The parish of Mawnan, (Cornish: Sen Mownan), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier. It is bounded on the north by Budock, on the east by the sea, and on the south and west by the Helford Creek and Constantine. The origin of the name is, 'church of St Maunan'. Mawnan is a delightful village and parish north of the Helford River. The parish is now known by its modern name of Mawnan Smith, most probably because a smithy used to be in the centre of the village.

The gardens, created at Glendurgan and Trebah by the Quakers Alfred and Charles Fox, are now open to the public.

The villages are Mawnan-Smith, Carlidnack or Carlinack, and Bareppa.

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)



  • Monumental Inscriptions in the parish have not yet been recorded.
  • A list of War dead of both World Wars, who came from Mawnan Smith (together with the whearabout of their remains), are listed on-line.


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 Mawnan (HO107/138), Enumeration District 6, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1851.
    • The 1851 Census of Mawnan (HO107/1911), Enumeration District 2, 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; Mawnan is listed in Volume 23. 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 Mawnan (RG9/1568), Enumeration District 1, including Merchant Shipping, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1871. The 1871 Census of Mawnan (RG10/2298), Enumeration District 1, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1881. The 1881 Census of Mawnan (RG11/2320), Enumeration District 1, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1891. The 1891 Census of Mawnan (RG12/1838), Enumeration District 1, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.

Church History

  • Anglican. The parish church of St Mawnan (Maunanus) and St Stephen stands above the estuary and has extensive views; it is located in OS Grid Square SW7827. It comprises a chancel, nave, and north and south aisles. A chancel arch of oak was added in 1861. The north arcade consists of five four-centred arches supported on monolith granite pillars; the south arcade consists of three four-centred arches with similar pillars, and one eliptical arch. It has a south door, the porch of which was removed in 1830 to extend the aisle; there is also a north door. The tower is of two stages, is 45 feet high, and is finished with battlements and stump pinnacles. There is a substantial lych gate on the north side of the churchyard. On rebuilding the north wall in 1827, the foundations of a building and fragments of carved stone were discovered, which evidently belonged to a former church. A second church, St Michaels, was built in the centre of the village in 1876.
  • Roman Catholic. In July, 1952 Mawnam Catholics asked the Bishop to send them a priest to say Sunday Mass in the village Memorial Hall. He complied with their request on the condition that the congregation was never less than twenty. The number was often difficult to sustain, but, within a decade, attendance at Mass had risen, sometimes to 120 residents and visitors.
    In July, 1962, Canon Adrian Chapple came to Falmouth from Bournemouth and was offered land for a church by a Mrs. Pilgrim of Nandiswell, the gift being in memory of her husband. Parishioners and visitors combined to raise funds for a building and furnishings, including a fine stained glass window of St. Edward the Confessor which stands thirty feet above the porch. The Church was completed on 8th December 1964. The solemn opening and blessing by Bishop Cyril Restieaux took place on 19th December 1964, followed by a votive Mass of St. Edward.
  • Non-Conformist. The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel at Durgan and Mawnan-Smith.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for Mawnan are: C022991, M0523391. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage for this parish is 1581 - 1875; it is NOT believed to be fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1582 - 1931, Burials 1558 - 1889, Marriages 1553 - 1966, Boyd's Marriage Index 1553 - 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 1674 to 1773 (bishop's transcripts), and 1813 to 1862, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, baptisms 1691 to 1841 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
  • Banns.
  • Marriages.
  • Burials.
    • Burials 1674 to 1773 (Bishop's transcripts), and parish transcriptions 1813 to 1860, 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 Mawnan is in the Falmouth Registration District, and has been since 1st July 1837; there were sub-districts at Constantine, Falmouth, Mylor and Penryn. Parishes within the district are: Budock, Constantine, Falmouth, Mabe, Mawnan, Mylor, Penryn, Perranarworthal and St. Gluvias. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Berkely House, 12-14 Berkeley Vale, Falmouth, TR11 3PH. Tel: 01326 312606.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Mawnan which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"MAWNAN, a parish in the hundred of Kerrier, county Cornwall, 4½ miles S.W. of Falmouth, its post town, and 3 from Penryn. It is bounded on the S.E. by the English Channel, which here forms the two small open bays called Paisk and Bream. The village, which is small, is situated near the coast under Rosemullion Head, at the mouth of the river Hefford, an arm of the sea, about a mile in breadth. The surface is hilly, and in the neighbourhood is an ancient circular camp known as Carlinnack. Petty sessions are held in the village. The soil is various, with a subsoil of clay and slate, which in some parts is overgrown with furze. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £304 10s. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Exeter, value £323. The church, dedicated to St. Mawnanus and Stephen, is an ancient structure, with a tower which serves as a landmark to mariners. At Penwarne was formerly a chapel-of-ease, with a cemetery adjoining. There is an endowed National school, in which a Sunday-school is also held. The Wesleyans and Baptists have each a place of worship."



  • 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.
  • The OPC has produced a website for Mawnan to help those researching in that parish.

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Mawnan 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 SW787274 (Lat/Lon: 50.105001, -5.095555), Mawnan which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Mawnan parish was part of the Falmouth Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1716 to 1744) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


  • Population in 1801 - 427 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 497 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 536 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 578 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 582 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 539 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 572 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 573 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 522 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 479 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 510 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 493 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 557 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 624 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 836 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 999 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 1175 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 1475 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 1526 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 1454 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 1539 persons


The parish comprises 2116 acres of land.