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)
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
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:
- 1841. The 1841 Census of Redruth (HO107/143) is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- The 1851 Census of Redruth (HO107/1915) is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- The New Zealand Society of Genealogists have compiled separate surname indexes of the 1851 Census for each Cornish registration district; Redruth is listed in Volume 35. The booklets are available in Cornwall at the Cornwall Centre, (formerly known as the Cornish Studies Library), and is also available in the Cornwall Family History Society Library from which it can be purchased.
- 1861. The 1861 Census of Redruth is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- The 1871 Census of Redruth is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- RG10/2315. Enumeration Districts 1 to 4.
- RG10/2317. Enumeration Districts 9 to 12.
- RG10/2318. Enumeration District 13.
- The 1871 Census of Redruth is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Redruth is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Redruth is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The LDS Church batch numbers for Redruth are: C0533411/2/3, E020291, M020291, M053411, P020291, Primitive Methodists C065341, Wesleyan Methodist C065331. These are searchable by surname.
- The IGI coverage of Redruth is 1560 - 1837.
- 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.
- Cemetery burials at St Day Road Cemetery, Redruth, are available on-line, courtesy of Chris Uphill.
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.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Redruth to another place.
- 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.
You can see the administrative areas in which Redruth has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
- 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.
- Map of the Camborne & Redruth Registration district in which the town lies.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW697421 (Lat/Lon: 50.234113, -5.23091), Redruth which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- Old Maps Online
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
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. .
- A contact list of those researching surnames from Redruth is available.
- Information about the Redruth Area Mines is available on-line.
- 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.
- Wills & Admons for Redruth parish, 1660-1693 are available on-line.
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 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.
- The 1832 Voters List for the Borough of Redruth, is available, courtesy of the OPC.