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Help and advice for St Breock

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St Breock

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St. Breock, or St. Breoke, (Cornish: Nanssans), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Pydar. It is a parish bounded on the north by the River Camel which separates it from St Minver and Egloshayle; on the east by the same river and its tributary Ruthern river, from Egloshayle and Bodmin; on the south it is bounded by Withiel and St Wenn, and on the west by St Issey. It is located 7 miles northwest from Bodmin and a mile from Wadebridge railway station. The parish is named after its patron, St Briocus and was often referred to as Pawton after the manor of which it formed part. At the time of the Domesday Survey of 1086, Pawton belonged to the Bishops of Exeter.

St Breock is connected to Egloshayle by a bridge built in 1485 by Thomas Loveybound, the Vicar of Egloshayle. This bridge replaced an earlier ford, which at times was vey dangerous. The bridge is still in use; it is 320 feet long and crosses the Camel on 15 arches.

Towards the end of the 19th century the town of Wadebridge was growing fast, and was straddling two Parishes, namely St Breock and Egloshayle, which was causing some problems with regards to the day-to-day running of the Town's affairs. In 1898, the two parishes united to form the Wadebridge Urban Council, which continued in existence until 1934.

Villages in the parish are Burlorne-Eglos, Hay, Penhale, Tredrusson, Trelill, and Trevanson.

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 Records 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 SW9771 and was dedicated to St Briocus in 1259. The 13th century church was of cruciform shape, however all that remains of this in the present day church are parts of the tower, the walls at the west end and possibly part of the wall to the right of the High Altar. During the 15th Century, the Church was substantially enlarged. The Font made of stone from the Padstow cliffs dates from this time. The church was extensively rebuilt in 1677, because it had fallen into a parlous state of disrepair. The estimated cost was £1050, but an appeal to other Cornish Churches only raised £10.
    The church comprises a chancel, nave, south aisle and a north transept called the Pawton aisle. The arcade is of six arches of Bath stone supported on monolith granite pillars. Near the chancel is a vestry with a priest's door. There is a little used south porch; the main entrance is by a north porch. The tower is of three stages, battlemented, and contains five bells.
    In 1965, a major flood with 4 ft 9 inches (1.45m) of water inside damaged the church. In the subsequent restoration the pews were treated, the sanctuary slightly extended, a row of choir stalls was moved from each side of the chancel and the altar brought forward. In 1982 the South Transept was made a Chapel of St Michael.
    Burlawn hamlet is 2 miles south-east from the church, and has a mission chapel, opened in 1888 and seating 80.
    The United Benefice of Egloshayle and St Breock was created in 1984. It comprises these two churches plus their daughter churches of St Conan's in washaway and St Mary's in Trevanion Road, Wadebridge.
  • Roman Catholics. The Church is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel; it is located in Trevanson Street, Wadebridge. Church tradition has honoured St. Michael as a special guardian of souls in the fight against evil and especially at the hour of death. The feast of St. Michael together with SS. Gabriel and Raphael is celebrated on 29th September each year.
  • Non-Conformists.
    • A Wesleyan Methodist chapel, seating 300, was built in Wadebridge in 1877/1879, and one for the Free Methodists was built in 1848. There was another Wesleyan chapel at Washaway.
    • A Congregationalist chapel was built in 1836, and a Bible Christian chapel was built in 1852.
    • There had been a chapel here belonging to the Society of Friends (Quakers); this but was converted to a school in the mid-19th century; the Quakers now meet in the John Betjamin Centre in Wadebridge.
    • There were also chapels belonging to the Methodist Free Church at Egloshayle and at Wadebridge.
    • According to Hugh Peskett's Guide to the Parish and Non-Parochial Registers of Devon & Cornwall (p 184), a Prebyterian meeting place or chapel was licensed at St Breock in 1672 but had ceased to function by 1690. Peskett suggests that no registers for this assembly have survived.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records. This parish is NOT included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1563 - 1905, Burials 1561 - 1905, Marriages 1661 - 1962, Boyd's Marriage Index 1561 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1790 - 1812.
  • Other Non-Conformist Records. OPC Coverage of Non-Conformist records of this parish is available.
  • Baptisms.
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD baptisms 1715 to 1840 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest
    • Wadebridge United Methodist Free Chapel baptisms 1865 to 1884 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Marriages.
    • Marriages 1561 to 1591, Phillimore's Marriages 1561 to 1812, 1654 to 1714, and 1879 to 1909, are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1561 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
    • 1813-37 Marriages are also on-line.
  • Burials.
    • Burials 1644 to 1709 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of: 1813-37 Burials.

Civil Registration

The parish of St Breock was originally in the St Columb Registration District. There were sub-districts at Newlyn East, Padstow and St Columb Major. It is now in the Bodmin Registration District. Parishes within the old St Columb district were: Colan, Crantock, Cubert, Little Petherick, Mawgan-in-Pydar, Newlyn, Newquay, Padstow, St. Breock, St. Columb Major, St. Columb Minor, St. Enoder, St. Ervan, St. Eval, St. Issey, St. Merryn, St. Wenn.

The Superintendant Registrar of Bodmin can be contacted at: Lyndhurst, 66 Nicholas Street, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 2AG. Tel: 01208 73677.


Description and Travel

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



Ask for a calculation of the distance from St Breock to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.



  • 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.
  • Susan Old is undertaking the reconstruction of parishes in the Hundred of Pydar.
  • Mailing Lists. There is a mailing list for anyone with a genealogical and or historical interest in Bodmin Moor and its surrounding villages. Villages covered are: Advent (Tresinney), Alternun, Blisland, Bodmin, Boventor, Camelford (Lanteglos), Cardinham, Davidstow, Egloshayle, Helland, Laneast, Lanteglos by Camelford, Launceston, Lewannick, Liskeard, Michaelstow, North Hill, St Breward, St Breock, St Cleer, St Clether, St Mabyn, St Neot, St Tudy, Temple, Tresinney, Trewen, Wadebridge (Egloshayle & St Breock), and Warleggan. See the list  administration page

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 Breock ecclesiastical parish:

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


Names, Personal

  • Malcolm McCarthy, and his team of helpers, have transcribed numerous documents relating to people who have lived in St Breock and surrounding parishes. The alphabetical index of surnames in the documents which have been transcribed so far are available on-line. NOT ALL are on this website yet. Apart from personal names, this index incorporates place and field names commemorating former occupiers as well as some strays. The latter often relate to war-time refugees from Greater London.


Apprenticeship Indentures for St Breock (1742 - 1834) can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • St Breock parish was part of the St Columb Major Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief. However in 1898, Wadebridge town became part of the Bodmin Union.
  • Some Bastardy/Filiation Documents are on-line, courtesy of the OPC.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1665 to 1791, 1807 to 1837), Settlement Papers (1672 to 1849) and Bastardy Bonds (1680 to 1827), are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


Part of parish was transferred to civil parish of Wadebridge in 1898. In the 2001 Census, St Breock was enumerated as part of Wadebridge.

  • Population in 1801 - 962 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 998 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1225 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1450 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 1633 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 1774 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 1863 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 1924 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 1780 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 792 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 757 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 730 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 713 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 754 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 696 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 637 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 644 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 605 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 705 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 703 persons (6531 persons in Wadebridge)
  • Population in 2011 - 725 persons (6636 persons in Wadebridge)

Religion and 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 St Breock are available on-line.



The Wadebridge Old Cornwall Society News Page is on-line.



The parish comprised 4740 acres of land, 8 acres of water, 41 acres of tidal water and 200 acres of foreshore.


Voting Registers

Voters Lists for St Breock, Polling District of Bodmin, are on-line as follows: