The parish of Crowan (Cornish: Egloskrowenn) is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith. It is bounded on the north by Camborne, on the west by Wendron, on the south by Sithney and Breage, and on the west by St Erth and Gwinear. The parish is named after its patron, St Carwenna.

The manor of Clowance was in this parish. The house was the main residence of the St Aubyn family; it is now a county club and holiday establishment. In the past, like neighbouring Camborne, the parish was the home to much mining activity.

The chief villages besides the Churchtown, are Leedstown, Praze-an-Beeble, Nancegollan, Townshend, Cargenwen, Drym, Trethannas, Trevoole and Releath.



  • The cemetery of Crowan Church is situated just outside the village of Praze-An-Beeble on the Camborne to Helston Road. Transcriptions are available on the Cornish Cemeteries site.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for:
    • Nancegollan Methodist Chapel - 224 entries
    • Townshend Methodist Chapel - 690 entries.
  • War Memorial inscriptions for Crowan parish (1914-1918 and 1939-1945 Wars) are separately available.


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 SW6434 and was dedicated to St Carwenna (or Crewena). It comprises a chancel (without an east window), nave, north aisle, and a short south aisle. The chancel is separated from the north aisle by three small arches; the nave is separated from the same aisle by three large arches and one small one. The material is granite, and the pillars are monolith. BesIdes the south porch, there are a priest's door and a blocked north door. The tower is of three stages, and is built of granite ashlar; it has pinnacles and has a battlemented parapet.
    The east end of the church was rebuilt in 1746 when the chancel window, and the east window of the north aisle, were blocked. In the churchyard on the north side stands a lofty building of granite ashlar, with moulded gables. It was used for some time as a mausoleum for the St Aubyn family. Crowan church still has parts that date to the reigns of Henry VIII & Elizabeth I, but the church was extensively restored in 1870-2. During that over-enthusiastic restoration amongst other things, a 17th-century arcade was replaced, an organ chamber added, old roofs and wooden carvings discarded and, in all probability, some of the more obscure plaques removed. Now virtually all the internal church memorials are to various members of the St Aubyn family; one is dated 1599.
    There was also a Misson Church at Leedstown in this parish. Details about the plans of the existing churches are available on-line.
  • Non-Conformist. There were several dissenting places of worship in this parish. There was a large Wesleyan Methodist chapel and cemetery at Nancegollan. There were Wesleyan and Brianite chapels in Leedstown; a Wesleyan chapel at Praze, and other chapels were situated at Townsend, Horse Downs, Releath, and Black Rock.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1691 - 1869, Burials 1691 - 1947, Marriages 1691 - 1979, Boyd's Marriage Index 1614 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1790 - 1812, BTs 1614 - 1681.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms in the parish church 1692 to 1708, 1770 to 1839 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Praze Wesleyan Methodist baptisms 1864 to 1883, and 1892 to 1900, together with Nancegollen Chapel Wesleyan Methodist baptisms 1846 to 1899 and the United Methodist baptisms (Praze) 1903 to 1914, are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The OPC of Breage has transcribed Breage Circuit:
      • Bible Christian Births & Baptisms 1821 to 1837. Parishes mentioned include: Breage, Crowan, Gwinear, Helston, Mullion, Porthleven, St Anthony, St Hilary, St Keverne, Sithney and Wendron. These can be searched on-line.
      • Praze Wesleyan Methodist baptisms 1893 to 1900 by Year or surname, are available on line.
      • Trenwheal Wesleyan Chapel, Breage Baptisms 1866 to 1906 by Year or Surname are available.
      • Nancegollan, Crowan Baptisms 1848 to 1899 By Year or By Surname, are also available.
      • Praze, Crowan, Wesleyan baptisms 1864 to 1883 by year or surname are available. Surname giving a Breage abode is NANKERVIS, but it's worth checking others.
      • PRAZE, Crowan Wesleyan Baptisms 1892 to 1902 By Year or by Surname, are also available.
      The non-Breage registers listed above are added here because of proximity and the number of Breage families present in register. Surnames giving a Breage abode include: Bennett, Carter, Faby/Fabey, Jacka, James, Jewell, Pheby, Rowe, Symons, Vingoe.
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on two CDs, baptisms 1741 to 1837 for this parish and these are available for purchase from Parish Chest.
    • Marriages 1674 to 1812 (Phillimore's), and 1847 to 1854 (parish transcripts), for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1614 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
  • Burials.
    • Burials in the parish 1697 to 1837 (parish transcripts - with early gaps), and burial plots 1804 to 1885, are also available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Townshend Wesleyan Chapel burials 1892 to 1900 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 or CD formats.
  • Mixed Records.
  • Other Non-Conformist Records. OPC Coverage of Non-Conformist records of chapels in this parish is available.

Civil Registration

The parish of Crowan was originally in the Helston Registration District; there were sub-districts at Breage, Crowan, Helston, St Keverne and Wendron. It is now in the Kerrier Registration District. Parishes in this registration district are: Breage, Crowan, Cury, Germoe, Gunwalloe, Grade, Helston, Landewednack, Manaccan, Mawgan in Meneage, Mullion, Ruan Major, Ruan Minor, St. Anthony in Meneage, St. Keverne, St. Martin in Meneage, Sithney, Wendron.

The address of the Registration Office is: The Willows, Church Street, Helston, TR13 8NJ.
Tel: 01326 562848.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Crowan which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"CROWAN, a parish in the hundred of Penwith, in the county of Cornwall, 5 miles N. of Helston, and 4 S. of Camborne, its post town. This parish contains tin and copper mines, and comprises several villages The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in mining operations. The surrounding country is beautifully diversified, and presents a charming view from the top of Crowan Beacon, an ancient conical heap of stones, which is most probably a cairn. The living is a vicarage * in the diocese of Exeter, value £470, with 40 acres of glebe, in the patronage of the Rev. H. M. St. Aubyn, who is lord of the manor. The church, dedicated to Santa Crewena, is an ancient stone building, with a good tower. The interior has lately been restored. It contains several monuments of the St. Aubyn family. The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists have chapels. There is a girls' National school, and large boys and infant schools. A new vicarage house has been built by the present vicar in the Gothic style. The principal residence is Crowance, the ancient seat of the St. Aubyn family. Near the farm of Boseance are traces of an ancient camp, and at Buinerton are the ruins of an ancient chapel. A fair is held at Fraze once a year for cattle. The feast is kept on the first Sunday in February."



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 Crowan ecclesiastical parish:


Land & Property

  • The parish and town tithe maps, and accompanying survey books of c1840, provide a fascinating snap-shot of land use and ownership in the 19th century. In order to preserve the documents and improve access to them, the Cornwall Record Office are digitising these maps and survey books. The CD ROM tithe package include a map and survey books, together with a reader, for this parish; it is now available from the Cornwall Record Office. Details are on their website.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW628350 (Lat/Lon: 50.167871, -5.323037), Crowan which are provided by:



Apprenticeship Indentures for Crowan (1832) can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Crowan parish was part of the Helston Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1728 to 1737, and 1818 to 1821), Settlement Papers (1825 to 1852) and Bastardy Bonds (1841), are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


  • Population in 1801 - 2587 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 3021 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 3873 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 4332 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 4638 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 3984 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 4131 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 3464 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2603 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 2468 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 2243 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 2066 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 1893 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1838 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 1735 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 1714 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 1753 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 1950 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 2185 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 2375 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 2454 persons

Probate Records



The parish comprises 7478 acres of land and 18 acres of water.