Calstock (Cornish: Kalstok)is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of East. It is separated on the north and east sides from the Devon parishes of Lamerton, Tavistock and Beer Ferris, by the river Tamar. It is bounded on the south by St Dominick, and on the west by Callington and Stoke Climsland. The parish is named after the old English for a settlement 'stoch' preceded by an unknown word, possibly a personal name. The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Calestoch. At that time it had land for 12 ploughs; there were 30 villagers and 30 smallholders with 6 ploughs, and 100 acres of woodland.

This was one of the 228 manors that were given to the Earl of Mortain, the brother of William the Conqueror.

Calstock town is situated on the banks of the Tamar. Cotehele House, the ancient seat of the Edgcumbe Family, is in the parish and is a Tudor mansion owned by the National Trust. It once belonging to the Earls of Mount Edgecumbe; this mansion was built by Sir Richard Edgecumbe during the reign of Henry VII. King Charles II, then Prince of Wales, stayed here for a short period in 1645. Cotehele was visited by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1846. It is now a National Trust property.

Besides Calstock town, the chief villages are Gunnislake (where there was a chapel-of-ease), Albaston, Harrabear (now Harrowbarrow), Chilsworthy, Latchley and Metherell. Cruising on the river Tamar is now a popular activity in Calstock.

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)





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
    • The 1841 Census of Calstock (HO107/133), Enumeration Districts 14 to 17, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
    • The 1841 census for this parish has also been filmed by the LDS church. Film No. 241258.
  • 1851. The 1851 Census of Calstock, (HO107/1901), is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
  • 1861. The 1861 Census of Calstock is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
  • 1871. In 1871, Calstock was enumerated as part of the Tavistock Registration District, Clawton sub-district, of Devon; it was published as part of RG10/2145. The census of Calstock, (Enumeration Districts 14 to 19), is available on-line as a searchable .pdf file, transcribed by Marion Paul.
  • 1881.
    • In 1881, Calstock was enumerated as part of Tavistock in the Holsworthy Registration District, Clawton sub-district, of Devon. The census was published as part of RG11/2215.
    • The 1881 Census of the UK can be searched on-line courtesy of familySearch.org.
  • 1891.
    • The 1891 Census of Calstock (RG12/1748), Enumeration Districts 5 to 10 and Merchant Shipping, was conducted as part of the Tavistock Registration District of Devon.
    • The LDS Fiche Number of the 1891 Census of Calstock is 6096858.

Church History

  • Anglican. A chapel, dedicated to SS Cyriacus and Julitta, existed in the parish in 1410. The Rev. Thomas Hullah, rector from 1865-1925, was the instigator of the building of 'Chapels of Ease' at Harrowbarrow (All Saints, built 1871), Gunnislake (St. Ann's, consecrated 1880) and Latchley (St Michael & All Angels, opened in 1883). The two main reasons for the opening of these were: the size and topography of the Parish, and 'competition' from non-conformist chapels.
    • Parish Church. The first Church on this site is said to have been consecrated about 1290, although there are no visible remains. The current parish church is located in OS Grid Square SX4368 and was dedicated to St Andrew in 15th Century. This church comprises a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, a mortuary chapel belonging to the Mount Edgecumbe family, and a vestry. The earliest part of the present Church is the centre aisle which is 14th century. The south aisle was added in 1420 together with a new roof. The porch is interesting in that it still retains a built-in fireplace although its purpose is not known it is probably associated with hygiene and believed to keep disease out of the Church.
      The tower is built in three stages and is buttressed and battlemented with turrets at each corner. There are six bells in the tower all cast by Isaac Pennington of Lezant in 1773. The clock made by Henry Spiller of Exeter is thought to date from 1845. There is a 15th century turret rising from the north wall. The octagonal turrets of the pinnacles remain, but the spires are gone, having been damaged by lightning in the 17th century. Inside the church, the pillars are of granite; these vary in style from 14th century on the north side to 15th century on the south side. The roof of the aisles and nave is a typical West Country "Wagon" roof. Through a door north of the sanctuary is the Edgcumbe Chapel and was built by Sir Richard Edgcumbe, Kt., in 1558 who lived at Cotehele House in this parish and Mount Edgcumbe near Plymouth.
      There is a medieval wall-painting of a horse and rider in the north aisle, over the arches; this was concealed until 1867. The Royal Arms can be seen in the south aisle and is thought to be the work of a journeyman artist because the heraldry is not correct. Of interest to genealogists will be the parish registers, which date back to 1656 (see Church Records below). Details about the plans of this church are available on-line.
    • Harrowbarrow. All Saints church was built in 1871.
    • Gunnislake. St. Anne's Church was consecrated in 1880.
    • Latchley. St Michael & All Angels church was opened in 1883. Details about the plans of the modern church are available on-line.
    • Cotehele. There was also an Anglican Chapel at Cotehele but this is now closed.
  • Non-Conformist.
    • Baptist Chapels existed at Metherell and Calstock. This is now a private residence.
    • OPC Coverage of Non-Conformist records of this parish is available.
    • Bible Christian Chapels existed at: Albaston (no longer in use), Calstock (1895-1906), Gunnislake (built 1863), Harrowbarrow and Metherell.
    • Plymouth Bretheren had a chapel at Gunnislake.
    • Salvation Army had a citadel at Gunnislake.
    • United Methodist Free Church had chapels at Calstock (Mount Zion, opened 1856 in Church Lane, moved to Sand Lane in 1906; both buildings still remain, though neither as a chapel) and also at Gunnislake.
    • Wesleyan chapels were built at Albaston (New), Calstock (Harewood Road, built 1860), Chilsworthy, Gunnislake (built 1856), Latchley and St Anne's Chapel.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for Calstock are: P006411. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage of this parish is 1684 - 1772.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1658 - 1969, Burials 1658 - 1915, Marriages 1656 - 1987, Boyd's Marriage Index 1602 - 1673, BTs 1602 - 1673 .
  • Births/Baptisms.
    • Callington Area Heritage Centre (broken link) have placed on-line baptism records for Calstock parish 1716 to 1837.
    • Baptisms in the parish church 1602 to 1908 (with gaps) are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Non-Conformist baptisms in the parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP), as follows:
      • Calstock Wesleyan-Methodist (and others) baptisms 1846 to 1895
      • Gunnislake Wesleyan Circuit baptisms 1843 to 1862, and 1871 to 1901.
      • Gunnislake and neighbourhood Wesleyan baptisms 1862 to 1866.
      • Gunnislake Wesleyan-Methodist baptisms 1885 to 1892.
    • Baptisms in Gunnislake Circuit of the Wesleyan Church 1843 to 1866 and 1871 to 1901 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility (C-PROP).
    • The Parish Chest have published on CD baptisms 1716 to 1837 for this parish.
    • Some baptisms at Calstock Parish Church are available on-line. Strays are separately recorded.
    • Some Non-Conformist baptisms of the Tavistock and Gunnislake Circuits are also available on-line. It should be noted that these records are unlikely to be complete.
    • Some other Non-Conformist baptisms at Calstock 1843 to 1902, by Surname, are also available on-line.
  • Banns.
  • Marriages.
    • Callington Area Heritage Centre (broken link) have placed on-line marriage records for Calstock parish 1813 to 1837.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1602 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
    • Marriages 1614 to 1911 (with gaps in the 1600s) are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Some marriages 1600 to 1899 are available on-line. Strays are separately recorded.
  • Burials.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book or CD formats.
    • Burials 1614 to 1936 (with gaps in the 1600s) are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Some burials are available on-line. These are complete for the parish church 1614 to 1812 and 1834 to 1881. Strays are separately recorded.
  • Other Non-Conformist Records.
    • OPC Coverage of Non-Conformist records of this parish is available.

Civil Registration

The parish of Calstock has moved several times in civil registration terms. It was originally in the Liskeard Registration District, (from 1st July 1837 until 12th October 1860), of Cornwall; then there were sub-districts at Callington, Lerrin, Liskeard and Looe. It was then transferred into the Tavistock Registration District of Devon on 12th October 1860. It was briefly in the Holsworthy Registration District of Devon where it was enumerated in the 1881 census. However, it moved back to Cornwall on 1st April 1936, since when it has been in the St Germans Registration District.

The Superintendant Registrar of St Germans can be contacted at: Ploughastel Drive, Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 6DL. Tel: 01752 842624.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Calstock which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"CALSTOCK, a parish in the middle division of the hundred of East, in the county of Cornwall, 5 miles to the E. of Callington. Tavistock is its post town. It is pleasantly situated on the borders of Devonshire, on the banks of the navigable river Tamar, across which is a ferry, and is crossed by the Tavistock canal. Granite is the prevailing rock in the neighbourhood, and there are mines of copper, tin, lead, and manganese. The Tamar contains abundance of salmon trout. Calstock is a port subordinate to the port of Plymouth. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Exeter, value £510, in the patronage of the Prince of Wales. The church is dedicated to St. Andrew. It is built of granite, with a lofty pinnacled tower, and contains a chapel of the Edgecumbe family, and several old monuments. The Baptists have a chapel in the town. The rectory was held by Launcelot Blackburn, afterwards Archbishop of York, by whom the parsonage was built in 1720. There is a mineral spring near the church. In this parish is Cothele, or Cotehele, a curious and interesting old mansion, the seat of the Earl of Mount Edgecumbe. It stands on a slope near the Tamar, and was in part built about the time of Henry VII. The structure is quadrangular, with a gatehouse on the S. side, and a lofty massive tower at one of the angles of the N. front. It contains a hall with a lofty arched roof of timber, and a chapel with a fine turret and an ancient font. The house is stored with curiously carved furniture, old armour and weapons, and various antiquities. Charles II. once visited it, and the bed is shown in which he slept; in August, 1788, it was visited by George III. and Queen Charlotte, with several of the royal children. Other seats in the neighbourhood are Harewood and Sandhill."

"COTELE, a seat of Earl Mount Edgcumbe, in the parish of Calstock and county of Cornwall, 3 miles S.E. of Callington. It is an ancient quadrangular pile on the bank of the river Tamar.



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.
  • The OPC for Calstock has developed a genealogical website for the parish.

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 Calstock ecclesiastical parish:



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX417709 (Lat/Lon: 50.516858, -4.234152), Calstock which are provided by:


Names, Personal

A list of surnames in Calstock, which are being researched by those who are email-capable, is available on-line.



On-line newspaper articles about people from Calstock are available.



  • Mining was important in Calstock and surrounding parishes from Mediaeval times. Minerals exploited in the area included copper, tin, arsenic, lead, silver, wolfram and manganese, but it was the discovery of copper in 1844 which started a mining boom. Information on mining in Calstock, including lists of people involved in the industry, is available on-line.
  • Information about the Callington, Calstock and Gunnislake Mines is available on-line.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Calstock parish was part of the Liskeard Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief. However many parishoners in need of Poor Law relief were treated by the Tavistock Union Workhouse.
  • Some Poor Law Union Rate entries are available on-line.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1807 to 1816, and 1832 to 1836) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


  • Population in 1801 - 1105 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 2064 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 2388 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 2328 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 2553 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 4530 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 7090 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 6587 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 6485 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 6150 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 5874 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 4880 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 4618 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 4423 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 4322 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 3884 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 4079 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 5000 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 5967 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 6095 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 6431 persons


The parish comprises 5760 acres of land, 70 acres of water, 44 acres of tidal water and 21 acres of foreshore.