The parish of Marazion, (Cornish: Marghasyow), is located on the south-west coast of Cornwall directly opposite St Michael's Mount. The parish was created in 1813 from St Hilary parish. Its modern name derives from the important fairs and markets that were held here. The origin of name, "marghas byghan", means 'little market' and "marghas Yow", or Jew (Thursday Market). Time has blurred the pronunciations to Marazion.
The town of Marazion is situated on the shore of Mount's Bay. The oldest record in which it is named is a charter of Richard, King of the Romans and Earl of Cornwall, circa 1250, where it is called Marhasgon. As already stated, it has also been known as Margas-jewe or Marhas-gou, Markasion. The appellation of Market-Jew has led to the supposition that it once had a market, chiefly attended by foreign Jews, for the purchasing of tin.
This quaint town can claim to be the oldest town in Britain, called Ictis by the Romans. In 1170, it was sending two members to Parliament in London; this continued until the dissolution of the Priory of the Mount. The first charter of incorporation was granted by Henry III in 1257. This charter of incorporation was reaffirmed by Elizabeth I on 13th June 1595. This permitted a mayor, eight aldermen and twelve capital burgesses. It also granted a market on Saturdays, and a fair on 11th June and another on 30th November. It appears that at that time, the town was run-down having been laid waste during a rebellion in the time of the reign of Elizabeth's brother, King Edward VI. Marazion was the major town in West Cornwall until the late medieval period when it was overtaken by Penzance.
Towards the end of the 18th century, the town was prospering and villa residences were being built, which increased in number during the 19th century. The town was surrounded by many mines, some having such enigmatic names as Wheal Prosper, Wheal Crab, Wheal Rodney, Tolvadden and South Neptune. These and other mines in the area remained active until the depression in the tin and copper industries in the late 19th century. Some of these mine names are still preserved in some form or other today.
Marazion has always attracted visitors; many came as pilgrims to the Benedictine Monastery or Priory on St Michael's Mount, and who stayed in the town until the causeway was revealed by the ebbing tide. Nowadays, it is possible to walk or take a ferry, depending upon the tide, to St Michael's Mount - the island home of the St Aubyn family. Interest is centred on the excellent beach and the splendid sailing and windsurfing waters, but there are also some lovely coastal and inland walks. When the priory was founded on St Michaels Mount in the tenth century, both Marazion and the Mount were thriving ports, and even as late as the eighteenth century there was a trade in cured fish, tin, copper and coal.
The mild climate has encouraged an important local agricultural industry; crops such as potato and broccoli can be harvested early in the season. Bulbs and flowers are another major part of the local economy and wild flowers add to the beauty of the stone-hedged fields. At the start of the 21st century, Marazion still attracts many tourists who are drawn to visiting St Michael's Mount.
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 - 1891) 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. In 1841, Marazion was enumerated as part of St Hilary.
- The 1851 Census of Marazion (HO107/1918), Enumeration Districts 3a, 3b and 3c, 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; Marazion is listed in Volume 26. 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 from which it can be purchased.
- 1861. The 1861 Census of Marazion (RG9/1591), Enumeration Districts 1, 2 [including Merchant Shipping], and 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- The 1871 Census of Marazion (RG10/2336), Enumeration Districts 1 to 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Marazion (RG11/2343), Enumeration Districts 1 to 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Marazion (RG12/1855), Enumeration District 1 to 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW5130 and was dedicated to All Saints. There was an old church which was dedicated to St Hermes, and a licence was granted from Bishop Stapeldon on 22nd March 1309 to have divine services on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
A new church was built in 1861 to replace the former one which had become dilapidated. It comprises a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, and a vestry. The chancel has a polygonal, buttressed apse of five sides, each side having a single light window, three of which are filled with painted glass. The nave is separated from the aisles by arcades of four pointed arches each, springing from moulded caps and octagonal pillars, made from Bath stone.
- Non-Conformist. There were chapels for the Wesleyan Methodists, United Methodist Free Church, Bible Christians and Baptists.
- LDS Church Records. This parish is NOT included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1813 - 1979, Burials 1813 - 1944, Marriages 1813 - 1944.
- Baptisms 1841 to 1902 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Baptisms in the Marazion Methodist Circuit 1884 to 1891, baptisms in the Marazion Wesleyan circuit 1868 to 1910, and baptisms in the Marazion Ebenezer chapel 1875 to 1902, are available on-line through the OPC search Facility (C-PROP).
- Baptisms at Marazion 1841 to 1902 are available online courtesy of the OPC.
- The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, baptisms 1813 to 1840 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
- Marriages. Marriages 1838 to 1912 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Other Non-Conformist Records. OPC Coverage of Non-Conformist records of this parish is available.
The parish of Marazion 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.
- The The History of Mount's Bay, comprising Saint Michael's Mount, Marazion, Penzance, Newlyn, Mousehole, &c, &c. is available on-line, courtesy of the Old Cornwall Society. It was published by J. Thomas,in 1820.
- There is a opc site for Marazion.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Marazion to another place.
- OPC Assistance.
- There is also a a message board on the website. It is only for those with a genealogical interest within the area of St Hilary, Germoe, Marazion and St Michael's Mount.
You can see the administrative areas in which Marazion has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
- Map of the Penzance Registration District in which the parish lies.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW527310 (Lat/Lon: 50.127325, -5.461932), Marazion which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- Old Maps Online
- 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.)
Marazion parish was part of the Penzance Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
The parish was created from part of St Hilary parish in 1813.
Wills & Admons for St Hilary and Marazion parishes, 1660-1730 are available on-line.