Golant (St Sampson)


The parish of Golant (Cornish: Lannworon), otherwise called St Sampson (Cornish: Goelnans), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Powder. It is bounded on the north by Lanlivery, on the east by the river Fowey which separates it from St Winnow, St Veep and Lanteglos, on the south by Fowey, and on the west by Tywardreath. Golant is a pleasant little village on the west bank of the Fowey river, which is now a popular anchorage for pleasure craft. The small church has a holy well by the south porch and is dedicated to St Sampson, by whose name the parish is usually known. The grassy mound known as Castle Dore is believed to be the site of the palace of King Mark, legendary king of Cornwall. There was a ford here across the Fowey at low water to St Veep.

Golant is now closely connected with the parish of Tywardreath.

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)



The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 300 entries.



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 SX1255 and was dedicated to St Sampson on 7th May 1509. It comprises a chancel, nave, north aisle and vestry. The arcade consists of seven four-centred arches, chiefly of Pentewan stone. The tower is of two stages and is buttressed at the second stage only; it is finished with battlements and contains five bells.
    Tradition says that King Mark, Tristan and Iseult worshipped at the earlier church on this site. The church is a wholly 16th century building consecrated in 1509 and built on an earlier site. St. Sampson's Holy Well is by the South porch and door. There is an ancient granite font at the West end. There are splendid roof timbers which were provided by Guilds and carry inscriptions dating from 1509.
    Some old bench ends, decorated with apostles, coats-of-arms and one large carving of St Sampson, have been used to decorate the pulpit and organ bench. The box pews and communion rails in the north aisle are from the 18th century. There was some "restoration" work undertaken in 1842. The south aisle furniture and choir stalls at West end are modern.
    The Royal Arms displayed are of James II; the Lord's Prayer, Pader agan Arluth, in Cornish, both are on the north wall; also there are stained glass commemorating episodes in the life of St. Sampson; and a carved head of Christ in memory of Revd. I. Leycester Lyne, a famed Victorian preacher who revived Benedictine monasticism in the Anglican church.
  • Non-Conformist. There are chapels in Golant for the Wesleyan Methodists and Bible Christians.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1568 - 1905, Burials 1568 - 1974, Marriages 1568 - 1984, Boyd's Marriage Index 1568 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1790 - 1812.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1568 to 1711, and 1719 to 1905, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, baptisms 1719 to 1876 for St Sampson and these are available for purchase on Parish Chest.
  • Banns. Banns 1887 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Marriages.
    • Phillimore marriages 1568 to 1812, and parish transcriptions 1755 to 1911, 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 1568 to 1836, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
  • Burials. Burials 1568 to 1710, and 1719 to 1912, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).

Civil Registration

The parish of Golant St Sampson has been in the Registration District of St Austell continuously from 1st July 1837. There were sub-districts at Fowey, Grampound, Mevagissey and St Austell, but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Creed, Fowey, Gorran, Grampound, Mevagissey, Roche, St. Austell, St. Blazey, St. Dennis, St. Ewe, St. Mewan, St. Michael Carhays, St. Sampson, St. Stephen in Brannel, Tywardreath. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: 12 Carlyon Road, St Austell, PL25 4LD. Tel: 01726 68974. Fax: 01726 68974.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Golant (St Sampson) 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

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 St Sampson ecclesiastical parish:



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX113558 (Lat/Lon: 50.372063, -4.654861), Golant (St Sampson) which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Golant parish was part of the St Austell Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.



  • Population in 1801 - 169 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 186 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 248 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 314 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 311 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 335 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 311 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 295 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 328 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 261 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 288 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 349 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 303 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 270 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 239 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 234 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 278 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 270 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 255 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 223 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 230 persons


The parish comprises 1483 acres of land, 31 acres of tidal water and 160 acres of foreshore.