Cardinham (Cornish: Kardhinan) is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of West; it is bounded on the north by Blisland and Temple, on the east by Warleggan, on the south by Bradock and St Winnow, from which it is separated by the river Fowey, and on the west by Lanhydrock, Bodmin and Helland. The parish is named after the Cornish word 'Car' (or 'Caer') meaning fort plus the word 'Dinas' also meaning fortress. This parish is very large (over 9,000 acres); it stretches from near Lanhydrock park in the south to a point 5 miles north of Bodmin on the A30 road. This includes much of the lovely wooded Glynn Valley and the high moorlands above it. The name shows that there was a fortified castle here well over 1,000 years ago, when Cornwall was an independent kingdom. There are several ancient inscribed stones in the parish, dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries, when Christianity first came to Cornwall.

The site of Cardynham Castle is on high ground to the south of the church; the castle was built soon after the Norman Conquest, probably by Richard Fitz Turold, whose family called "de Cardinan" after their dwelling place, lived here for 200 years after that. The shape of the castle can still be seen, but no ruins remain. The oratory founded by St Meubred was no doubt altered and enlarged over the centuries many times.

The main villages in the parish are Cardinham, Millpool and Mount. There is now a small airfield at Cardinham, sometimes called Bodmin Airfield, which is the home of the Cornwall Flying Club.

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:


Church History

  • Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SX1268 and was dedicated to St Meubredus the Martyr in 1085. There was an early church here, but towards the end of the 15th century all the previous building was demolished and the very fine present church built in its place. It comprises a chancel, nave, north and south aisle, and a vestry. The arcades are of different lengths; the south is of six obtuse four-centred arches and the north of five. THe roofs of both aisles are wooden with well-carved bosses. The tower is of granite and is of three stages; it is embattled and has four octagonal pinnacles finished with balls and crosses, and contains five bells.
    Unlike other ancient churches which have grown and changed over the centuries, only the font, the Easter Sepulchre and various stones remain of the previous buildings. In the sedilia (the recesses on the south side of the chancel) are some very ancient inscribed stones, with beautifully written Latin fragments. There are 71 bench ends dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. There are many dolphins and some human heads. The original wagon roofs remain in the aisles, though that of the nave has been replaced. In the churchyard are two fine old crosses. That outside of the south porch has been called one of the best in Cornwall. There is excellent knotwork, and scrolls and plaitwork. The date is about the ninth century; that is in the time of King Alfred.
  • Non-Conformist. There is a Weslyan chapel here.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1701 - 1846, Burials 1701 - 1890, Marriages 1701 - 1837, Boyd's Marriage Index 1613 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1790 - 1812, BTs 1613 - 1673.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1675 to 1772 (Bishop's transcripts) and 1813 to 1911 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Cardinham Fletchers Bridge United Methodist baptisms 1896 to 1911 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Banns. Banns 1814 to 1911 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Marriages.
    • Marriages 1613 to 1772 (Bishop's transcripts), 1675 to 1812 (Phillimore's), and 1813 to 1911 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1613 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
  • Burials.
    • Burials 1675 to 1772 and 1813 to 1911 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book format.

Civil Registration

The parish of Cardinham is in the Bodmin Registration District and has been since 1st July 1837; there were sub-districts are Bodmin, Egloshayle, Lanlivery and St Mabyn but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Blisland, Bodmin, Bodmin Borough, Cardinham, Egloshayle, Endellion, Helland, Lanhydrock, Lanviet, Lanlivery, Lostwithiel, Luxulion, St. Kew, St. Mabyn, St. Minver Highlands, St. Minver Lowlands, St. Tudy, St. Winnow, Temple, Wadebridge, Warleggon, Withiel.

The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Lyndhurst, 66 Nicholas Street, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 2AG. Tel: 01208 73677.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Cardinham which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"CARDINHAM, a parish in the hundred of West, in the county of Cornwall, 3 miles to the E. of Bodmin, its post town. It is situated on the river Fowey, and was the site of a castle which belonged, in the reign of Richard I., to Robert de Cardinham, whose descendants were called the Dinhams. The honour of Cardinham was at that period of extensive jurisdiction. There are no ruins of the castle. Robert de Cardinham was the founder of the priory of Tywardraeth. Granite and slate are abundant in the neighbourhood. St. Bellarmine's Torr is a granite rock in the N.E. part of the parish. The custom of free bench anciently prevailed in the manor of Cardinham. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter, value £524, lately in the patronage of J. T. Vivian, Esq. The church is dedicated to St. Mewbred, and contains a monumental brass of a priest. There are remains of an ancient chapel at Holywell. Near the village is Glynn, the seat of Lord Vivian."



  • 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

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 Cardinham ecclesiastical parish:



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX118683 (Lat/Lon: 50.484162, -4.65463), Cardinham which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Cardinham parish was part of the Bodmin Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.



  • Population in 1801 - 552 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 662 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 775 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 728 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 802 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 782 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 717 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 632 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 585 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 590 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 577 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 583 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 574 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 517 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 520 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 461 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 433 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 440 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 560 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 588 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 625 persons

Religion & Religious Life

  • In the May of 1641 it was agreed and ordered that every Member of the House of Commons and House of Lords should make a protestation (declaration of loyalty) to the crown. The Protestation was printed and then distributed by the Members to their counties. The Protestation was to be made by everyone and the Rectors, Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor, had to appear before the Justices of the Peace in their Hundred to make their protestation and, on returning to their parishes, any two of them were to witness the taking of the Protestation Oath by all males over the age of 18 years. All names were listed and anyone who refused was to be noted.
    The Protestation Returns of 1642 for Cardinham are available on-line.
  • The Incumbents of Cardinham parish church are listed on-line.


The parish comprises 9612 acres of land and 22 acres of water.