The parish of Perranzabuloe, (Cornish: Pyran yn Treth), is situated in the Hundred of Powder. It is bounded on the north by Cubert, on the east by Newlyn East, St Allen and Kenwyn, on the south by a detached part of Kea called Tregavethan, Kenwyn and St Agnes, and on the west by St Agnes and the sea. The parish is located to the south-east of Perranporth. The name means 'St Piran-in-the-sands', to distinguish it from other parishes asociated St Piran. The saint originally built an oratory here which had the continual problem of being buried by encroaching sands. Stones from the oratory were used to re-erect the church further inland in 1804.

The origins of the parish lie in the Celtic Monastery of Lanpiran which was in existence before the Norman conquest of 1066. This important monastery is mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086 as owning much land. "The Canons of St Piran's hold PERRANZABULOE; before 1066 it was always free. There is land for 8 ploughs there. The Canons have one plough and the villeins (villagers) have one. There are 4 villagers, 8 smallholders and 2 slaves. There are 10 acres of pasture, 8 cattle amd 30 sheep".

The chief village of the parish is Perranporth (which is the size of a small town, and is now where the Perranzabuloe Parish Council is based); other villages are Bolingey, Penhallow, and Callestick. The three mile long sandy beach at Perranporth is well known for the surfing competitions which are held there. The hamlet of Perranzabuloe contains the church but very few people now live in the hamlet.

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 - 2962 entries
  • Callestick Methodist Chapel - 273 entries.


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. There are two Anglican churches in this parish:
    • Parish Church. The parish church, which is the third here, is located in OS Grid Square SW7752 and was dedicated to St Piran.
      Before 1066, Perranzabuloe had originally been the site of the large celtic monastery of Lanpiran. St. Piran originally had built an oratory here which had the continual problem of being buried by encroaching sands. A second church had succeeded the oratory, and had been sited further inland, but that too had to be abandoned because of the further encroaching sand. Stones from the second church were used to re-erect the present (third) church further inland in 1804 where it now is located.
      This rebuilt church was dedicated on 18th July 1805; it comprises a chancel, nave, south aisle, and north and south transepts, the last named is also called the Chyverton aisle because it was once contained a pew belonging to a family of that name. The arcade consists of five four-centred arches supported on pillars of St Stephens porcelain stone. The tower is of three stages, is buttressed on the square, and is finished with battlements and square-paneled pinnacles. It contained three bells.
      For many years, the inhabitants of St. Agnes had had to attend the parish church at Perranzabloe. During the 13th century, Perranzabuloe exercised ecclesiastic control over St Agnes, the church of which was regarded as a chapelry of Perranzabuloe. It was not until 1846 when St Agnes was constituted an independent ecclesiastical parish and the first Vicar was appointed replacing the previous curates from Perranzabuloe.
    • Perranporth. At Perranporth is a separate Anglican chapel-of-ease. The chapel here is a building of stone, in the Early English style, was erected and opened in 1872, and consists of a chancel and nave. It is dedicated to St Michael.
  • Roman Catholic. As the Truro Parish already had a dedication to St. Piran, the saint of Perranporth, it was decided to dedicate the tiny Church in Perranporth to Christ the King. At the end of the Holy Year 1925, Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) instituted the Feast of Christ the King for the last Sunday in October, close to the end of the liturgical year. Fr. John Jeffrey, C.R.L., much loved parish priest of Truro built this little timber clad Church in 1931 on land donated by Lord Falmouth. It is fairly typical of chapels built in smaller towns in Cornwall during the century to bring the Church to the people. The few Catholics in Perranporth worked hard to raise funds for the building. It contains some stained glass work from Buckfast Abbey.
  • Non-Conformist. There was a Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Callestick, and another at Mellingy; there was a Bible Christian chapel at Penhallow.

Church Records

The parish church registers covering the period around 1798 to 1804 have been damaged by water and are virtually unreadable. However, the Bishop's Transcripts, which had been held in the Dioceasan Record Office at Exeter, are now in the Devon Record Office and, which also cover this period, are available.

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for Perranzabuloe are: C052991/2, E052991, M052991, M866952. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage of this parish is 1558 - 1837; it is NOT believed to be fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1558 - 1963, Burials 1682 - 1926, Marriages 1706 - 1957, Boyds Marriage Index 1619 - 1812.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813 Marriages.
    • 1813-37 Marriages.
    • 1813-36 Burials.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1813 to 1901 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Banns. Banns 1854 to 1898 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Marriages.
    • Phillimore marriages 1619 to 1812, and marriages in the parish church 1754 to 1837 and 1900 to 1911, 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 1619 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
  • Burials.
    • Burials 1762 to 1925 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 CD or Book formats.

Civil Registration

The parish of Perranzabuloe has been in the Truro Registration District continuously from 1st July 1837. There were sub-districts at Kea, Kenwyn, Probus, St. Agnes, St. Clement and St Just-in-Roseland, but these have now been abolished. Parishes in this registration district are: Cornelly, Cuby, Feock, Gerrans, Kea, Kenwyn, Ladock, Lamorran, Merther, Perranzabuloe, Philleigh, Probus, Ruan Lanihorne, St. Agnes, St. Allen, St. Anthony in Roseland, St. Clement, St. Erme, St. Feock, St. Just in Roseland, St. Michael Penkevil, Tregavethan, Tregony St. James, Truro St. Mary, Veryan.

The address of the Registration Office is: Dalvenie House, New County Hall, Truro, TR1 3AY.
Tel: 01872 322241.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Perranzabuloe which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"PERRAN ZABULOE, (or Perran in the Sands), a parish in the hundred of Pyder, county Cornwall, 5 miles N.W. of Truro, and 7 N. W. of St. Michael, or Midshall. This place is situated on the shore of the Bristol Channel, and includes the small harbours of Perran Combe and Perran Porth, principally frequented by the boats employed in the pilchard fisheries. The beach is a firm smooth sand, well adapted for sea-bathing, and is much frequented for that purpose. The parish, which is of large extent, includes the chapelries of Mithian and Mount Hawk, and the hamlets of Lambourn and Penwortha, which last formerly belonged to the Vyvians. The western portion of the parish is the most populous, and is chiefly inhabited by miners, who-reside in detached cottages thickly scattered over the commons, and are employed in the tin, copper, lead, and zinc mines, with which this district abounds, particularly at Wheal Hope and Wheal St. George. The great tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £395, and the vicarial for one of £265. The ancient church was collegiate for a dean and canons in the time of Edward the Confessor, and had the oratory or shrine of St. Piran, the patron saint of tinners, who is fabled to have crossed over the sea from Ireland on a millstone, and to which the privilege of sanctuary was attached. This ancient oratory was swallowed up by the sands, but was disentombed in 1835, when it was found to measure 25 feet by 12½, and is fully described by Trelawney in his "Lost Church found." Near the village of Lambourn is St. Piran's, or Perran's Well, to which miraculous efficacy was formerly attributed in the cure of diseases; and about 1½ mile from the well is St. Perran's Round, one of the ancient Cornish amphitheatres, where miracle plays were performed, 130 feet in diameter. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter, value £419, in the patronage of the dean and chapter.



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 for Perranzabuloe is Blanche Charles, who has produced a genealogical website for St Allen, Newlyn East, Perranzabuloe and Withiel parishes, and who offers look-ups of parish register, census and Directory information of the parish.

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 Perranzabuloe ecclesiastical parish:


Land & Property

  • The parish and town tithe maps, and accompanying survey books of c1840, provide a fascinating snap-shot of land use and ownership in the 19th century. In order to preserve the documents and improve access to them, the Cornwall Record Office are digitising these maps and survey books. The CD ROM tithe package include a map and survey books, together with a reader, for this parish; it is now available from the Cornwall Record Office. Details are on their website.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW771532 (Lat/Lon: 50.336831, -5.133185), Perranzabuloe which are provided by:



Information about the Perranzabuloe and the North Coast mines is available on-line.


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Perranzabuloe parish was part of the Truro Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.



  • Population in 1801 - 1389 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1527 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1702 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 2793 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 3161 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 3114 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 2959 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 3661 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2630 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 2374 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 2695 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 2366 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 2380 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 2745 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 3623 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 3623 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 4507 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 4630 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 5290 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 5382 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 5737 persons

Religion & 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 this parish are available on-line.



The Goonhavern and District Old Cornwall Society News Page is on-line.



The parish comprised 10878 acres of land, 16 acres of water, 8 acres of tidal water and 296 acres of foreshore.