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Minster

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The parish of Minster, (Cornish: Talkarn), is situated in the Deanery of Trigg Minor, and Hundred of Lesnewth. It is bounded on the north by St Juliot, on the east by St Juliot, Lesnewth, and Davidstow, on the south by Lanteglos-by-Camelford, and on the west by the detached part of Lanteglos, Tintagel, Trevalga and Forrabury. The manor, honour and borough of Botreaux Casle is now called 'Boscastle'. The town of Boscastle in north Cornwall was divided into two parishes by the River Jordan: Forrabury and Minster. However, these parishes become united by Act of Parliament in 1779.

The attractive wooded inland parish of Minster is in the valley of the River Valency and contains the mother church of the town of Boscastle.

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)

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Cemeteries

The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 416 entries.

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Census

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 Minster (HO107/140), Enumeration District 8, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1851.
    • The 1851 Census of Minster (HO107/1898), Enumeration Districts 4a and 4b, 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; Minster is listed in Volume 4. 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 Minster (RG9/1515), Enumeration Districts 3 and 4, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1871. The 1871 Census of Minster (RG10/2218), Enumeration Districts 3 and 4, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1881. The 1881 Census of Minster (RG11/2272), Enumeration Districts 3 and 4, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1891. The 1891 Census of Minster (RG12/1799), Enumeration District 4, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
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Church History

  • Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SX1190; it is dedicated to St Merteriana. It comprises a chancel, nave and south aisle. The arcade has five four-centred arches supported on monolith granite pillars. The chief entrance is a south porch. The tower was lowered in the 19th century to one stage, and was covered with a saddle-back roof; it contained a single bell, which was removed from Bodmin church in 1814. The church was badly damaged by flooding in 2004.
    The priory of Talkarne is supposed to have stood here but ceased to exist in 1407 because of a seizure made by Parliament.
    The parish is now part of Boscastle-with-Davidstow ecclesiastical parish.
  • Non-Conformist. There were chapels at Boscastle for the Bible Christians and the United Methodist Free Church.
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Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for Minster are: E049391, C049391, M049391. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage for this parish is 1676 - 1812.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1679 - 1978, Burials 1678 - 1979, Marriages 1682 - 1958, Boyd's Marriage Index 1616 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1790 - 1812, BTs 1616 - 1632.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials
  • Churchwardens accounts for Minster (1756-1788) are available in the Lambeth Palace Library.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms in this parish 1678 to 1901, are available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, baptisms 1710 to 1850 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest
  • Marriages.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1611 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
    • Phillimore's marriages 1676 to 1812, and parish transcriptions 1838 to 1899 and 1754 to 1900, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, marriages 1682 to 1850 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest
  • Burials.
    • Burials 1813 to 1903 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.
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Civil Registration

Although originally in the Camelford Registration District, the parish of Minster is now in the Bodmin Registration District; there were sub-districts at Boscastle and Camelford. Parishes within the Camelford district were: Advent, Davidstow, Forrabury, Lanteglos, Lesnewth, Michaelstow, Minster, Otterham, St. Breward, St. Clether, St. Juliot, St. Teath, Tintagel, Trevalga.

The Superintendant Registrar of Bodmin can be contacted at: Lyndhurst, 66 Nicholas Street, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 2AG. Tel: 01208 73677.

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Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Minster which are provided by:

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Gazetteers

The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"MINSTER, a parish in the hundred of Lesnewth, county Cornwall, 4 miles N. of Camelford, its post town, and 3½ E. by N. of Bossiney. It is situated near the Bristol Channel, and was formerly called Talcarne. At Slaughter Bridge, in this parish, the memorable battle is supposed to have been fought in 525, between the Britons and Saxons, in which king Arthur received his mortal wound; and near the sources of the river Camel another battle was fought in 820 between the Britons and the Saxons under Egbert. The parish contains the small seaport town of Boscastle, and was distinguished for an ancient castle, once the seat of William de Botreaux, who founded here a Black priory cell to Tywardraeth. The soil consists of a dark loam upon a subsoil of rock. The surface is generally flat, and the greater part of the land is in pasture. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £255. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter, value £224. The church, which is of great antiquity, has only part of the tower remaining. It contains an old circular font, and monuments of the Renders and Cottons of Boscastle and Worthyvale. The E. window bears the Trelawny arms. The register dates from 1600, the older entries having been destroyed. There are almshouses for six poor persons. There is a National school for both sexes, in which a Sunday-school is held. The Methodists have a place of worship. There are some remains of an ancient chapel, dedicated to St. John, and on Waterpit Downs is an ancient cross, embellished with sculpture and delicate tracery. In the grounds of Worthyvale is a stone, bearing some rudely-sculptured characters, supposed to commemorate the battle of Slaughter Bridge, from which place it was brought. Two annual fairs are held in August and November for lambs, sheep, and cattle. Thomas Ricard Avery, Esq., is lord of the manor."

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Genealogy

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.

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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 Minster ecclesiastical parish:

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

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Maps

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX115884 (Lat/Lon: 50.66505, -4.668975), Minster which are provided by:

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Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Minster parish was part of the Camelford Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1688 to 1744) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.
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Population

Minster became united with Forrabury parish in 1779 and, therefore, Minster's population figures are included there.

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Statistics

The parish comprised 3342 acres of land.