The parish of Phillack, (Cornish: Sen Felek), is located to the north of Hayle, and is now one of Nature Conservancy's Sites of Special Scientific Importance. It was situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith; it is bounded on the north by Gwithian, on the east by Gwinear, on the south St Erth, and on the west by St Ives Bay and Hayle estuary - the latter separates it from Lelant. This is an area of sand dunes stretching from the mouth of the Hayle river at Riviere Towans, northwards to Godrevy Point. It is not mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086, but the site once appeared to have a Celtic monastery.

The parish church is dedicated to an unknown saint, Felek. St Elwyn in Hayle was created from part of this parish 1888. In 1935 Phillack was amalgamated with Hayle civil parish.

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 SW5638 and was dedicated to St Felicitas. On this site probably there was an original wooden oratory, followed around 700 A.D. with a stone chapel. It is more than likely this was situated under the nave and chancel of the later Norman Church.
    During the 15th century the tower was added, possibly encroaching on the western end of the Norman work. The northern aisle was built at this time replacing the older north transept, and the doorway, formerly at the western end, was moved to the position in which it stands today. At the same time, the Norman altar was replaced by a larger construction. Fragments of the rood screen and carved benches have been incorporated into the modern pulpit.
    The parish population quadrupled between 1801 and 1871, largely due to the growth of Hayle as an industrial centre. The church was nearly completely re-built in 1856/57 to increase the accomodation available inside the church; only the tower remained virtually untouched.
    The church comprises a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, and a vestry. The tower is 57 feet in height; it has three stages, and is finished with battlements, crocketed pinnacles and a pyramidical roof surmounted with a vane.
  • Non-Conformist. The arrangements for Non-Conformists in this parish have not yet been determined.

Church Records

If you cannot find what you were looking for in the St Elwyn or Phillack transcriptions, check the St Erth parish register transcriptions as many St Erth parish register entries refer to residents of Phillack and Hayle.


Civil Registration

The parish of Phillack was originally in the Redruth Registration District until its dissolution. There were sub-districts at Camborne, Gwennap, Illogan, Phillack and Redruth which have now been abolished. It is now part of the Registration District of Camborne-Redruth. Parishes in this registration district were: Camborne, East Phillack, Gwennap, Gwinear, Gwithian, Illogan, Phillack, Redruth, St. Sithian's, West Phillack.

The address of the Superintendant Registrar of Camborne-Redruth is: Roskear, Camborne, TR14 8DN. Tel: 01209 612924.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Phillack which are provided by:



The entry for the Parish of Phillack in 1873 from the Kelly's Directory of Cornwall - 1873 is available on-line.



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"PHILLACK, (or St. Felack), a parish in the hundred of Penwith, county Cornwall, near Camborne, and 8 miles W. by S. of Redruth. This parish, which is of considerable extent, is situated on the shore of St. Bride's Bay, in the Bristol Channel, and includes the port of Hayle at the mouth of the small river of the same name, the village of Hayle Copper House, and several hamlets The substratum is rich in mineral wealth, the prevailing rock being porphyry. The great Wheal Alfred, and other extensive copper mines, were formerly worked with profit, but none are at present productive, except the North Wheal Alfred. In the northern part of the parish the surface is overspread with sand and shell hills, supposed to have been drifted from the coast of St. Ive's Bay in the 12th century. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the coasting trade, and in the working and export of minerals. There are an extensive iron-foundry for the manufacture of steam-engines, a smelting-house for tin at Angarrick, and copper smelting-works at Hayle. A canal has been formed from the smelting-works to the port, and a rail-road from Hayle to Redruth. The tithes have been commuted for £620. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Exeter, value with the rectory* of Gwithian and the curacy of St. John's, Hayle, annexed, £550. The church, dedicated to St. Felix, was rebuilt, with the exception of the tower, in 1856. There was formerly a chapel-of-ease at the northern extremity of the Towan, of which only the site remains. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. There are National and Sunday schools for boys and girls. An ancient cemetery was discovered some years ago adjoining the present churchyard, where several stone graves, containing skeletons in a perfect state of preservation, with stone basins and some stags' horns were met with. There were formerly castles at Castle Kayle and Hayle Bar Riviere.



  • 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 Phillack has produced a genealogical website for the parish.
  • Strays. Persons living in a parish but born elsewhere are known as "Strays". Strays found in the 1851 Census of Phillack are available on-line.
  • Those researchers, with family history interests in Phillack and Hayle, are listed on-line together, where appropriately, with email links.

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.


  • The Manorial Documents Register (MDR), maintained by the Historical Documents Commission notes that, so far as can be established, the parish of Phillack contained only the manor of Connerton, which was also associated with the parish of Gwithian.
  • The MDR contains the following information for this manor:
    • Accounts with other manors 1387-1797 (non consecutive), court rolls 1488-90, 1524, 1570-75, 1742, court rolls (copies) 1588-89, court rolls with other manors 1451, 1557-65, 1572-73, court books with other manors 1670-75, 1733-37, 1792-96, rentals with other manors 1460-65, 1499, 1571, 1578, 1586-1603, 1618, c1627, 1662-1799, list of freehold tenants 1715, accounts, bills and expenses rel to court dinner 1712-42, court expenses 1704, presentments with other manors 1732-72, presentments (extracts and copies 1695-1759 rel to right of wreck), papers rel to right of wreck c1750, court proceedings 1755, notes and extracts (incl from court roll 1594 and from audit book 1582-1668) rel to right of wreck made 1755 and survey 1673 in Cornwall Record Office, Old County Hall, Truro TR1 3AY (ref: AR/2/92-98, 740, 749-51, 755-6, 768, 778-9, 782-816, 818, 885-12151337, 1340-79; AR/3/88-96; AR/15/48-9, 68, 101, 117-18, 138).
    • Account roll with other manors 1575-76 in the Cornwall Record Office (ref: DDX 609).
  • Further information on Manor Houses in Phillack parish can be found online.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW567383 (Lat/Lon: 50.194614, -5.410253), Phillack which are provided by:



  • Newspaper Extracts. Pages containing extracts from newspapers of the time that report events at Phillack or Hayle are available on-line. The extracts are courtesy of the willing band of transcribers and cover: Birth, Death, Marriage announcements and other news items



Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Phillack parish was part of the Redruth Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
  • Settlement papers (1695 to 1828) and Bastardy Bonds (1729 - 1828), are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


Hayle St Elwyn parish was created from part of this parish in 1888.
Phillack was incorporated into Hayle (St Elwyn) parish in 1935. In 1891, West Phillack contained 694 persons, and in 1901 the population was 668; after 1931 Phillack population figures were included as part of Hayle.

  • Population in 1801 - 1475 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 2119 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 2529 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 3053 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 4055 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 4777 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 5381 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 4854 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2691 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 3979 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 3881 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 3661 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 3471 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 3233 persons

A STUDY OF THE POPULATION OF THE PARISH OF PHILLACK by John Higgans (and taken from Old Cornwall Magazine, published in Autumn 1969 on pages 222 -231) is available on-line.


Probate Records


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 1641 for Phillack are available on-line.



The parish comprises 2905 acres of land, 4 acres of water, 29 acres of tidal water and 279 acres of foreshore.