South Hill


Although in the past, it has often been spelled as Southill, the parish is increasingly being spelled as South Hill. South Hill, (Cornish: Bre Dheghow), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of East. It is bounded on the north and east by Stoke Climsland and Callington, and on the south and west by St Ive and Linkinhorne. This thinly-populated parish is in the east Cornwall, north of Callington. Four miles to the north-west is the parish of North Hill, but the origin of their names is rather obscure. It is presumably based on a geographic reference.

The main village of the parish is Golberdon, with smaller hamlets at Maders, Mornick, Trevigro and Trewoodloe with South Hill being the smallest of these. Golberdon used to have a Post Office/shop, chapel and a nearby school but all this has gone and the only facility remaining is a village hall.

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 on-line Monumental Inscriptions
    • The Parish Church - 608 entries.
    • Golberdon Methodist Chapel - 131 entries.
  • Callington Area Heritage Centre (broken link) have placed on-line monumental inscriptions for St Sampson's churchyard [completed 1986], and Golberdon Methodist burial ground [completed 1986].
  • War Memorial information on those from South Hill who were killed in World War I is also available on-line.


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 Census.
    • The 1841 Census of South Hill (HO107/133), Enumeration Districts 6 and 7, is also available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
    • The 1841 census for this parish has also been filmed by the LDS church - Film No. 241258.
  • 1851 Census. The 1851 Census of Southill (HO107/1901), Enumeration Districts 4a and 4b, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1861 Census. The 1861 Census of South Hill (RG9/1527), Enumeration District 11, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1871 Census. The 1871 Census of South Hill (RG10/2235), Enumeration District 11, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1881 Census. 1881 Census of South Hill (RG11/2284), Enumeration District 11, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1891 Census. The 1891 Census of South Hill (RG12/1809), Enumeration District 11, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.

Church History

  • Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SX3272. The church was dedicated to St Sampson by Bishop Grandisson, bishop of Exeter, on 4th November 1333. The church itself is solidly built of stone and has a north transept dedicated to the Manaton family. Like most church it was restored in Victorian times in 1859. It is believed there must have been a leper colony in the area as there is a hagioscope (hole cut in the wall) to allow a view of the chancel and a separate access door which was only recently blocked up. The embattled tower is at the west end and has five bells, but they have not been rung for over 70 years due to the tower not being considered safe. However the money has eventually been raised and the tower has now been made safe.
    The church consists of a chancel, nave, south aisle, and north transept (called also the Manaton aisle or chantry). The chancel was tastefully restored in 1859. The arcade has four four-centred arches, supported on monolith granite pillars. The entrances are a south porch and a priest's door. The tower has three stages, is buttressed at the angles, and finished with battlements and low pinnacles. Below the parapet are figures of the twelve apostles. The belfry contains five bells.
    The parish of Callington has always been associated with South Hill. St Sampson's church at South Hill was dedicated in 1333 which makes it 105 years older than St Mary's of Callington, even to this day St Sampsons is considered the mother church. St Sampson was born around 500 AD and is believed to have set up a monastery at either South Hill or Golant. Proof of the existence of early Christianity at South Hill came with the finding of a Romano-British granite pillar about 8ft high with an inscribed cross and inscription on it. It was found in the rectory grounds in 1891 and was re-erected in the churchyard. The vicarage was demolished early in the last century and South Hill is now, no more than a church, a farm and a handful of houses.
    Cornwall Archaeological Unit were commissioned by Gilmore, Hankey Kirke to carry out an archaeological watching brief during drainage and repair works at St Sampson's Church, South Hill, during 2005. A report, updated in January 2006, was available on-line.
  • Non-Conformist. Chapels is the parish were:
    • Golberdon Methodist Chapel. This Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built in 1863 and is quite large. A schoolroom was added in 1891 and a stable and coach house. The burial ground was purchased in 1912 and is still in use, however the chapel closed in 1993 and has been converted to a dwelling.
    • Trewoodloe. This Bible Christian chapel was first mentioned in 1863, there was a caretakers cottage alongside it. Quite when it ceased to be a Methodist place of worship is not certain but by the 1890's it was a Church of England Mission Room. During World War II the Home Guard had a base there. In 1950 it was purchased by a local farmer and part of it has now fallen into disrepair.
    • Trenanvin. This Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in 1908 at the junction above Trevigro. However there had been a smaller chapel on the site 20 or 30 years before. The chapel closed in 1967 and in 1976 was sold for conversion to a dwelling.<
    • Bicton Mill. Although technically just out of the parish and into St Ive, this chapel was used by the residents of Golberdon. This little chapel was built in 1818 on land given by John Ball the owner of the mill. It closed in 1863 when the congregation moved to the new chapel in Golberdon, it has been demolished.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for South Hill are: C023501/2. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage for this parish is 1676 - 1772.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1549 - 1653, Burials 1550 - 1627, Marriages 1566 - 1626.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials
  • Baptisms:
    • Callington Area Heritage Centre (broken link) have placed on-line South Hill parish baptisms 1614 to 1900, and Rilla Mill Chapel 1841 to 1850.
    • Baptisms 1852 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Parish Chest have published on CD baptisms 1692 to 1840 for this parish.
  • Marriages:
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1566 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf formats.
    • Callington Area Heritage Centre (broken link) have placed on-line South Hill parish marriages 1566 to 1900.
  • Burials:
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book format.
    • Callington Area Heritage Centre (broken link) have placed on-line South Hill parish burials 1614 to 1900.
  • Non-Conformist Registers for Southill: A list of non-conformist registers for Southill were available online.

Civil Registration

The parish of South Hill has always been in the Liskeard Registration District. There were sub-districts at Callington, Lerrin, Liskeard and Looe, but these closed in the 1930s. Parishes within the district are: Boconnoc, Broadoak, Callington, Calstock (1837-60), Duloe, East Looe, Lanreath, Lansallos, Lanteglos, Linkinhorne, Liskeard, Liskeard Borough, Menheniot, Morval, Pelynt, St. Cleer, St. Dominick, St. Ive, St. Keyne, St. Martin's, St. Neot, St. Pinnock, St. Veep, Southill, Talland and West Looe. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Graylands, Dean Street, Liskeard, PL14 4AH. Tel: 01579 343442.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of South Hill which are provided by:





  • 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.

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 South Hill ecclesiastical parish:

You can see the administrative areas in which South Hill has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Callington Area Heritage Centre (broken link) have placed on-line a webpage for the history of South Hill 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 SX329727 (Lat/Lon: 50.530152, -4.359058), South Hill which are provided by:


Military Records

  • Cornwall Military Survey 1522 was one of the very first surveys where the monarch tried to determine the wealth of the country. Money was needed to finance the war with France. The assessment was in goods unless stated that it was on land. The survey for South Hill was available on-line.
  • The 1569 Muster Returns for South Hill were available on-line.

Politics & Government

The Free & Voluntary Present, as the name indicates, is a list of those persons making a voluntary contribution to the King. The list is those persons who went to Launceston on 8th November 1661, from the parishes of St Ive, Linkinhorne and South Hill. The amount they gave is indicated. This data may be available on the Callington Heritage site (broken link)


Poor Houses, Poor Law

South Hill parish was part of the Liskeard Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.



  • Population in 1801 - 447 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 466 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 534 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 530 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 640 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 730 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 691 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 638 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 506 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 528 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 488 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 444 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 396 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 413 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 404 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 374 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 382 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 415 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 485 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 474 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 489 persons

Probate Records

Wills & Admons for Southill parish - This data may be available on the Callington Heritage site (broken link)


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 South Hill are available on-line.



The parish comprises 3349 acres of land.


Voting Registers

The Poll books recorded the names of everyone in Cornwall who voted at Parliamentary elections along with the names of the person they voted for. There are three poll books for the County, all at the Cornwall Record Office. 1710 (CF4787), 1774 (DX622), 1790 (PD208).