St Anthony in Meneage


St Anthony-in-Meneage, (Cornish: Lannentenin), has also been called St Anthony-in-Kerrier. It is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier, near to the mouth of the Helford River, overlooking Gillan Harbour. It is bounded on the north by the Helford harbour, on the east by the sea, on the south by St Keverne, and on the west by Manaccan. The celtic name is 'Lanyntenyn' suggesting the dedication to St Anthony. Meneage means "Monkish Land", given to the land north east of the Lizard peninsula, including the parishes of St Anthony, Manaccan, St Keverne, St Martin and part of Mawgan. There is evidence to show long before the Conquest the district was possessed by an ill-assorted confederacy of small monasteries founded perhaps from Brittany. Tradition speaks of a cell of monks adjacent to Lantenning but the place was only a grange (or farm) of the monks of Tywardreath who became impropriators of the Rectory soon after the Conquest. The parish is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.

St Anthony Church is beautifully situated on the Dennis promontory and close to the waters of Gillan Creek. The Dennis (Cornish: Dinas) was an early celtic fortress and doubtless the church grew up beneath its patronage. During the English Civil War the Royalists of the neighbourhood constructed a small fort on the Dinas. It was surrendered to Sir Thomas Fairfax in March 1646, being the last place in Cornwall that held out, except for St Michael's Mount and Pendennis Castle.

The area of the parish is mainly farmland with a number of small villages and hamlets.

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 Parish Church - 289 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 St Anthony-in-Meneage (HO107/136), Enumeration District 6, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
    • The 1841 census for this parish has been filmed by the LDS church - film No. 241260.
  • 1851.
    • The 1851 Census of St Anthony-in-Meneage (HO107/1913), Enumeration District 3, 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 Anthony-in-Meneage is listed in Volume 32. The booklets are available in Cornwall at the Cornwall Centre, (formerly known as the Cornish Studies Library), and is alsos available in the Cornwall FHS Library.
  • 1861. The 1861 Census of St Anthony-in-Meneage (RG9/1573), Enumeration District 4, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1871. The 1871 Census of St Anthony-in-Meneage (RG10/2305), Enumeration District 4, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1881. The 1881 Census of St Anthony-in-Meneage (RG11/2324), Enumeration District 4, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1891. The 1891 Census of St Anthony-in-Meneage (RG12/1841), Enumeration District 4, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.

Church History

  • Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW7825 and was dedicated to St Anthony (Antoninus or Antonius). The Normans built a church here in the 11th century, probably on the site of an old Celtic Church which would have been constructed from wood. Tradition states that the stone church was built by a band of shipwrecked Normans who were caught in a storm whilst crossing from France to England and were driven ashore at Gillan Creek. They had vowed to St Anthony that, if they were saved from death, they would build a church in his honour where they came ashore. Some credibilty is given to this story by the fact that the tower is built of fine-grained granite of a kind wholly unknown in Cornwall, but which is found in Normandy.
    In a document dated 1170, the church of St Antoninus is mentioned as part of the possessions of the Priory of Tywardreath. The monks of Tywardreath probably rebuilt the church in the style of the period when it would have consisted of a nave for the parishioners and a chancel for the monks and their curate. The present Church is mainly of the 15th century when it was greatly enlarged when an aisle and south transept were added.
    The church now consists of a chancel, nave, north aisle and south transept, with a porch adjoining it to the west. It is evident that the chancel is of a much earlier date than other parts of the building. The nave and the aisle are separated by an arcade of five acutely pointed arches, one side of each being monolith, with mouldings of a simple order. The pillars are octagonal with capitals of the same shape. The tower is well-proportioned and elegant; it is sixty-five feet in height, of three stages, boldly embattled, and has four crocketted pinnacles, formed by clustered shafts resting on angels. The material of the tower is fine-grained granite, which is not from Cornwall; it is supposed that this was that brought from Normandy. Originally there were three bells; two of them were recast in 1674 and the clappers of the old bells were found buried when they were discovered in 1957. The third bell lay for years in three pieces at the base of the tower; its metal was used in 1924 for a new bell. The organ was built in 1954.
    The parish of St Anthony became a united benefice with Manaccan by an order in council dated 15 February 1916. St Martin was added to this benefice by another order in council dated 22 December 1982, since when Mawgan has been added.
  • Non-Conformist. The situation for Non-Conformists in this parish is currently unclear.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for St Anthony-in-Meneage are: C053441, C0066222/3. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage of this parish is 1597 - 1875; it is NOT believed to be fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1608 - 1981, Burials 1602 - 1981, Marriages 1638 - 1981, Boyd's Marriage Index 1726 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1800 -1812, BTs 1597 - 1673.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1597 to 1797 (with gaps) and 1841 to 1901 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The OPC of Breage has transcribed Breage Circuit: Bible Christian Births & Baptisms 1821 to 1837. Parishes mentioned include: Breage, Crowan, Gwinear, Helston, Mullion, Porthleven, St Anthony, St Hilary, St Keverne, Sithney and Wendron. These can be searched on-line.
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD baptisms 1726 to 1855 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
  • Marriages.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1597 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf formats.
    • Marriages 1597 to 1901, and Phillimore's Marraiges 1726 to 1811, are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Burials.

Civil Registration

The parish of St Anthony-in-Meneage was originally in the Helston Registration District; there were sub-districts at Breage, Crowan, Helston, St Keverne and Wendron. It is now in the Kerrier Registration District. Parishes in this registration district are: Breage, Crowan, Cury, Germoe, Gunwalloe, Grade, Helston, Landewednack, Manaccan, Mawgan in Meneage, Mullion, Ruan Major, Ruan Minor, St. Anthony in Meneage, St. Keverne, St. Martin in Meneage, Sithney, Wendron.

The address of the Registration Office is: The Willows, Church Street, Helston, TR13 8NJ.
Tel: 01326 562848.


Description & Travel

  • Further information on the modern St Anthony parish is available.
You can see pictures of St Anthony in Meneage which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"ST. ANTHONY IN MENEAGE, a parish in the hundred of Kerrier, in the county of Cornwall, 7 miles to the E. of Helston. It is situated on the coast of the English Channel, at the mouth of the river Helford. The ground is high, and commands extensive sea views. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Exeter, value £101, in the patronage of the lord chancellor. The church, which is of great age, has a granite tower. A monastic house formerly existed here, which was a cell to the priory of Tywardraeth, and was probably founded before the reign of Richard I. In this parish are two ancient British entrenchments, now named Great and Little Dinas, or Great and Little Fort. During the civil war of the 17th century, a small fort was constructed by the royalists, on the site of Little Dinas, for the defence of Helford harbour; it was taken in 1646, by Fairfax. Poor children of this parish have the benefit of an endowment founded by Mr. Hosken, in 1743, for the purpose of maintaining and educating them.



  • Strays. Persons living in a parish but born elsewhere are known as "Strays". Strays found in St Anthony-in-Meneage in the 1861 Census are available on-line.
  • 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.

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 St Anthony-in-Meneage ecclesiastical parish:



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW778247 (Lat/Lon: 50.080888, -5.107018), St Anthony in Meneage which are provided by:



Apprenticeship Indentures for St Anthony-in-Meneage (1769 - 1831) can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • St Anthony-in-Meneage parish was part of the Helston Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1825 to 1851), Settlement papers (1763 and 1766) and Bastardy Bonds (1780 - 1809), are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


  • Population in 1801 - 261 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 224 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 330 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 300 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 313 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 292 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 252 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 239 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 217 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 159 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 173 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 196 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 176 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 207 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 254 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 260 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 221 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 180 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 195 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 171 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 178 persons


The parish comprises 1421 acres of land, 171 acres of tidal water 66 acres of foreshore.