The parish of Kea (Cornish: Lanndyge), (alias Landege or Landegey), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Powder. It is bounded on the north by Kenwyn, on the east by the River Fal, which separates it from St Clements and St Michael Penkivel, on the south by Feock, Perranarworthal, and Gwennap, and on the west by a fetched portion of Kenwyn and St Agnes. The name is taken from an Irish Saint Kea who, after floating from Ireland on a granite boulder, is reputed to have landed where old Kea church stood.

The parish is mainly agricultural, and is noted for giving its name to the damson-type Kea plum. In the past the main industries were plum growing, oyster dredging, resin for the leather industry (obtained from 'barking' oak trees), and the production of mineral ore. Killiow was the seat of the Daubuz family. St Kea is in the Deanery of Powder; Kea is a large straggling parish formerly abounding in mines. The little village of Calenick was partly in this parish and partly in Kenwyn. Smelting was an industry which once took place in Calenick.

Two parishes were created from parts of Kea parish - Chacewater in 1828 and Baldhu in 1847.

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 on-line Monumental Inscriptions for:

  • The Parish Church - 1655 entries
  • The Come-to-Good Quaker Meeting House - 5 entries.


Census information for this parish (1841 - 1901) is held by Kresen Kernow. 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

After floating from Ireland on a granite boulder, the Irish parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW8142 and was dedicated to St Kea. In 1270 the church of Kea, with its chapels of Kenwyn and Tregavethan, was (with others) appropriated to the collegiate church of Glasney. The old church is now a mouldering ruin. It was inconveniently situated at the end of a long parish that lies south-west of the city of Truro. A church with easier access was built in 1802, and dedicated on 3rd October of that year. Unfortunately it was badly built; neither the church nor the tower was buttressed, and cracks very soon appeared. The church at Old Kea had already been pulled down when the new church was completed. Some of the granite columns were used as part of the construction of the stable at Killiow.
By 1869, it had been accepted that the church would have to be rebuilt again. On 1st November 1894, the foundation stone of the new church was laid by Viscountess Falmouth. This present church was consecrated 4th June 1896. The church possesses a fine chalice and a paten, both of French workmanship of the early 16th century. The tower of the old church on the Truro river is still standing, and is now used as an occasional chapel.

  • Non-Conformist. There were Wesleyan Methodist chapels at Porthkea, Baldhu, and Hungus; The Primitive Methodist had chapels at Calenick and Coombe. The Bible Christians had a chapel at Kerley Downs. There was also a Quaker Meeting House at Come-to-Good on the border of the parish with Feock.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for Kea are: C052811. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage of this parish is 1607 - 1837; it is NOT believed to be fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1618 - 1841, Burials 1571 - 1915, Marriages 1559 - 1858, Boyd's Marriage Index 1559 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1800 - 1812, BTs 1607 - 1673.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813 Marriages.
    • 1813-37 Marriages.
    • 1813-37 Burials.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1607 to 1803, and 1841 to 1901, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility -(C-PROP).
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, baptisms 1730 to 1840 for this parish which can be purchased from Parish Chest.
  • Marriages.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1559 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
    • Phillimore's marriages 1653 to 1812, and marriage transcriptions 1656 to 1812, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Burials. The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book and CD format.

Civil Registration

The parish of Kea 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.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Kea which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"KEA, a parish in the W. division of the hundred of Powder, county Cornwall, 3 miles S. of Truro, its post town, and 8½ N. of Falmouth. The parish, which is considerable, is bounded on the E. by the river Fal, on the W. by Gwennap, and on the N. by Kenwyn. It is intersected by-the great road leading from Truro to Falmouth, and by the Redruth railway. It is mentioned in Domesday Book as Landegey, but was also named Kea after St. Kea, who, it is said, sailed over from Ireland in a granite boat; or after Pope Caius or St. Kew, or Kea the Virgin. There are copper, tin, and black jack mines -the latter, which is situated at Chacewater, is worked by the largest engine in the county. A large portion of the inhabitants is employed in the mines, the remainder in agriculture, and there is a smelting-house for silver. The land is chiefly arable, and very productive. There are some barrows in the neighbourhood. The living is a vicarage* annexed to the vicarage* of Kenwyn, in the diocese of Exeter. The parish church is situated near the centre of the parish, on the side of a hill towards the E., and is dedicated to St. Kea. It has a pinnacled tower containing three bells. In the interior are some paintings by Mrs. Gwatkin Killiow, niece of Reynolds. This church was erected in 1802 in lieu of the old one, which was situated on the banks of the river Fal, where the old tower, is still standing, and close to which a little church was erected in 1858. Besides the parish church there is a new district church at Baldhu, with a school attached, recently erected by Viscount Falmouth. At Kea Church-Town are National schools, and almshouses endowed by John Lanyon, in 1724, with £53 per annum. There are also chapels for Independents, Wesleyans, Baptists, and Bryanites. Guddern, the seat of the Bowdens, is a mansion situated in well-wooded grounds. Viscount Falmouth is lord of the manor, chief landowner, and lay impropriator of the great tithes.



OPC Assistance. The On-line Parish Clerk (OPC) scheme operates a service to help family historians; the OPC page for this parish is on-line, from where he 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 Kea ecclesiastical parish:



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW810428 (Lat/Lon: 50.244845, -5.072253), Kea which are provided by:



  • Information about the Carnon Valley Mines is available on-line.
  • Apprenticeship Indentures for Kea (1730 - 1820) can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Kea parish was part of the Truro Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1766 to 1774, 1797 to 1819), Settlement Papers (1727 to 1821) and Bastardy Bonds (1729 to 1821) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


Two parishes were created from parts of this parish - Chacewater in 1828 and Baldhu in 1847.

  • Population in 1801 - 2440 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 2766 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 3142 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 3837 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 4313 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 3790 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 3949 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 3363 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 1944 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 2103 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 1818 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 1687 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 1609 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1649 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 1349 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 1504 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 1613 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 1575 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 1457 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 1516 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 1512 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 Kea are available on-line.



The Kea Old Cornwall Society News Page is on-line.



The parish comprised 5957 acres of land.