The parish of Gerrans, sometimes called 'St Gerrans' (Cornish: Gerrens), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Powder. It is bounded on the north by Philleigh, on the east by Gerrans Bay, on the south by St Anthony-in-Roseland, and on the west by St Just-in-Roseland.
From the hilltop village and church of Gerrans there is a stunning view of Gerrans Bay with Gull Rock and Nare Head in the distance. At the bottom of the hill lie the white-washed cottages and tiny harbour of Portscatho. The name Gerrans is believed to be derived from Gerent, an early Cornish king/saint who lived in the 8th century. There is a local legend he was buried with a boat made of gold at Carne Beacon, near Veryan. His name was written in the Latin form of Gerontius by early scribes, and the name still exists today in Wales as Geraint. He has been woven into the legends of King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table, but there is little historical evidence to support this. The church has a spire on top of the tower and this stands as a very prominent landmark for sailors.
The chief villages are the Churchtown, Porthscatho, and Trewithian. The two villages of Gerrans and Portscatho have now virtually merged into one, although there is still some local rivalry between the two villages. Gerrans Bay, which faces due east, is often used as a shelter from south-westerly winds by shipping and a ridge of land to the south and west of the villages protects them from the worst of the prevailing winds and means there is an equitable climate, except of course when the 'east wind doth blow'. The bay was the depository of Smugglers of Porthscatho and its neighbourhood during the 18th century. By having their scouts on the adjoining hills they had early notice of the approach of any revenue cutters.
In 1934, the parish of St Anthony-in-Roseland united with Gerrans to form a single civil 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)
A History of the Parish of Gerrans 1800 - 1914 has been written in 3 parts by Hillary Thompson. Details are on-line.
- There is an index to the Gerrans parish church burial ground, which includes pictures of some monumental inscriptions. This is available on-line, courtesy of the OPC.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church and the Portscatho United Reform Chapel.
- Information on an additional burial ground, which was provided in 1887, is available on-line.
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 Gerrans (HO107/147), Enumeration Districts 10 and 11, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- The 1851 Census of Gerrans (HO107/1909), Enumeration Districts 4a and 4b, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- The New Zealand Society of Genealogists have compiled separate surname indexes of the 1851 Census for each Cornish registration district; Gerrans is listed in Volume 17. The booklets are available in Cornwall at the Cornwall Centre (formerly known as the Cornish Studies Library), and is also available in the Cornwall FHS Library.
- 1861. The 1861 Census of Gerrans (RG9/1553), Enumeration Districts 2 and 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1871. The 1871 Census of Gerrans (RG10/2274), Enumeration Districts 2 and 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Gerrans (RG11/2307), Enumeration Districts 2 and 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Gerrans (RG12/1827), Enumeration Districts 2 and 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1901. The 1901 Census of Gerrans (RG13/2217), Enumerations Districts 2 and 3, is available on-line courtesy of the OPC.
- 1911. The 1901 Census of Gerrans (RG14/13814), Enumerations Districts 1 and 2, is available on-line courtesy of the OPC.
- Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW8735 and was dedicated to St Gerent. In 1334, the church was regarded as a chapelry of St Anthony-in-Roseland, and was confirmed to the Priory of St Peter and St Paul at Plympton, Devon, by John de Grandisson, the then Bishop of Exeter. The church was almost wholly rebuilt in 1848/9. It comrises a chancel, nave, south aisle, north transept, and vestry. The arcade has seven four-centred arches of granite supported on monolith pillars of the same material. There is a south porch in which there are remains of a stoup, a north door, and a vestry (or priest's door, which is blocked. The tower, which is of two stages, is buttressed at the angles and battlemented, and is surmounted by a spire.
From THE WEST BRITON dated 6 June 1851: CONSECRATION OF NEW CHURCHES - GERRANS. The consecration of the new church at Gerrans took place on Saturday, the 24th ult.; the foundation of the building was lad on the 26th of April, 1849, and it was opened for public worship on Easter Sunday, 1850.
It consists of a north and south aisle, with small north transept, the chancel separated by a light screen. The seats are open throughout; the east windows fitted with neat stained glass; the roof open, the chancel roof being at present plain, as it is intended that it shall be blue, powdered with stars. There are sittings in the church for 376 persons, only 120 of which are appropriated. The cost was met by private contributions, together with GBP 90 granted by the Incorporated Church Building Society, and the same amount by the Diocesan Society.
The new church is in design a restoration of the old building, which was greatly dilapidated, and which it became the object of the vicar, the REV. W. D. LONGLANDS, on his appointment in 1844, to repair. The usual ceremonial of consecration was performed by the Bishop, and the sermon on the occasion was preached by the REV. H. T. RODD, vicar of Gwinear, from Haggai, 1st chap. 8th verse. There were twenty-two clergymen present, including the Chancellor of the Diocese and the Archdeacon of Cornwall.
- Non-Conformist. There were Wesleyan Methodist and Bible Christian chapels in the Churchtown, and also in Porthscatho, where there was also one for the Independents. There was also a Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Trewithian.
- LDS Church Records.
- The LDS Church batch numbers for Gerrans are: C053161, C022281, C022281, M022282, Portscatho Independent C065141. These are searchable by surname.
- The IGI coverage of this parish are 1661 - 1837; it is NOT believed to be fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1538 - 1970, Burials 1538 - 1925, Marriages 1538 - 1869, Boyd's Marriage Index 1617 - 1675, Pallot's Marriage Index 1790 - 1837, Non-Conformist records 1826 - 1836, BTs 1617 - 1675.
- The OPC has placed on-line a "STRAYS" page relating to the activities of the parishioners of Gerrans & St Anthony in Roseland in other parishes.
- Baptisms 1538 to 1901 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The OPC has placed on-line the following baptisms in Gerrans parish:
- The baptisms of the St Mawes Wesleyan Methodist Circuit, taken from LDS film 2276204, images 1789-1989 (courtesy of the Church of Latter Day Saints) are available on-line, courtesy of the OPC. These records relate to the whole of the Roseland Peninsula including St Mawes, St Just-in-Roseland, St Anthony in Roseland, Gerrans, Portscatho, Philleigh, Veryan, Ruan Lanihorne etc.
- Transcription of the baptisms of the Mevagissey Bible Christian Circuit 1838-1907, taken from LDS film 2276210 images 1913-2413 (courtesy of the Church of Latter Day Saints). These records relate to several parishes close to Mevagissey including Gorran, Veryan, St Ewe, St Austell, Gerrans, St Just-in-Roseland, Ruan Lanihorne etc. There are about 50 baptisms relating to Gorran.
- The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD baptisms 1716 to 1845 for this parish and these are available for purchase on Parish Chest.
- Banns 1754 to 1785, and 1836 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The OPC has placed on-line the following banns in Gerrans parish:
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1538 to 1836, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
- Phillimore's marriages 1538 to 1754, and marriages 1538 to 1901, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The OPC has placed on-line the following marriages in Gerrans parish; these are searchable by either grooms' or brides' surnames:
- Marriages at Gerrans parish church 1538 to 1754 by Groom.
- Marriages at Gerrans parish church 1538 to 1754 by Bride.
- Marriages at Gerrans parish church 1754 to 1812 by Groom.
- Marriages at Gerrans parish church 1754 to 1812 by Bride.
- Marriages at Gerrans parish church 1813 to 1837 by Groom.
- Marriages at Gerrans parish church 1813 to 1837 by Bride.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1836, which is available in Book or CD formats.
- Burials 1538 to 1935 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The OPC has placed on-line the following burials in Gerrans parish:
- Other Records. Churchwardens' Rates and Accounts for Gerrans parish are available, as are tithe apportionments. These contain names of parishoners; they are on-line as follows:
The parish of Gerrans has been in the Truro Registration District continuously from 1st July 1837. There were sub-districts at Kea, Kenwyn, Probus, St. Agnes, St. Clement and St Just-in-Roseland, but these have now been abolished. Parishes in this registration district are: Cornelly, Cuby, Feock, Gerrans, Kea, Kenwyn, Ladock, Lamorran, Merther, Perranzabuloe, Philleigh, Probus, Ruan Lanihorne, St. Agnes, St. Allen, St. Anthony in Roseland, St. Clement, St. Erme, St. Feock, St. Just in Roseland, St. Michael Penkevil, Tregavethan, Tregony St. James, Truro St. Mary, Veryan.
The address of the Registration Office is: Dalvenie House, New County Hall, Truro, TR1 3AY.
Tel: 01872 322241.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Gerrans to another place.
"GERRANS, (or Gerrance), a parish in the hundred of West Powder, county Cornwall, 7 miles S.E. of Truro, and 4 N. of St. Mawe's. It is situated at the upper extremity of St. Mawe's Harbour, being bounded on the E. by the English Channel. It formerly formed part of the demesne of the bishops of Exeter. It includes the hamlets of Porthskaths and Trewithan. The land is rich, and the soil chiefly arable. Slate occurs in some parts. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter, value £258, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is situated on an eminence commanding a fine prospect. It is dedicated to St. Guron, and contains a handsome monument to the Hobbs family. The Independents and Wesleyans have chapels. There is a parochial school. On the estate of Trewithan are remains of an ancient fortress called Dun-gerein, reported by tradition- to have, been the castle of King Gerennius.
- OPC Assistance.
- There is also a a list of surnames of those researching Gerrans' Families giving email and website addresses.
- Strays. Persons living in a parish but born elsewhere are known as Strays. Strays from Gerrans who have been found elsewhere are separately listed on-line.
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 Gerrans ecclesiastical parish:
- Tregear (Trigel, Tregel), Grid Reference 867375.
You can see the administrative areas in which Gerrans has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
- Manorial Records of Nampity & Pettigrew - Lady Day (25th March) 1747 are available on-line courtesy of the OPC.
- Manorial Records of Nampity & Pettigrew - Lady Day (25th March) 1748 are also available on-line courtesy of the OPC.
- Map of the Truro Registration District in which the parish lies.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW870348 (Lat/Lon: 50.175139, -4.984556), Gerrans which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- OldMaps (Old Ordnance Survey maps.)
- Old Maps Online (Other old maps.)
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
Gerrans parish was part of the Truro Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
From 1951, the population figures include those of St Anthony-in-Roseland.
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)
Some Gerrans & St Anthony-in-Roseland Wills are available on-line.
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 Gerrans are available on-line.
The admission/leaving records for Gerrans School, covering admissions from 1876 with the latest departure in 1936 are on-line. The information includes the date of admission, name of pupil, name of parent/guardian, address, date of birth, name or previous school, starting class and ending class, date of leaving and the reason for leaving (which often includes relocation information).
The St. Gerrans & Porthscatho Old Cornwall Society News Page is on-line.
A transcription of the Hearth Tax returns for Gerrans & St Anthony is available on-line..