St Agnes


The parish, (Cornish: Breanek), is named after after Saint Agnes; it is in the Hundred and Deanery of Pydar. It is bounded on the north by the Bristol Channel and Perranzabuloe, on the east by Kenwyn and Kea, on the south by Gwennap and Redruth, and on the west by Illogan. The town is just inland from the North coast and lies to the North of Redruth, it is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. St Agnes Parish is one of the great mining districts in Cornwall abounding in tin and copper; it is now in the Carrick district and is situated near the North Coast to the North West of Truro. The Earl of Cornwall once had a manor at Tywarnhayle.

Villages in the parish include the Churchtown, Trevaunance Cove, Towan Cross, Mithian and Mingoose. The town of Perranporth is to the North East of the parish. The area is mainly farmland but this was a main tin mining area in the past. The northern boundary of the parish is the rugged Northern coastline of Cornwall. St Agnes Beacon is a raised area of land which was chosen as one of the principal western stations of the Ordnance Survey. The parish is scant of trees. In 1632 an attempt was made to form harbour at Trevaunance (now called Trevaunance Quay), and after repeated failures the effort was resumed in 1710 by the Tonkin family, who were so far successful that this work remained nearly a century, when some portions having become decayed, a new pier of moor-stone was erected in 1794 by a company at a cost of £10,000. The habour was washed away some years later.

Blackwater is a village 3 miles south-east, in the ecclesiastical parish of Mithian which is on the road between Redruth and St Columb. Goonbell, with a "halt" on the Perranporth and Newquay rail motor car branch of the Great Western railway, is also a place in this parish. The new parish of Mount Hawke, was created from part of parish 1847; it is located in the West of the older St Agnes 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)



  • An illustrated History of St Agnes covering the years 1001 to 1999 has been written by Frank Carpenter, and is available from the St Agnes Museum.
  • A more detailed description and history of the parish, entitled 'Friendly Retreat', has been written by M H Bizley and published by Troutbeck Press. ISBN 0 9523561 0 4. It also is available from the St Agnes Museum.


  • A municipal cemetery of two acres was formed in 1876 which included two mortuary chapels. Stilefields Cemetery (which is behind the Museum) has an unconsecrated portion, (i.e. for non-conformists such as Methodists), on the lefthand side.
  • Some transcriptions from Garden of Rest in St Agnes are available on the Cornish Cemeteries site.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 1365 entries.
  • War Memorial. A photograph of the War Memorial is available on-line.
  • A memorial on the St Agnes Wesleyan Chapel Mural Tablet has been transcribed from old-fashioned snapshots by Elaine Hamby. [References: A. Adherent, C.L. Class Leader, C.S. Circuit Steward, J.S.C. Junior Society Class, L.P. Local Preacher, M. Member of Church, M.C. Member of Choir, S.S.Sup. Sunday School Superintendent, S.S.S. Sunday School Scholar, S.S.T. Sunday School Teacher, S.S. Society Steward, M.T. Missionary Treasurer, T. Trustee]:
    James ANGWIN M. died at Goonown 1866
    Kezia ANGWIN M. died at Goonown 1886
    Thomas BARTLEY M. died at Goonbell 1890
    Prudence A. BARTLEY M. died at Rosemundy Hill 1884
    Rev. Thos. R. BARTLEY M. died at St. Helena, Calif. 1901
    Rev. John BARTLEY M. died at Exeter 1938
    Samuel BENNETTS T. & C.S. died at Truro 1889
    Ann BENNETTS M. died at Truro 1900
    Elizabeth J. OSBORNE M., S.S.T., & Organist died at Liskeard 1935
    Richard H. BENNEY C.L., L.P. & S.S. Sup. died at Illogan Hway 1937
    James BILLING C.L. died at Higher Bal 1873
    Jane Agnes BILLING M. died at Higher Bal 1902
    Thomas BLANKENSHIP M. & T. died at Truro 1864
    William BUTSON M. & T. died at Goonown 1890
    Richard DAVIES T. & L.P. died at Vicarage Road 1894
    John DAVIES M. died at Goonbell 1873
    John J. DELBRIDGE C.L. died at Peterville 1899
    Sarah DELBRIDGE M. died at Vicarage Road 1909
    Irvin Ashley DELBRIDGE S.S.S. aged 9 years died 1907
    James EVANS A. died at Beacon House 1898
    Ann EVANS A. died at Beacon House 1904
    Mary HANCOCK M. & S.S.T. died at Vicarage Road 1908
    Robert HANCOCK M. died at British Road 1888
    Muriel Alberta HARPER J.S.C. & S.S.S. died at Churchtown 1912
    Frank HENWOOD M. & M.C. died at Rosemundy 1910
    John HIGGINS M. died at Goonlaze 1912
    Mary Ann HIGGINS C.L. & S.S.T. died at Goonlaze 1914
    James HOOPER C.L. died at Rosemundy 1895
    Jane HOOPER M. died at Goonbell 1891
    Joel Carter HOOPER T.C.L. & S.S.Sup. died at Rosemundy Hill 1915
    Martha HOOPER M. died at Rosemundy Hill 1916
    Janie HOOPER M. & M.C. died at Rosemundy Hill 1913
    Nicholas LANGDON T. & L.P. died at Mingoose 1876
    Mary LANGDON M. died at Truro 1903
    Matthew LANYON C.L. died at Beacon 1887
    James LETCHER M.& T. of Wheal Butson died 1915
    Thomas LAWRY M.& S.S.S. died at Goonown 1907
    William LUKE M.& S.S.S. died in London 1915
    William Kent MITCHELL L.P.,C.L. & S.S.Sup. died at Goonown 1901
    Alfred MITCHELL M.C. died at Michigan 1910
    Lola MITCHELL J.S.C. & S.S.S. died at Water Lane 1911
    Rev. John NANCARROW M. died at Stockport 1907
    Thomas Martin NINNIS T.C.S. & S.S.Sup. died at Churchtown 1890
    Susan Martin NINNIS M. died in London 1911
    Rev. Jabez OVERTON Resident Minister died at St. Agnes 1883
    John James PROUT M. died at Brixham, Devon 1910
    Ann PROUT M. died at Brixham, Devon 1910
    Joseph PROUT M. died at Bridge Villa 1911M
    John REYNOLDS A. died at Goonown 1911
    H.K. REYNOLDS M. & S.S.T. died at Goonown 1918
    Josiah REYNOLDS M.C. of Goonown died 1911
    Ths. Henry Lobb RICHARDS M. died at Water Lane 1913
    Richard RICKARD T. & C.L. died at Vicarage Road 1870
    James RICKARD C.L. died at Vicarage Road 1890
    Jane Trezise RICKARD M. died at Wisconsin, U.S.A. 1886
    Joseph ROBERTS T.C.L. & S.S.T. died at Goonown 1918
    James ROBERTS M. & M.C. died at West Coast of Africa 1888
    James ROGERS T.C.S. & S.S. Sup. died at Churchtown 1879
    Hannah ROGERS M died at Churchtown 1881
    Elisha ROWE M. & T. died at Churchtown 1872
    William ROWE M. died at Churchtown (Goonown) 1857
    Rachel ROWE M. died at Churchtown 1902
    K.R. BREWER M. died in China 1886
    Sarah Ann ROWE M. & S.S.T. died in Churchtown 1926
    Thomas STRIBLEY L.P., C.L. & S.S.Sup. died at Churchtown 1885
    Mary STRIBLEY M. died at Churchtown 1883
    George Herbert STRIBLEY T. & S.S. died at Churchtown 1907
    Harry STRIBLEY T.C.L.S.S. & S.S.Sup. died at Stenalees 1942
    James TREGELLAS C.L. died at Churchtown 1884
    James TREGELLAS C.L. died at Goonvrea 1903
    Clara TREHAIR M. died in London 1882
    James TREMEWAN M. & S.S.T. died at Penwinnick Villa 1899
    John Ernest TREMEWAN S.S.T. died at Vicarage Road 1910
    John WATERS M. died at Rosemundy Hill 1891
    Mary Ann WATERS M. died at Rosemundy Hill 1893
    Elizabeth HAWKINS M. & S.S.T. died at Ruanlanihorne 1925
    William WATERS A. died at Johannesburg 1912
    Henry WHITWORTH M.D. C.S. & M.T. died at Vicarage Road 1883
    Fanny WHITWORTH M. died at Vicarage Road 1875
    Fanny REMINGTON M. & S.S.T. died at Selby 1880
    Samuel WILLIAMS M. died at British Road 1878
    Eleanor WILLIAMS M. died at Rosemundy Hill 1911
    John WILLIAMS T.S.S. & M.C. died at Churchtown 1923
    Nancy WILLIAMS M. died at Churchtown 1913
    John M. WILLIAMS M. & S.S.T. died in Johannesburg 1931
    Nannie P. WILLIAMS M.M.C. & S.S.T. died at Churchtown 1932
    Henry WILLIAMS A. died at Goonown 1898
    Mary WILLIAMS A. died at British Road 1916
    Henry WILLIAMS M. & S.S.T. died in Colorado USA 1893
    Jane WILLIAMS C.L. died at Vicarage Road 1902
    James Thomas RILLSTONE S.S.T. & M.C. died at Goonown 1916
    Ann DAVIES M. died at Goonbell 1917
    Wm. WHITWORTH M.R.C.S.E. T. & M.T. died at Vicarage Rd. 1917
    Edw. B. PELLEW M.R.C.S.L.R.C.P. A. died at St Agnes 1914
    Catherine WHITWORTH M. & S.S.T. died at Vicarage Rd. 1917
    Mark LUKE A. died at Goonown 1915
    Philip H. REYNOLDS T.L.P. & C.L. died at Vicarage Rd. 1918
    John LAWRY T.S. S.S.S. T. & M.C. died at Goonown 1917
    Hannah BARKLE M. & S.S.T. died at Goonown 1922
    Amelia TREMEWAN M. & S.S.T. died at Penwinnick Villas 1923
    Elizabeth E. SMITH M. died at St Agnes 1924
    James LAWRENCE M. & S.S.T. died at Vicarage Rd. 1926
    Tom Silvester TREZISE T.S.S. C.L.& S.S.T. died at British Road 1927
    John WILLIAMS T.L.P. C.L. & S.S.T. died at Newquay 1928
    Alexandra TREMEWAN M. (1929) died at Bournemouth
    Rev. Charles RICKARD L.P. & M.C. died at Southsea 1924
    Richard ENDEAN M. & S.S.T. died at Goonown 1895
    Jane ENDEAN M. died at Goonown 1905
    Henry HARRIS L.P. & C.L. died at Vicarage Road 1931
    Thomas H. BLACKNEY T. & L.P. died at Rosemundy Hill 1934
    Annie BLACKNEY M. & S.S.T. died at Helston 1948
    James ANGWIN M.& T. died at Goonbell House 1934
    Catherine ANGWIN M. died at Goonbell House 1937
    James TREDINNICK T.S.S. C.L. & S.S.Sup. died at Mingoose 1926
    Emily TREDINNICK M. died at Mingoose 1937
    Ellen WILLIAMS M. & S.S.T. died at Plymouth 1937
    Joseph RADCLIFFE Organist 1889-1892 died at Plymouth 1937
    Edward James OATS C.L. & T. died at British Road 1937
    Edmund Marks UGLOW S.S.Sup. C.L. & T. died at Vicarage Rd. 1939
    Jane TREDINNICK M. died at Truro 1915
    Frances TREDINNICK M. died at Mingoose 1930
    Lieut. A.L. TRELOAR RN-VR M. & S.S.S. died at Penzance 1945
    John ANGWIN T.& C.L. [indecipherable] died at Vicarage Rd 1946


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 SW7250 and was dedicated to St Agnes the Virgin in 1327.
    St Agnes was originally part of the large Celtic monastery of Lanpiran, which was centred on Perranzabuloe. Although the date when the first church was built is lost in antiquity, it must have been long before 1331, as there is an account, in Bishop Grandisson's register, of that year, of a visitation to St. Agnes Church which was described as sadly neglected. Around the middle of the 13th century, a Chapel was allowed and from that time St Agnes was regarded as a Chapelry of Perranzabuloe. The need for a separate church community was recognised in 1482 and a second church was constructed in 1484; a separate priest, responsible to the vicar of Perranzabuloe, appointed to the living. The parish of St Agnes, although still continuing as a chapelry, became a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1653, during the Commonwealth period. So, from earliest times (until 1846) St. Agnes, while being the chief centre of population of the large parish of Perranzabloe, was but a chapelry to that parish. Various Bishops of Exeter tried to adjust the relations between the Church at Perran and the Chapel at St. Agnes, and in 1374 Bishop Brantyngham was compelled to interdict the latter, the inhabitants having refused to observe an arrangement made by him. A giant grievance was the lack of the right of burial, which was only obtained for St. Agnes by application to Bishop Courtenay in 1482. Hitherto the inhabitants of St. Agnes had had to attend the parish church at Perranzabloe. However, it was not until 1846 when St Agnes was constituted an independent ecclesiastical parish and the first Vicar was appointed replacing the previous curates.
    By 1846, the population had increased to such an extent that the church building was too small, and authority was given to pull down the old church and build a new one. This work started in 1848 and the the services in the new church began within a year. On 28 May 1851, the new building, consisting of a nave with north and south aisles was dedicated by the Bishop of Exeter. Only the lower stages of the old tower was incorporated into the new building.
    In 1931, when the floor was relaid, a wall was found that ran along the nave. Subsequent investigation showed that this was part of an oblong structure which had existed before the church building of 1484. In the south-west, bases of 15th cent. pillars were found confirming the early site of the first church.

    From THE WEST BRITON dated 6 June 1851: CONSECRATION OF NEW CHURCHES - SAINT AGNES. This parish church was consecrated for divine worship on Wednesday, the 28th ult., by the Bishop of Exeter. The church was raised on the site of the last church, and forms one of the best buildings of the kind in the West part of Cornwall. The material is of a beautiful description, the stones being generally raised in the immediate vicinity; they are of a light killas, with courses in different colours, overlapping each other, making a beauty of appearance seldom excelled for building purposes in any other strata. The corners are granite, and the tower, spire, and windows are also granite. The windows are simple and elegant, their tracery chaste and displaying great taste; indeed, competent judges express great admiration of the church.
    The REV. A. A. VAWDREY, through whose indefatigability the church has been built, deserves great praise in bringing it to such a successful issue. It will sit about six hundred persons, and the seats are all open and conveniently low, with proper kneeling hassocks. The roof is very plain, but handsome and lofty; on the whole the effect of the church is extremely satisfactory, and the Bishop expressed his pleasure in seeing such a commodious and beautiful church in this populous parish in which the recent census returns prove that the accommodation for public worship, as in most other mining parishes, is still deficient. The parishioners in this instance nobly and ably seconded Mr. Vawdrey in carrying out this laudable undertaking, and strangers unconnected with the parish very handsomely contributed to the same.
    The Bishop arrived about eleven o'clock and immediately commenced the service appropriated for the consecration, and Mr. HITCHINS read and made the presentation. ... At the conclusion of the service, the communion was administered to the clergy and laity present; the clergymen present with those officiating were Chancellor MARTIN, and the REVs. DIX, BARNES, WALKER, BENNETTS, MOLESWORTH, the Dean Rural, HOSKEN, W.W. HARVEY, PHILPOTTS, TREWEEKE, HASLAM, LORD, WISE and PERRY.
    This service being over, the Bishop repaired to the vicarage, and partook of luncheon, and the clergymen with a number of ladies and gentlemen went into MR. NEWTON's lawn and partook of a cold collation. This lawn is pleasingly and prettily situated on the brow of a hill, near the town, commanding an extremely beautiful view of the sea and beach. Beneath the shade of the trees, with a refreshing breeze cooling the intensity of the heat, Mr. Vawdrey took the chair, supported by about forty ladies and gentlemen. A plain but substantial cold luncheon was served, and a present of wine made it very agreeable.
    After the cloth was removed, numerous toasts were given, and "the health of Mr. Vawdrey" was particularly distinguished. The Dean Rural proposed the toast, and Mr. Vawdrey responded by observing that he had received every kindness from his parishioners, and his desire was to live in peace with all. The church was partly built under trying circumstances, but these days had passed away and prosperity was returning slowly back again.
    The party broke up very early, but reformed partly and took tea in the same place. The weather was extremely auspicious, and afforded an extensive and commanding view from the St. Agnes Beacon, which with its conical shape and isolated situation gives it pre-eminence to many hills in the county. The cliffs along the coast are exceedingly bold and romantic, with the caverns high and lofty, and afforded the strangers an agreeable and pleasant day.
  • Roman Catholic. The Roman Catholic Parish developed a Mass Centre started in the time of the Irish immigrants in the mid-nineteenth century. A Catholic chapel had been built in 1882 on Trevellas Downs, near Cligga Head, and was served from Camborne. Between the two world wars, people had to walk to the nearest Mass centre at Perranporth.
    The present Church, Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Trevaunance Road, St Agnes, was built in June 1958 as a Chapel-of-Ease to Redruth Parish. Previously Mass had been held in the Womens' Institute room in St. Agnes village.
  • Non-Conformist. There was a Wesleyan Methodist church in St Agnes. There were also Primitive Methodist and United Methodist chapels in St Agnes.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1653 - 1934, Burials 1674 - 1865, Marriages 1674 - 1969, Boyd's Marriage Index 1596 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1790 - 1812, Non-Conformist records 1799 - 1837.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials
  • Baptisms.
    • Anglican Church:
      • Baptisms 1789 to 1821, and 1868 to 1911, are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
      • The OPC has made the following baptisms at St Agnes available on-line:
        • Baptisms for 1834. (Not currently available 8/18)
        • Baptisms for 1835. (Not currently available 8/18)
      • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD baptisms 1718 to 1777 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
    • Non-Conformist:
      • Weslyan Methodist Baptisms 1799 to 1837, and 1858 to 1903, are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Marriages.
    • Phillimore's Marriages 1596 to 1812 are also available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (COCP).
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1596 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD, or downloadable .pdf formats.
  • Burials.
    • Burials 1700 to 1712, 1726 to 1732 and 1741 to 1837 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book or CD formats.

Civil Registration

The parish of St Agnes has been in the Truro Registration District continuously from 1st July 1837. There were sub-districts at Kea, Kenwyn, Probus, St. Agnes, St. Clement and St Just-in-Roseland, but these have now been abolished. Parishes in this registration district are: Cornelly, Cuby, Feock, Gerrans, Kea, Kenwyn, Ladock, Lamorran, Merther, Perranzabuloe, Philleigh, Probus, Ruan Lanihorne, St. Agnes, St. Allen, St. Anthony in Roseland, St. Clement, St. Erme, St. Feock, St. Just in Roseland, St. Michael Penkevil, Tregavethan, Tregony St. James, Truro St. Mary, Veryan.

The address of the Registration Office is: Dalvenie House, New County Hall, Truro, TR1 3AY.
Tel: 01872 322241.


Description & Travel

  • There is a website for St Agnes available.
You can see pictures of St Agnes which are provided by:



  • Post Office 1856 Directory of St Agnes. (Not currently available 8/18)
  • Kelly'S 1873 Directory of St Agnes.
  • Kelly's 1889 Directory of St Agnes. (Not currently available 8/18)
  • Kelly's 1914 Directory of St Agnes.  (Not currently available 8/18)


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"ST. AGNES, (or St. Ann's), a parish and market town in the hundred of Pyder, in the county of Cornwall, 8 miles N.N. W. of Truro, and 267 miles from London. Its ancient name was Breanick. It is situated on the coast of the Bristol Channel, in the midst of scenery wild and picturesque. It is the centre of a very rich and important mining district. The houses are mostly cottages, and their inhabitants workers in the mines. The prevailing character of the rocks is granitic, and they are rich in minerals. Atone time, tin was the only mineral obtained here. It was this metal for which the Phoenician traders visited this part of the coast, before the Christian era. The principal mine, after yielding a very large supply, is at length exhausted. Copper is now the chief product of the mines. The principal mine, which is named Wheel Towan or Huel Towan ("Huel" signifying a work or pit), is 150 fathoms in depth, and is worked by 800 men. Others are named South Wheel Towan, Wheel Charles, West Pink, and Polperro, the last two being tin mines, and Polperro, the exhausted one. There is a pier-harbour, capable of holding eight, or ten small vessels, which can only enter it at high water It was formed in 1794, and has been enlarged and improved since. It is a sub-port of St. Ives. There is a large traffic with Ireland and Wales in slate and coal. Some hands are engaged in the pilchard fishery, which was commenced in 1802. St. Agnes' beacon is formed from an ancient British cairn; called Carn Breanach and consists of a mass of schist-ore, felspar, and quartz. It is situated on the summit of a rock, rising 621 feet above the level of the sea. During the French revolutionary war, this beacon was always held in readiness to transmit the tidings of invasion constantly expected. The rock on which it stands, was an important centre of observation and measurement, in the trigonometrical survey of these islands.



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..

Land & Property

  • The parish and town tithe maps, and the 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 parish contained the manors of Mithian and Tywarnhayle.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW718488 (Lat/Lon: 50.295224, -5.204784), St Agnes which are provided by:




Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • St Agnes parish was part of the Truro Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
  • Overseers' Accounts 18241 to 1834 are available in the Cornwall Record Office


Up to 1971, population figures include Mount Hawke; from 1981, the figures for this parish were counted separately.

  • Population in 1801 - 4161 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 5024 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 5762 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 6642 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 7757 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 6673 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 6550 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 6164 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2585 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 4249 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 4291 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 3886 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 3347 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 3379 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 4025 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 4221 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 4747 persons
  • Population in St Agnes parish in 1981 - 5590 persons
  • Population in St Agnes village in 1981 - 2790 persons
  • Population in St Agnes parish in 1991 - 6680 persons
  • Population in St Agnes village in 1991 - 3165 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 7257 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 7595 persons


  • The St Agnes Museum Trust is open to anyone interested in the parish of St Agnes and its heritage. The Trust promotes the recording, preservation and display of the history of St Agnes and the conservation of historic sites within the parish. Members of the Trust receive a free copy of the Annual Journal, regular newsletters and notification of all meetings and activities. Membership details can be obtained from the Membership Secretary: Beryl Thomas, who can be contacted by e-mail.
  • The St Agnes Old Cornwall Society News Page is on-line.


St Agnes comprises 8438 acres of land and 4 acres of water. Mount Hawke was created from part of parish 1847.