St Allen


The parish, (Cornish: Eglosalan), is named after Saint Allen. St Allen Parish was in the western division of the Hundred of Powder, in the Deanery of Powder, and is surrounded by St Erme, St Clements, Kenwyn, Perranzabuloe and Newlyn East; it is now in the Carrick district and is situated to the north of Truro. The village comprises one or two houses only. It is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.
The parish is mainly farmland with some areas of woodland and former mine workings to the North. There are a number of small hamlets and farmsteads dotted around the parish.

The principal settlement in the parish is at Zelah. This village seems to have been once longer (in area) than it is now. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it had a school, Wesleyan and United Methodist Chapels and a Mission Church built in 1883. This church, because of the remoteness of St Allen, was used for evening services, especially in winter, and for weekday events such as classes of all kinds, missionary and other lectures.
The main road - later the busy A30 - passed through Zelah until 1992, but the creation of a by-pass was too late to save the remaining Methodist Chapel and the shop. The school had long since closed, and the mission church had been disused for some years.

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)





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 St Allen (HO107/147), Enumeration Districts 12 and 13, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1851.
    • The 1851 Census of St Allen (HO107/1910), Enumeration Districts 1a and 1b, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
    • The New Zealand Society of Genealogists have compiled separate surname indexes of the 1851 Census for each Cornish registration district; St Allen is listed in Volume 19.
  • 1861. The 1861 Census of St Allen (RG9/1557), Enumeration Districts 1 and 2, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1871. The 1871 Census of St Allen (RG10/2280), Enumeration Districts 1 and 2, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1881. The 1881 Census of St Allen (RG11/2310), Enumeration Districts 1 and 2, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1891. The 1891 Census of St Allen (RG12/1829) Enumeration Districts 1 and 2, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.

Church History

  • Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW 8250 and was dedicated to Saint Alunus. The church is supposed to be from the 15th century; it consists of a nave, chancel and south aisle, separated by an arcade of six four-centred arches of granitem, a south porch, a north door locked and a priest's door. The chancel has, in addition to the eastern window, a single lancet in the north wall. The tower appears to date from the 12th century, and is of three stages; it is battlemented and is finished with a cone on which the vane is fixed. There are three bells.
    The church was extensively restored in 1873-74, and considerable additional restoration work was undertaken in 1989-1990, which included the new vestibule room at the West End of the church, which can serve as a vestry, kitchen and meeting place.

    There was a Missionary church erected in 1883 in Zelah, but this now appears to be closed. Details about the plans of this church are available on-line.
    The ecclesiastical parish of St Allen united with Kenwyn on 1 July 1991 by an Order in Council.
  • Non-Conformist. There were Wesleyan and United Methodist chapels in the parish.

Church Records


Civil Registration

The parish of St Allen 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

    You can see pictures of St Allen which are provided by:



    The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

    "ST. ALLEN, a parish in the western division of the hundred of Powder, in the county of Cornwall, 4 miles to the N. of Truro. Allen river flows through it, and joins the river Fal at Truro. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter, value £174, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is dedicated to St. Alleyn. There is an old encampment with a triple fosse, called Gwarnike, in this parish. A farm near it was formerly the seat of the Bevills. It is the custom to hold a parish feast on Rogation Sunday. The parish contains 3,501 acres.



    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..
    • The OPC for St Allen is Blanche Charles, who has produced a genealogical website for St Allen, Newlyn East, Perranzabuloe and Withiel parishes, and who offers look-ups of parish register, census and Directory information of the parish.

    Historical Geography

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



    You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW822506 (Lat/Lon: 50.315079, -5.060749), St Allen which are provided by:


    Poor Houses, Poor Law

    St Allen parish was part of the Truro Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.



    In 1745, there were 42 families and no dissenters in St Allen. (Report by Rev. Richard Buckland, Vicar).

    • Population in 1801 - 360 persons
    • Population in 1811 - 418 persons
    • Population in 1821 - 471 persons
    • Population in 1831 - 637 persons
    • Population in 1841 - 652 persons
    • Population in 1851 - 790 persons
    • Population in 1861 - 687 persons
    • Population in 1871 - 774 persons
    • Population in 1881 - 584 persons
    • Population in 1891 - 468 persons
    • Population in 1901 - 453 persons
    • Population in 1911 - 400 persons
    • Population in 1921 - 417 persons
    • Population in 1931 - 425 persons
    • Population in 1951 - 343 persons
    • Population in 1961 - 347 persons
    • Population in 1971 - 299 persons
    • Population in 1981 - 355 persons
    • Population in 1991 - 380 persons
    • Population in 2001 - 435 persons
    • Population in 2011 - 495 persons


    The parish comprises 3506 acres of land.