Landewednack (Cornish: Lanndewynnek) is the most southerly parish in Great Britain. It is situated at the extreme of the Lizard Peninsular, and is in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier. It is bounded on the north by Ruan Minor and Grade, on the east by Grade and the sea, on the south wholly by the sea, and on the west by the sea and Mullion. The tiny isolated village of Landewednack is found on the eastern tip of the Lizard above Church Cove.
The southern extremity of this parish forms the famous promontory called the Lizard Point. This area has given rise to a very large number of shipwrecks over the centuries. A double Lighthouse now stands on the extreme point, and serves to distinguish this beacon from the single light at Scilly, and the three lights at Guernsey Point. Formerly fires of wood were kept up on this point to warn mariners off the shore, then for many years coal fires were used, and the flames kept bright with large bellows. Next, lamps fed with oil were resorted to - twenty seven in each tower. For some years past Seimens electric lights have shed there rays across the sea to a distance of 40 miles. A steam fog signal is also placed here, which was sometimes required to be kept in operation for a week.
Not far from the Lighthouse was the Lizard Signal Station, erected by Messrs. Fox of Falmouth for the purpose of signalling homeward and outward bound vessels. Off the coast are the dangerous low rocks called "The Stags." Kynance Cove is situated about a mile north-west of the Lizard Head; it is a beautiful beach marked by a group of towering rocks. In 1846, Prince Albert, the husband of Quenn Victoria, and the royal children visited this place.
The villages are the small Churchtown and Lizard Town; the former is now but a suburb of the latter.
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)
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:
- The 1841 Census of Landewednack (HO107/138), Enumeration District 12, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- The 1841 census for this parish has also been filmed by the LDS church. Film No. 241261.
- The 1851 Census of Landewednack (HO107/1913), Enumeration District 9, 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; Landewednack is listed in Volume 32. 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 Landewednack (RG9/1573), Enumeration District 15, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1871. The 1871 Census of Landewednack (RG10/2306), Enumeration District 15, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Landewednack, (RG11/2325), Enumeration District 8, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Landwednack (RG12/1841), Enumeration District 15 [including Merchant Shipping and Lighthouses], is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW7112; it is dedicated to St Winwallo, or Winwolaus. The church has close links with Landevennec in Brittany. In the 6th century, Gwenole, a monk from the French Abbey founded a church on this site. Nothing remains of the original building.
The existing church comprises a chancel, nave, north aisle, and south transept. The church, which is built of the local Serpentine stone, is the most southerly in the country. The church is very old; it possesses a Norman doorway, and inside is a very old Norman font, which has been placed on serpentine columns. The chancel was completely restored in 1862. The arcade consists of five arches of granite, supported on pillars of the same material. The 15th century tower is of two stages, and is finished with battlements and crocketed pinnacles; it contains three bells.
The vicar of Landewednack is said to have been the last parson in Cornwall who, in 1678, preached his sermons in the Cornish language.
This parish was visited by the plague in 1645. It is also said that, about a century afterwards when part of the churchyard, in which the persons were buried who had died of it, was re-opened for the for in interment of shipwrecked mariners, the plague reappeared. In consequence, that portion of the churchyard was fenced off and planted, and has never been used since.
- Non-Conformist. The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel here.
- LDS Church Records.
- The LDS Church batch numbers for Landewednack are: C025821, C052831. These are searchable by surname.
- The IGI coverage of this parish is 1578 - 1837; it is not believed to be fully covered in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1578 - 1964, Burials 1653 - 1928, Marriages 1654 - 1971, Boyds Marriage Index 1598 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1790 - 1812, BTs 1598 - 1673.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of
- Pre 1813 Marriages
- 1813-37 Marriages
- 1813-37 Burials.
- Baptisms 1578 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 1753 to 1842 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
- Banns. Banns 1860 to 1907 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 1589 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
- Phillimore's marriages in this parish (1654 to 1812) are available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, marriages 1754 to 1837 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
The parish of Landewednack 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.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Landewednack to another place.
- 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.
- Strays. Persons living in a parish but born elsewhere are known as "Strays". Strays found in Landewednack in the 1861 Census are available 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 Landewednack ecclesiastical parish:
- Lizard (Lusart, Lisart, Lvsart), Grid Reference 703125.
You can see the administrative areas in which Landewednack has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
- Map of the Kerrier Registration District in which the parish lies.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW702136 (Lat/Lon: 49.978492, -5.207276), Landewednack which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- 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.)
Apprenticeship Indentures for Landewednack (Register 1814 - 1822) can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.
Landewednack parish was part of the Helston Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief. Overseers' Accounts (1677 to 1848) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.