The original parish of Redruth, (Cornish: Rysrudh), was situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith. It is bounded on the north by Illogan and St Agnes, on the east by Gwennap, on the south by Gwennap and Illogan, and on the west by Illogan. Redruth was formerly the capital of the largest and richest metal mining area in Britain. The town's setting is dominated hy the granite heights of Carn Brea and Carn Marth. Granite is an igneous rock formed from molten material generated at great depth below the surface. Vapours from the granite carried minerals into the rock's fissures before it finally set. In later ages the granite was lifted by earth movements, and exposed to weathering.

On Carn Brea can he seen the remains of one of the oldest and largest human settlements in Cornwall, a 46-acre Neolithic hillfort. Minerals were probably worked here since the Bronze Age, and by the Middle Ages mining was well-established. Tin was obtained from deposits in the flats of streams the ore found in material produced by the weakening of veins in the granite. By 1300, streamers were working along the brook that ran along the bottom of Fore Street. The iron oxide from the workings discoloured the water. The red river in turn gave its name to the ford from which the town derives its Cornish name (rhyd= ford, ruth = red). There were a great number of mines in this parish, many of which were highly productive in both copper and tin.

A charter for two weekly markets and two annual fairs was granted in 1324, and the Stannary Courts were sometimes held here in the the later Middle Ages. From Tudor times control of the mining industry passed increasingly into the hands of the gentry, as more costly underground working developed. In 1591, Redruth was visited by the plague which occasioned the death of 91 of the then population of around 1000 people. The main villages are the Churchtown and Plain-an-guare (Plain-an-Gwarry) were already suburbs of Redruth in the mid 19th century. Highway and North Country are also areas near the town.

In the past the town of Redruth and its neighbour Camborne served the important areas of tin mining area in south-west Cornwall. There has been a long tradition of rivalry between the two towns. In the early days of mining Redruth thought it was a cut above Camborne, because it was the place where the better classes lived. Today, Redruth is a small industrial and commercial centre that is by-passed by the A30 trunk road.

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)


Archives & Libraries

The Cornwall Centre, (formerly known as the Cornish Studies Library),
Alma Place, Redruth TR15 2AT
contains much background information to help family historians including runs of Cornish Nespapers.

Tel 01209 216760 - Overseas +44 1209 216760
Fax 01209 210283 - Overseas + 441209 210283
Videophone 01209 210510 - Overseas + 441209 210510
Opening Hours Mon-Fri 1000-1800, Sat 1000-1600
e-mail cornishstudies.library[at]cornwall.gov[dot]uk





Census information for parishes in this town (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

The places licensed for Religious Worship in 1851 Redruth are:

Name of Chapel/ Church, Denomination, Location, Built Circa, No. of Seats, Steward Preacher etc., Additional Information.

  • BETHESDA, Wesleyan , Redruth, 1840, 168, Robert Bond (minister).
  • BLACKSMITHS SHOP, Church of England Chapel of Ease, Redruth, 1847, 98, Wm. L Manley.
  • HIGHWAY, Primitive, Redruth, 1835, 152, John Richard (minister).
  • HIGHWAY, Wesleyan , Redruth, 1824, 350, Robert Bond (minister).
  • NORTH COUNTRY, Primitive, Redruth, 1837, 90, John Richards (minister).
  • NORTH COUNTRY, Wesleyan , Redruth, 1790, 180, Robert Bond (minister).
  • NORTH COUNTRY, Wesleyan Assoc., Redruth, 1837, 100, Thomas Ellery (minister).
  • PLAIN AN GWARRY, Primitive, Redruth, 1826, 700, John Richards (minister).
  • QUAKER, Society of Friends (Quaker), Redruth, 1814, 300, Edward Tweedy (minister), Meeting House.
  • REDRUTH, Baptist, Redruth, 1803, 340, Edward Merriman (minister).
  • REDRUTH, Church of England Chapel of Ease, Redruth, 1828, 600, Wm. L Manle.
  • REDRUTH, Parish, Redruth, , 500, Wm. L Manley.
  • REDRUTH, Wesleyan , Redruth, 1826, 1900, Robert Bond (minister).
  • REDRUTH, Wesleyan Assoc., Redruth, 1838, 840, Thomas Ellery (minister).
  • TOLSKITHEY, Wesleyan Assoc., Redruth, 1846, 100, Thomas Ellery (minister).
  • TOWN HALL, Wesleyan Reform, Redruth, 1850, 230, Robert Blee (manager), Meeting room.
  • WHEAL BULLER, Wesleyan , Redruth, 1833, 75, Robert Bond (minister).
  • Anglican. The original parish church, which was built on the site of a former one in 1761, was dedicated to Euinas, Erminus, St Uny or St Unine. The Town of Redruth now consists of three ecclesiastical parishes: A number of other Anglican parishes were created out of the original Redruth parish in the 19th century. These were all created from the original parish whose records commenced around 1570, and which is based on St Uny Church.. One of these is Redruth, St Mary which was built in 1827/28; details about the plans of the modern church are available on-line.
    • St Andrew's. This is the modern 19th century parish covering Redruth, and was created in 1884.
    • St Uny's. This is the original church for the parish in Redruth, and is situated to the north of the town. It is named after the ancient church of St. Uny that originally served Redruth.
    • Treleigh. This was created out of Redruth parish in 1871.
  • Roman Catholic. Located at West End, Redruth, is the Roman Catholic church. The dedication is to The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an infallible teaching of the Church, and occurred in 1950; its dedication reflects an age old belief that Mary was taken into heaven, body and soul, at the end of her earthly life. The principal feast in the liturgical calendar of Our Lady, is The Assumption, which occurs on 15th August annually.
  • Non-Conformist.
    • There are chapels at North Country for the Wesleyan Methodists (built in 1826) and the United Methodist Free Church, which was built in 1864-5. Near the Market Place is the Ebenezer Baptist chapel, built circa 1806. The Quakers built a Meeting House in 1833 which is situated in Church Lane; this had a graveyard attached. The Bible Christians built a chapel in 1864, and the Primitive Methodists built their chapel at Plain-an-gwarry in 1883.
    • The chapels in the Camborne-Redruth Methodist Circuit in the early 21st century are:
      • Barripper Methodist Church.
      • Beacon Methodist Church.
      • Brea Methodist Church.
      • Bridge Methodist Church.
      • Camborne Methodist Church.
      • Carn Brea Methodist Church.
      • Four Lanes Methodist Church.
      • Illogan Highway Methodist Church.
      • Kehelland Methodist Chapel.
      • Mawla Methodist Church.
      • Paynters Lane End Methodist Church.
      • Porthtowan Methodist Church.
      • Redruth Methodist Church.
      • Troon Methodist Church. In the West Briton on 23rd April 1852: FREE WESLEYAN CHAPEL - On Thursday the 15th instant, the Free Wesleyan Chapel, at Troon, in the parish of Camborne, was opened by the Rev. S. DUNN. A correspondent states that a report has been circulated to the effect that the present proprietors obtained possession of this chapel by fraud. This however, he asserts is not the case. It was he says "a perfectly just, upright, and honest transaction. On the expiration of the lease the chapel was valued by competent persons chosen by each party, and offered by the lessee to the Conference in their valuation. They however, would only give a quarter part of the sum, which of course was refused. It was then offered to the Free Wesleyans, who accepted it, and have now re-opened it for public worship".
      • Wall Methodist Church.

Church Records

  • The The parish registers of Redruth in Cornwall, 1560-1716 are available on-line, courtesy of the Old Cornwall Society. These relate to the registers of St Uny church only, and were published by Hoblyn & Taylor in 1894.
  • LDS Church Records.
  • On-line parish registers 1560 to 1716 for Redruth are available.
  • Anglican Church Records. Surviving Anglican parish records are listed on the appropriate Redruth ecclesiastical parish pages.
  • Non-Conformist Church Records. The World Methodist Society have listed the following from the Redruth Circuit:
    • Non-Conformist baptisms 1817 to 1837 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Redruth Methodist Circuit records 1821-1975 and baptisms 1839-1963. Reference E9-59.
    • Redruth Fore Street Circuit (UMFC) records 1862-1973. Reference E9-60.
    • Redruth Primitive Methodist Circuit records 1828-1934 baptisms 1843-1934. Reference E9-61. Baptisms at Redruth 1832 to 1837 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Redruth Treruffe Hill Circuit (UM) records 1901-33. Reference E9-62.
    The reference numbers are those from the Cornwall Record Office. Many of these registers have also been filmed by the LDS Church. These can be found listed in the Locality Catalogue under the parish. The film number is shown. The CRO have Non-Conformist records for Redruth 1817 - 1837.
  • Baptisms.
  • Marriages.
  • Burials.

Civil Registration

The parish of Redruth was originally in the Redruth Registration District. 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 are: Camborne, East Phillack, Gwennap, Gwinear, Gwithian, Illogan, Phillack, Redruth, St. Stithian's, West Phillack.

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


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Redruth which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"REDRUTH, a parish, post, and market town in the hundred of Penwith, county Cornwall, 9 miles S.W. of Truro, and 11 from Falmouth. It is a station on the West Cornwall railway. This place, which is of great antiquity, was originally called Dre Druth, or "the Druids' town," of which its present name is only a slight modification; but for some time after the introduction of Christianity it was called "Uny," from the patron saint to whom its church is dedicated. It is a large and prosperous mining town situated in a barren spot On the great road from Truro to Penzance, and occupies the declivity of a hill, which attains an altitude of 414 feet. The parish comprises, besides the town of Redruth, which consists mainly of one long street, the hamlets of Little Redruth, or Plengwary, and Treleigh. It is a polling-place for the county elections, and a petty sessions town. It is well built, and partly paved and lighted with gas; but the water supply is very insufficient, notwithstanding large sums of money have been expended by the Board of Health to remedy this inconvenience, though all in vain, owing to the drainage of the extensive mines in the vicinity. The town contains a townhall, built in 1850, a theatre, literary institution, savings-bank, commercial bank, and a clock tower at the entrance to the market-place. The county court for the Redruth district is held monthly in the townhall on the Wednesday and Thursday following the second Tuesday in one month, and the Thursday following the second Tuesday in every other month. The board of guardians for the Redruth Poor-law Union, which comprises 8 parishes, meets at the union poorhouse every alternate Monday. There are an extensive brewery, safety fuse manufactory, and iron foundry; but the chief prosperity of the place is derived from the Consols and United copper mines, which are the richest in Cornwall, and are 1,620 feet deep.



  • 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. 

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 town; it is now available from the Cornwall Record Office. Details are on their website.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW700426 (Lat/Lon: 50.238489, -5.227186), Redruth which are provided by:


Medical Records

In 1591 a plague broke out in Redruth and lasted well into the following year. It carried off 97 victims which was an appalling blow to the town, the inhabitants of which at that time numbered less than a thousand. [Source: Doidge's Directory of Redruth 1866].


Names, Personal

  • A contact list of those researching surnames from Redruth is available.



Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Redruth parishes were part of the Redruth Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief. The former workhouse later became Barncoose Hospital; it is now the Camborne-Redruth Community Hospital.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1797 to 1809, 1820 to 1840) and Settlement Papers (1728 to 1819), relating to Redruth, are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


  • Population in 1801 - 4924 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 5903 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 6607 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 8191 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 9305 persons, plus 245 persons in Redruth Workhouse
  • Population in 1851 - 10571 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 11504 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 10685 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 7533 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 10324 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 10451 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 10814 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 9916 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 9904 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 9704 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 9794 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 10785 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 11310 persons, including 10655 in Redruth Town and Treleigh
  • Population in 1991 - 12195 persons, including 11595 in Redruth Town and Treleigh
  • Population in 2001 - 12352 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 13845 persons

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 1642 for Redruth are available on-line.



  • The Carn-Brea Mining Society was formed in 1974 to encourage the study of all aspects of mining, geology and mineralogy in the South West of England. The Society is purposely based amid the traditional tin and copper area of Camborne and Redruth. Meetings and lectures are held at the Opie Building at the Cornwall College, and field meetings are also arranged. A news letter is published in June and December and a news sheet in March and September. The Society currently has 110 members. Membership of the Society is available to anyone.
  • The Redruth Old Cornwall Society News Page is on-line.


The original Redruth parish comprised 3630 acres. The civil parish now (in 2002) comprises 4080 acres of land.


Voting Registers