 1978, Burials 1848 - 1972, Marriages 1849 - 1970.
  • Baptisms.
    • Church baptisms 1843 to 1911 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - C-PROP.
    • Bude Wesleyan Circuit baptisms 1894 to 1911 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Banns. Banns 1899 to 1901 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - C-PROP.
  • Marriages. Marriages 1849 to 1900 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - C-PROP.
  • Burials. Burials 1848 to 1936 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - C-PROP.
  • Other Non-Conformist Records. OPC Coverage of Non-Conformist records of this parish is available.

Civil Registration

The parish of Bude Haven is in the Stratton Registration District and has been since 1st July 1837; there were sub-districts at Kilhampton, Stratton and Week St Mary but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Jacobstow, Kilkhampton, Launcells, Marhamchurch, Morwenstow, Poughill, Poundstock, St. Gennys, Stratton, Stratton and Bude, Week St. Mary, Whitstone. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: The Parkhouse Centre, Ergue Gaberic Way, Bude, EX23 8LF. Tel: 01288 353209.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Bude Haven 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, from where the OPC can be contacted by email.


Historical Geography

Bude Conservation Area Appaisal, 2010.

"BUDE, a village and sea-port (small), on the coast of the Bristol channel, in the parish of STRATTON, and hundred of STRATTON, county of CORNWALL. The population is returned with the parish. It has of late years hecome a place of resort for bathing. The trade of the port has recently received a stimulus from the construction of the Bude and Launceston canal: the imports are coal and limestone from Wales, and grocery, &c., from Bristol; and timber, bark, and oats, are sent coastwise. The harbour is inaccessible to ships of large burden, on account of the sands, those connected with it averaging not more than fifty tons each, though vessels of ninety tons burden have often entered. A great quantity of sand is conveyed inland for manuring the soil. The sea is fast encroaching on the coast, having made a considerable inroad within the last fifty years."

Lewis, Samuel, Topographical Dictionary of England, Volume 1, 1851.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS209057 (Lat/Lon: 50.822669, -4.544526), Bude Haven which are provided by:



The standard finding aid for British newspapers of Devon and Cornwall is the Bibliography of British Newspapers (general editor Charles A Toase) published by The British Library 1991. That reference work, which contains the names and addresses of all relevant newspaper repositories, should be available in most good libraries.

The Cornwall section, edited by Jean Rowles, encompasses an alphabetical chronology of publication and availability spans of each known newspaper referenced to publication location. The section on Bude publications reads:

Pub SpanNewspaperAvailability
1898-1907Bude & Stratton Directory1898-1907
1924 to dateBude & Stratton Post 
1984 to dateLaunceston Bude Holsworthy Gazette1984 to date


As the availability dates refer only to the earliest and latest issues held, it is necessary to refer to the detailed listings under the name of each newspaper to ascertain whether complete or broken runs are held by repositories.


  • The British Library, Colindale: 4 Apr 1829 to 29 Jan 1848.
  • Huntington Library (San Marino, CA): 17 Apr 1830.
  • National Library of Wales: Various odd-named issues (not being repeated here) for 1831, 1832, 1833, 1834 and 1835.
  • Redruth Cornish Studies Library (now called The Cornwall Centre): 4 Apr 1829 to 29 Jan 1848 (microfilm).
  • Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro: 16 Dec 1837.

The complete run of issues is available in the Cornwall Centre Library, in Redruth (formerly The Cornish Studies Centre), on microfilm.


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bude Haven parish was part of the Stratton Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.


Bude Haven parish was created from Bude-Stratton parish in 1836. It eventually linked up again with Stratton to form the 'Bude-Stratton' civil parish.

  • Population in 1801 - 1257 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1449 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1958 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1973 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 2431 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 2100 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 2100 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 2260 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2196 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 2224 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 2788 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 3269 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 4342 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 4249 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 5224 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 5124 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 5643 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 6765 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 8125 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 9242 persons (Bude-Stratton, including 4675 persons in Bude only)
  • Population in 2011 - 9979 persons (Bude-Stratton)


The parish comprises 4294 acres of land.