The parish of Roche, (Cornish: An Garrrek), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Powder. It is bounded on the north by St Wenn and Withiel, on the east by Lanivet and Luxulyan, on the south by St Austell and St Stephens-in-Brannel, and on the west by St Dennis and St Columb Major. It is named after the prominent granite tor, known as 'Roche Rock', upon the top of which, according to the legend, a hermit decided to build his cell. It was only accessible by ladders and there are many versions as to who was its occupant. It is now delapidated; portions of the north wall have fallen and the fragment of tracery that remained in the east window has disappeared.
Roche parish is located on high ground north of St Austell, surrounded by moorland wastes. The clay-mining villages of Stenalees and Bugle (also once known as Carn Rosemary) are to the south-east. Tin was also once mined on the Goss Moor. Both the rivers Par and Fal rise in this parish. The chief villages were the Churchtown, Belovely, Tregoss and Tresease.
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 - 571 entries
- The Methodist Chapel - 88 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:
- 1841. The 1841 Census of Roche (HO107/145), Enumeration Districts 24 to 28, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1851. The 1851 Census of Roche (HO107/1907), Enumeration Districts 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d and 2e, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1861. The 1861 Census of Roche (RG9/1549), Enumeration Districts 20c, 21b, 22b, 23c, and 24b, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project
- 1871. The 1871 Census of Roche is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Roche (RG11/2303), Enumeration Districts 21 to 25, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Roche (RG12/1823), Enumeration Districts 21 to 25, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW9859 and was dedicated to St Goemandus, Conandus, Conant or Gonnet. It was originally arcaded as most of the neighbouring churches are, but was rebuilt in 1822 and is now a plain parallelogram with a north transept, entered through a chamfered pointed arch. The west end is travered by a low gallery. The church has a fine Norman font of the Bodmin pattern made from Pentewan stone. The entrances to the church are a south porch and a priest's door. The 15th century tower of moorstone granite ashlar rises to a height of some 85 feet and forms a well-known landmark; it consists of three stages, is buttressed on the square and embattled. It once had pinnacles, the octagonal bases of which, springing from angel corbels, still remain. It carries a peal of eight bells.
It is likely that there was a Saxon building before the Norman Church was built by the Lords of Tremodrett. The Norman Church was largely rebuilt in the 14th century and restored in 1820-2 and again in 1890.
- Non-Conformist. There was a large Wesleyan Methodist chapel, with a cemetery adjoining, in the Churchtown; it was built in 1833. There were Bible Christian chapels as Tresease, Tremonds, Tregoss, Belovely, and Mount Pleasant; at the last named place there is also a cemetery.
- LDS Church Records.
- The LDS Church batch numbers for Roche are: C022211/2, M966954. These are searchable by surname.
- The IGI coverage of this parish is 1571 to 1875; the records are NOT believed to be fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1571 - 1885, Burials 1612 - 1933, Marriages 1579 - 1966, Boyd's Marriage Index 1578 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1790 - 1812.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
- Pre 1813 Marriages.
- 1813-37 Marriages.
- 1813-37 Burials.
- Baptisms at Roche 1571 to 1847 through the OPC search Facility
- Banns. Banns 1824 to 1835 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Phillimore marriages 1578 to 1812, and marriage transcriptions 1813 to 1837 and 1892 TO 1900, 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 1578 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
- Marriages at Roche 1578 to 1900 through the OPC search Facility
The parish of Roche has been in the Registration District of St Austell continuously from 1st July 1837. There were sub-districts at Fowey, Grampound, Mevagissey and St Austell, but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Creed, Fowey, Gorran, Grampound, Mevagissey, Roche, St. Austell, St. Blazey, St. Dennis, St. Ewe, St. Mewan, St. Michael Carhays, St. Sampson, St. Stephen in Brannel, Tywardreath.
The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: 12 Carlyon Road, St Austell, PL25 4LD. Tel: 01726 68974. Fax: 01726 68974.
- Blizzard in the West (from ArchiveCDBooks) limited look-ups is also on offer from the OPC.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Roche to another place.
- 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 Roche has produced a genealogical website for the parish.
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 Roche ecclesiastical parish:
- Tremoddrett (Tremodret), Grid Reference 005612.
You can see the administrative areas in which Roche has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
The OPC for Roche offers look-ups of Owners of Land in Cornwall 1873 in respect of this parish.
- Map of the St Austell Registration district in which the parish lies.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW986607 (Lat/Lon: 50.411294, -4.835799), Roche which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- OldMaps (Old Ordnance Survey maps.)
- Old Maps Online (Other old maps.)
- 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.)
Apprenticeship Indentures for Roche (1756 - 1836) can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.
- Roche parish was part of the St Austell Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
- Overseers' Accounts (1731 to 1762, 1791 to 1827), Settlement Papers (1736 to 1859) and Bastardy Bonds (1792 to 1818), are available in the Cornwall Record Office.