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Help and advice for Manaccan

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The parish of Manaccan, (Cornish: Managhan), Monachan, Monathon, and, anciently, Minster, is situated in the Meneage district of the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier. It is bounded on the north by the Helford estuary, on the east by St Anthony, and on the south and west by St Keverne and St Martins. Manaccan lies on the south of the Helford River, between St Martin's and St. Anthony. It's ancient name was 'Minstor'. Richard Polwhele, Rector of Manaccan in 1793, wrote largely on the antiquities and history of Devon and Cornwall.

In this parish is Helford, which was originally a small trading village. From here is a ferry across to Passage House, now known as 'Helford Passage', in the parish of Mawnan. Titanium, or macannanite, as it was then called, was discovered in this parish in 1791 by the Rev. William Gregor. Gold also exists in the black sand which yields manaccanite, but not enough in quantity to pay for working.

Manaccan is a hillside parish set in pleasant countryside to the south of the Helford River. The church is dedicated to unknown saint, referred to as 'Sancta Manaca' in 1259. During the Napoleonic wars, Captain Bligh of Bounty fame was carrying out research for the Admiralty in the Helford River and was arrested as a suspected spy. He was locked in the coal cellar of the Rev. Richard Polwhele, but eventually released when he was able to prove his identity. Despite his treatment Bligh and Polwhele became friends and remained in touch for several years.

Besides the Churchtown, the only other village of size in the parish is Helford. Helford now is a very attractive holiday area with many cottages, a sailing club and much sailing available

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



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:

  • 1841. The 1841 Census of Manaccan (HO107/138), Enumeration Districts 7 and 8, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1851.
    • The 1851 Census of Manaccan (HO107/1913), Enumeration Districts 2a and 2b,, 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; Manaccan 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 Manaccan (RG9/1573), Enumeration Districts 2 and 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1871. The 1871 Census of Manaccan (RG10/2305), Enumeration Districts 2 and 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1881. The 1881 Census of Manaccan (RG11/2324), Enumeration Districts 2 and 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1891. The 1891 Census of Manaccan (RG12/1841), Enumeration Districts 2 and 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Manaccan area or see them printed on a map.


Church History

  • Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW7625. It is dedicated to St Mannacus and St Dunstan. It was supposedly originally dedicated to St Manacca, but this is doubtful; it is more likely that St Menaccus and St Dunston (as described in Cox County Churches in Cornwall) was always the dedication here. There are two other churches in Cornwall with the same double dedication: that of Lanlivery and Lanreath. If this is so it would seem the name of St Dunston was added to that of Menaccus in Norman times.
    The church is situated at the head of the Durra creek; it comprises a chancel, nave, north aisle, and south transept. The arcade consists of six four-centred arches, supported on monolith granite pillars. There is a south porch, the doorway of which is one of the best specimens of Norman entrances in Cornwall; it is considered an early example of that style of architecture. There is also a vestry door. The tower is of two stages, and is finished with battlements and pinnacles; the belfry contains three bells.
    The church is well-known for a large and flourishing fig-tree which is growing out of the western part of the south wall of the church. It has been there for a least 250 years. The parish of St Anthony became a united benefice with Manaccan by an order in council dated 15 February 1916. St Martin was added to this benefice by another order in council dated 22 December 1982, since when Mawgan has been added.
  • Non-Conformist. There was a large Wesleyan Methodist chapel at High Lanes, and a Congregational chapel at Helford.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1624 - 1981, Burials 1638 - 1981, Marriages 1633 - 1981, Boyd's Marriage Index 1633 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1800 - 1812, BTs 1597 - 1673.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1537 to 1910 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Some baptisms are available on-line from West Country Genealogy as follows:
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, baptisms 1703 to 1840 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
  • Marriages.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1597 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
    • Phillimore's marriages 1633 to 1812, and marriages 1754 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Marriages in Manaccan 1754 to 1837 are available on-line as follows:
  • Burials.

Civil Registration

The parish of Manaccan 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.


Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Manaccan which are provided by:



Ask for a calculation of the distance from Manaccan to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.



  • 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 Manaccan in the 1861 Census are available on-line.

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Manaccan has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Manaccan parish was part of the Helston Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.



  • Population in 1801 - 489 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 506 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 591 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 654 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 569 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 563 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 505 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 436 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 522 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 379 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 372 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 357 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 350 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 318 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 329 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 361 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 289 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 300 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 301 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 299 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 321 persons

Religion and 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 Manaccan are available on-line.


The parish comprises 1746 acres of land, 113 acres of tidal water and 34 acres of foreshore.