Mawgan In Pydar


Mawgan-in-Pydar, (Cornish: Lannhorn), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Pydar. It is bounded on the north by St Ervan and St Eval, on the east by St Columb Major, on the south by St Columb Minor, and on the west by the sea. The Celtic St Meugan was venerated in south-west Wales and also in Brittany, where he was known as Maugan or Mogan. In the Middle Ages the church was often referred to as the 'church of Lanherne', the name of the adjacent manor. Lanherne is the Vale of Lanherne, centred on St Mawgan-in-Pydar, about 5 miles north of Newquay. he Arundells of Lanherne owned most of the country round here in the period 13-17th centuries. In the 17th century they moved off to Wardour Castle in Wiltshire.

The parish of St Mawgan-in-Pydar is located on the north coast of Cornwall, north-east of Newquay. The village itself is situated at the western end of the wooded Vale of Lanherne. The chief village is the Churchtown. During World War II, the RAF built an airfield here, and this continues today as a major NATO base for Maritime airborne, and search-and-rescue operations over the eastern Atlantic. The runways of the base are shared by Newquay airport for civilian air traffic.

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 SW8765; it is dedicated to St Mawgan (mauganus) & St Nicholas. It comprises a chancel, nave, south aisle, north transept and vestry. The arcade consists of six arches; the two adjoining the chancel are pointed, and the material is of catacleuse stone. The others are four centred, and the material is of St Stephen porcelain stone. The tower, which is 70 feet high, is attached to the south side of the church. It is of three stages is buttressed on the square, and is finished with battlements and pinnacles. The newel turret rises in an octagonal battlemented form above the pinnaclea, and terminates in a little spire. The belfry contains eight bells.
    The Anglican parish is now part of the United Benefice of St Mawgan, St Ervan and St Eval, which has its own website.
  • Roman Catholic. Adjoining the Anglican church is Laherne House, which became a Roman Catholic Carmelite nunnery. This house had a chapel for the Roman Catholic faith, which was attended by strangers.
    Set in the Vale of Lanherne, the church is the jewel of the beautiful Cornish village of St.Mawgan, with its cricket ground, ancient inn, ford and convent. The church, endowed by the Arundells of Lanherne who lived here from the 13th to 18th centuries, dates from the 13th century. The 14th century tower is unusually placed at the south transept: the upper part was added by the Arundells in 1433 at a cost of 10 pounds. The oldest of the bells was cast between 1378 and 1407.
    Within the church are many beautiful items of interest, including the carved pulpit of 1553, 42 bench ends and a rood screen from the 15th century, many fine 16th century Arundell brasses, and an elaborate 15th century Pentewan stone font. The peaceful sloping churchyard contains many gems - including the Lantern Cross (ca.1420) and the stern of a rowing boat - a memorial to ten men who drifted ashore, frozen to death in 1846. The Chapel of Lanherne serves as the Roman Catholic Parish Church. It is very small, built in the style of Louis XIV, with some highly decorative features including the Bathstone altar with carved medallions depicting the Agony in the Garden, the Crucifixion and the Last Supper. Of particular interest is the Arundell sanctuary lamp. Tradition claims that it has not been extinguished since pre-Reformation days. Lanherne is the oldest Carmel in England.
  • Non-Conformist. There were chapels for the Wesleyan Methodists in the Churchtown; they had another at Mawgan Cross, where the Bible Christians also had a chapel.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1674 - 1916, Marriages 1686 - 1971, Boyd's Marriage Index 1608 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 17800 - 1812, Roman Catholic Marriages 1710 - 1834, Burials 1686 - 1887.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • Pre 1813 Roman Catholic Marriages (Lanherne)
    • 1813-37 Burials.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1813 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Marriages.
    • Phillimore marriages 1608 to 1812, and parish transcriptions 1710 to 1834, 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 1608 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
  • Burials.
    • Burials 1813 to 1887 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.

Civil Registration

The parish of Mawgan-in-Pydar was originally in the St Columb Registration District. It is now in the Registration District of St Austell. There were sub-districts at Newlyn, Padstow and St Columb Major, but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the old St Columb district were: Colan, Crantock, Cubert, Little Petherick, Mawgan-in-Pydar, Newlyn, Newquay, Padstow, St. Breock, St. Columb Major, St. Columb Minor, St. Enoder, St. Ervan, St. Eval, St. Issey, St. Merryn, St. Wenn.

The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: 12 Carlyon Road, St Austell, PL25 4LD. Tel: 01726 68974. Fax: 01726 68974.


Description & Travel

  • There is a website dedicated to the United Benefice of St Mawgan, St Eval and St Ervan.
You can see pictures of Mawgan In Pydar which are provided by:





  • 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 Mawgan-in-Pydar ecclesiastical parish:

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



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW875660 (Lat/Lon: 50.455209, -4.995003), Mawgan In Pydar which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • St Mawgan-in-Pydar parish was part of the St Columb Major Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1681 to 1765, 1797 to 1838) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


  • Population in 1801 - 785 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 800 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1050 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1094 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 1084 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 1010 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 895 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 853 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 861 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 752 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 713 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 690 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 720 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 633 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 2042 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 1644 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 1467 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 1845 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 1565 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 1176 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 1173 persons


The parish comprises 5318 acres of land.