Ludgvan, or Ludevon, (Cornish: Lusowen), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith. It is bounded on the north by Towednack and Lelant, on the east by St Erth and St Hilary, on the south by Mount's Bay and Gulval, and on the west by Gulval and Towednack. It lies to the south of St Ives in the narrow neck of land between St Ives and Penzance. To the west is the moorland area of West Penwith with its ancient Chysauster settlement lying in the neighbouring parish of Gulval. The parish is mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086. In June 1793, a Roman urn was found by some labourers in digging a trench on the border of the parish near the sea. It was buried in the sand two or three feet under the surface, and the coins in it were considerably corroded. However, they were chiefly of the reigns of Gallienus, Victorinus, Tetricus, etc.

The Churchtown village is small, although the area covered by the parish includes the larger village of Crowlas. Other villages are Lower Quarter, Cockwells, Whitecross, Canonstown, and Manwinion. The Red River runs through the parish and down to Mount's Bay near Long Rock.

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:


Church History

  • Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW5033. The church was originally dedicated to St Ludowanus (Ludgvan) by John de Grandisson, Bishop of Exeter, on 14th July 1336 but is now dedicated to St Ludgvan and St Paul the Apostle. It comprises a chancel, nave, north and south aisle, and a vestry. The chancel was enlarged in 1840. The north arcade has six four-centred arches, with fine granite pillars, chiefly monolith; the south arcade has four arches of similar character and material. There is a south porch with a circular opening in its eastern side, and the inner arch of its doorway is of Norman character. There is also a north door and a priest's door. The tower, which is of three stages, is buttressed on the square and finished with battlements and pinnacles. The belfry contains five bells.
    On 30th July 1761, the church was struck by lightning. The south door was burst open, and the pulpit and communion table were shattered; one of the pinnacles on the tower was struck down, and other parts of the building were considerable damaged.
  • Non-Conformist. The Wesleyan Methodists had a large chapel at Crowlas, a chapel at Whitecross built in 1858, another at Trenowin, Newtown and Canonstown. The Primitive Methodists had chapels at Lower Quarter, Cockwells (built in 1858), and Boswase. The Bible Christians had a chapel at Batreva.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for Ludgvan are: C020961/2, E020961, M020961. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage of this parish is 1563 - 1875.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1564 - 1974, Burials 1563 - 1959, Marriages 1563 - 1980, Boyd's Marriage Index 1563 - 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 1694 to 1807 (Bishop's transcripts - with gaps), and transcriptions 1894 to 1900, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Baptisms in the Ludgvan Wesleyan Methodist church 1855 to 1884 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP). They are also available from West Penwith Resources.
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, baptisms 1712 to 1840 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
  • Banns. Banns 1824 to 1901 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 1563 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
    • Phillimore's marriages 1563 to 1812, marriage transcriptions 1712 to 1745 and 1754 to 1893, and Bishop's transcripts 1674 to 1807, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Phillimore's Marriages of Ludgvan 1563 to 1812 are available on-line from UK Genealogy Archives.
  • Burials.
    • Burials 1700 to 1900 (including Bishop's transcripts, with gaps, 1674 to 1807) for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book format.
  • Other Non-Conformist Records. OPC Coverage of Non-Conformist records of this parish is available.

Civil Registration

The parish of Ludgvan has been in the Penzance Registration District continuously from 1st July 1837. There were originally sub-districts at Marazion, Penzance, St Buryan, St Just, St Ives and Uny-Lelant but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Gulval, Ludgvan, Madron, Marazion, Morvah, Penzance, Perranuthnoe, St. Buryan, St. Erth, St. Hilary, St. Ives, St. Just in Penwith, St. Levan, St. Michael's Mount, St. Paul, Sancreed, Sennen, Towednack, Uny-Lelant, Wolfe Rock Lighthouse, and Zennor. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Alphington House, Alverton Place, Penzance, TR18 4JJ. Tel: 01736 330093.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Ludgvan which are provided by:





The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"LUDGVAN, (or Ludjan), a parish in the hundred of Penwith, county Cornwall, 3 miles N.E. of Penzance, its post town. The Marazion station on the West Cornwall line of railway is about 1 mile E. from the village. It lies N. of Mount's Bay, on rising ground, near the coast of the English Channel In Domesday survey this place is called Ludaham, when it was one of the possessions of Robert Earl of Mortaigne. Copper and tin are obtained here, also granite and schistose. A peculiar kind of granite, with which was blended a large proportion of mica, called the Ludgvan stone, used to be found here, but appears to be now exhausted. The people are mostly employed in mining operations. The hamlet of Crowlas, and several small places, are included in this parish, which is of large extent. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £808. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter, value £800. The church is a stone edifice, with tower and Norman porch, dedicated to St. Paul. It contains a monument to Dr. Borlase, the learned antiquary and historian of Cornwall, who was rector of this parish for above 50 years, and the tomb of Sir Humphry Davy's parents. The parochial charities produce about £7 per annum. The Wesleyans have six chapels, the Primitive Methodists two, and the Bible Christians one. There is a National school for both sexes. In the neighbourhood are remains of an entrenched camp, called Castleandinas, the diameter of which is 400 feet from E. to W., and the principal ditch 60 feet wide; it occupies the summit of the highest hill in this part of the county, and commands views of the English Channel. At Collurian are remains of an ancient chapel, and on the road to Marazion earthworks, thrown up by the Parliamentarians while engaged in the siege of St. Michael's Mount. The Rev. Canon Rogers is lord of the manor. A cattle fair is held at Lower Quarter on the 2nd October.



  • 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.
  • West Penwith resources have provided considerable additional information about this parish.

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 Ludgvan ecclesiastical parish:



The Manor of Ludgvan Lese covered parts of the parishes of Ludgvan, St. Ives, Zennor and Towednack. The abstracts of the Manorial Records 1688-1739, which are taken from LDS film #1471491, are available on-line.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW509334 (Lat/Lon: 50.147876, -5.48795), Ludgvan which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Ludgvan parish was part of the Penzance Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief. Overseers' Accounts (1700 to 1748, 1778 to 1824), Settlement Papers Register (1770 to 1861) and Bastardy Bonds (1760 to 1829), are available in the Cornwall Record Office.
  • Bastardy Bonds for Ludgvan 1760 to 1820 are available on-line. These list those bonds levied for the support of base (i.e. illegitimate) children. The mothers are listed as are those named in the bonds (which may include, but not necessarily, the fathers).


  • Population in 1801 - 1324 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1491 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1839 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 2322 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 3190 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 3529 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 3480 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 2960 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2623 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 2334 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 2274 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 2213 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 2052 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1897 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 2533 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 2213 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 2430 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 2765 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 3075 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 3184 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 3250 persons

Probate Records



  • The Ludgvan Old Cornwall Society News Page is on-line.
  • The Penwith Local History Group aims:
    • To encourage and sustain public interest in the history of Penwith to provide mutual support and encouragement to members in their individual research projects, whether related to Penwith or of wider historical interest.
    • To work as a group on specific research projects, with the aim of publication to an academic standard.
    • To encourage the strong link with the Morrab Library, supporting the Library in its aims and activities.


The parish comprises 4541 acres of land.