The parish of Kenwyn, (Cornish: Keynwynn), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Powder. It is bounded on the north by St Allen, on the east by St Clements, the parish of St Marys Truro and the river Fal, on the south by Kea, and on the west by St Agnes, the detached part of Kea called Tregavethen, and Perranzabuloe.

For many centuries Kenwyn and Kea formed what now seems one vast parish. Which church had the priority has been disputed. The Cornish historian, Charles Henderson, noted that in the thirteenth century, Kenwyn was regarded as a chapelry of Kea but that, after the Reformation, their roles were reversed. Henderson, thought, however, that Kenwyn was originally independent, and so could be claimed as the mother church of Truro.

This parish stretches north-west from Truro, Kenwyn church being on the outskirts of the city. A considerable part of the City of Truro was in this parish. Although so near to the centre of Truro, it has rural scenery and an attractive wooded valley. At the beginning of the 21st century, Kenwyn is regarded as a suburb of the City of Truro.

During the 19th century, many parish boundaries changed because of the moving centres of population; many parts of Kenwyn were redefined as separate parishes. Chacewater chapelry was removed from this parish in 1837 when it became the centre of the new parish of its own. The (new) parish of Mithian, was also created from part of Kenwyn in 1847. The Truro Railway Station is in Kenwyn parish. Kenwyn also contains the villages of Shortlanesend, Tregavethan and Idless.

The ecclesiastical parish of St Allen united with Kenwyn on 1 July 1991 by an Order in Council.

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 - 3232 entries. These are 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:


Church History

  • Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW8146 and was dedicated by Bishop Brandescombe on 27th September 1259 to St Kenwyn, the day after he had dedicated St Mary's in Truro. The church comprises a chancel, nave, south aisle, south transept and north transept (known as the Tregavethan aisle). The arcade has seven four-centred arches of St Stephens stone supported on pillars of the same material. A part of the north transept is used as a vestry. This aisle was rebuilt in 1855 by the owner of Tregavethan Manor. The south transept was rebuilt in 1820, and again in 1862. There is a south porch, a priest's door, and a vestry door. The tower is of three stages, buttressed on the square, and finished with battlements and pinnacles.
    In 1819 the church had become so delapidated through extreme old age that it was considered unsafe for further use. The church was completely reconstructed and was reoped for divine worship on 8th October 1820. On 20th December 1860, during a terrific thunderstorm, the tower was struck by lighning, and one of the pinnacles and the roof of the nave considerably damaged.

    There is also a Mission Church at Idless in this parish. Details about the plans of the modern church are available on-line.
    A chapel of St John was built in Lemon Street, Truro, in 1837-8; this became a separate parish. Another ecclesiastical district of St George was gazetted in 1846, and created from Kenwyn. All Saints Highertown is a new church (built in 1980) on the outskirts of Truro. It is in the diocese of Truro and the parish was divided from the neighbouring Kenwyn parish in 1984 with the addition of the parish of Baldhu and has a population at the beginning of the 21st century of almost 6,000. Details about the plans of this modern church are available on-line.

    A Mission Church was built in Shortlanesend in 1884. Details about the plans of that church are also available on-line.
  • Non-Conformist. Dissenting chapels in this parish were available for the Wesleyan Methodists in Fairmantle Street, the Baptists in River Street, Methodist New Connexion in Castle Street, and for the United Methodist Free Church in Kenwyn Street.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for Kenwyn are: C022951/2/3, C052821/2. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage of this parish is 1608 - 1875; it is NOT believed to be fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  • LaVelda Faull of Glasgow, KY, USA. has transcribed some entries from the Parish Registers of the Kenwyn Parish:
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1662 - 1971, Burials 1670 - 1977, Marriages 1662 - 1988, Boyd's Marriage Index 1559 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1800 - 1812.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1800 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Banns. Banns 1853 to 1912 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Marriages.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1608 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
    • Phillimore's marriages 1559 to 1812, and marriage transcriptions 1800 to 1911, 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 formats.
    • Burials 1800 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).

Civil Registration

The parish of Kenwyn 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 Kenwyn which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"KENWYN, a parish in the W. division of the hundred of Powder, county Cornwall, 1 mile from the Newham railway station, and 1 N.W. of Truro, its post town. The parish, which is extensive, includes part of the municipal and parliamentary borough of Truro, with the townships of Chacewater, Buldiu, and Tregavethan. It is intersected by the high road leading from Truro to St. Columb on one side, and by that from Truro to Redruth on the other. Baldher and Mithian, which are now formed into separate districts, were formerly parts of this parish. A portion of the inhabitants are employed in the tin and copper mines, and in the Calenick and Cavedras smelting works. The land is chiefly arable. There are burrows on the Downs, also a well called St. Clare's. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £535, and the vicarial for £524 11s. The living is a vicarage* annexed to that of St. Kea, in the diocese of Exeter, value £793, in the patronage of the bishop. The church, dedicated to St. Cuby, is situated on an eminence, commanding an extensive view of the surrounding country; it has a tower containing a clock and eight bells. The chancel has a stained window. In addition to the parish church there are four district churches-viz: St. John's, St. George's, Baldhu, and Chacewater; the livings of all which are perpetual curacies, varying in value from £150 to £200. The register dates from 1613. There is a National school for both sexes, in which a Sunday-school is also held. The Wesleyans have places of worship here."

"CHASEWATER, a chapelry in the parish of Kenwyn, in the county of Cornwall, 4 miles W. of Truro."



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 Kenwyn ecclesiastical parish:



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW820458 (Lat/Lon: 50.27187, -5.061178), Kenwyn which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Kenwyn parish was part of the Truro Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1670 to 1727) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


General Notes.

  • Mithian was created from part of this parish in 1847; however, up to 1971, population figures still include Mithian. From 1981, the figures for Mithian were counted separately.
  • From 1911, Kenwyn parish was reduced to an area called Kenwyn Rural; the remainder, which was known as Kenwyn Urban, was enumerated as part of the City of Truro.

Population Statistics:

  • Population in 1801 - 4017 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 5000 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 6221 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 8492 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 9607 persons, plus 33 in the Royal Cornwall Infirmary
  • Population in 1851 - 9743 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 10673 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 9787 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 8639 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 9787 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 6737 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 3760 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 1197 persons (Kenwyn Rural)
  • Population in 1931 - 1212 persons (Kenwyn Rural)
  • Population in 1951 - 1283 persons (Kenwyn Rural)
  • Population in 1961 - 1428 persons (Kenwyn Rural)
  • Population in 1971 - 1791 persons (Kenwyn Rural)
  • Population in 1981 - 3660 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 4480 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 4944 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 5527 persons


Kenwyn parish comprises 8062 acres of land. Mithian was created from part of parish in 1847.