St Columb Minor


The parish of St Columb Minor, (Cornish: Sen Kolomm Vyghan), is in the Deanery and Hundred of Pydar. It is bounded on the north by Mawgan-in-Pydar, on the east by St Columb Major and Colan, on the south by Newlyn East, and on the west by the Bristol Channel. A whole area of North Cornwall bears the name of St Columb; it is divided between the parishes of St Columb Major and St Columb Minor. Until relatively recently these were known as Higher and Lower St Columb. These parishes are both named after their patron, Saint Columba. Another old name used for St Columb Minor was Nether St Columb.

In 1960, the civil parish of St Columb was subsumed by Newquay of which St Columb Minor is now a suburb. Villages in this parish were: Trencreek, Chapel, Porth, Lane, Shop, Trenance and the Churchtown.

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)



"St Columb Minor - Memories and Parish History" has been published by the St Columb Minor Parish Map Project Committee, 2000. It is available from Quintdown Press, Trevena House, 11 Trevena Terrace, Newquay, Cornwall TR7 1LJ.



  • A cemetery of half an acre was formed in the parish in 1874 to supplement that in the parish churchyard.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 908 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:


Church History

  • Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW8362 and is supposed to be dedicated to St Columba, but there is no written record of this. Adjacent to the parish is the larger parish of St Columb Major. It is not known whom St Columba was, but some historians believe she may have been a French saint.
    The site of the church is probably that of an Iron Age barrow where pagan rites were celebrated and was originally circular in shape. The church is sheltered from the strong Atlantic winds and looks down on the Rialton valley. The first church was probably replaced more than once, until about 1100 when a Norman Church was built. Its outline has been traced from the present chancel step to about a metre from the belfry door. It had North and South walls exactly where nave arches stand today. Part of these Norman foundations can be seen around the pillars. It would have had small windows, perhaps with trancepts and low arches leading to an apse.
    About the middle of the 12th century, another church was erected in place of the Norman one. This had aisles which terminated at the chancel. Nothing is known about the building of this church, except in 1283 is was referred to as a chapelry to the College of Crantock. By 1417 it had been reported that the chancel was in a ruinous state and the whole church needed rebuilding. About 1430, the Nave arcades were reconstructed. Two of the original pillars of Beer stone were left but the other pillars are of Cornish granite. About 1470, the East walls of both transepts were taken down and the aisles extended to the length of the chancel, the side walls of the chancel being pierced with arcades.
    The present church consists of a chancel, nave, and north and south aisles. The arcades are of six arches each, the chancel arches being obtuse, and the nave arches are pointed. The tower arch is plain; there is a north door, a south porch (within it is the date 1669), and a priest's door. The Tower, which is the second highest in Cornwall, is 115 feet in height and was built in the 15th Century; originally it could have been seen from every point in the parish. It is battlemented and finished with pinnacles.
    The church has undergone two major restorations: one in 1795 and again in 1884.
  • Non-Conformist. There are chapels here for the Baptists, Wesleyans, Bible Christians and Primitive Methodists.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for St Columb Minor are: C023441/2/3, E023441, M023441. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage of this parish is 1560 - 1875.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1560 - 1960, Burials 1560 - 1957, Marriages 1560 - 1950, Boyd's Marriage Index 1560 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1781 - 1812, Non-Conformist records 1795 - 1837.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1560 to 1817, and 1850 to 1911 (parish transcripts) and 1676 to 1772 (Bishop's transcripts), for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP). For Non-Conformist baptisms in St Columb Minor , see under St Columb Major.
  • Banns. Banns 1754 to 1812 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Marriages.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1560 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
    • Marriages in the parish church 1560 to 1812 (Phillimore's), 1676 to 1772 (Bishop's transcripts), and 1560 to 1912 (parish transcripts), are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Phillimore's Marriages of St Columb Minor 1560 to 1812 are also available on-line from UK Genealogy Archives.
  • Burials.
    • Burials 1560 to 1911 (parish transcripts), and 1676 to 1772 (Bishop's transcripts), for this parish 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.
  • Other Non-Conformist Records. OPC Coverage of Non-Conformist records of this parish is available.

Civil Registration

The parish of St Columb Minor was originally in the St Columb Registration District. There were sub-districts at Newlyn, Padstow and St Columb Major, but these have now been abolished. It is now in the Registration District of St Austell. 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 St Austell can be contacted at: 12 Carlyon Road, St Austell, PL25 4LD. Tel: 01726 68974. Fax: 01726 68974.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of St Columb Minor which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"ST. COLUMB MINOR, a parish in the hundred of Pyder, middle division of the county of Cornwall, 4 miles to the W. of St. Columb Major, its post town. It is situated near Towan Bay, and contains the hamlet of New Quay, and part of Watergate. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Exeter, value £117, in the patronage of Lord Churston. The church is a spacious edifice, with an ancient rood loft. The parochial charities produce about £10 per annum. Here are some remains of Rialton Priory.

"NEW QUAY, a hamlet in the parish of St. Columb-Minor, hundred of Pyder, county Cornwall, 7 miles W. by S. of St. Columb. It is situated in Towan Bay, on the shore of the Bristol Channel, and has a small harbour and pier. It is chiefly frequented by fishermen, and is a coastguard station. In the vicinity are several stone quarries, and a lead mine was opened some years ago. The Baptists and Wesleyans have places of worship. The beach is a firm smooth sand, and the cliffs on this part of the coast are lofty and precipitous."



  • 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.
  • British-Genealogy have a mailing list for those wanting to discuss ancestry in St Columb Minor.

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 Columb Minor ecclesiastical parish:



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW840623 (Lat/Lon: 50.420744, -5.042088), St Columb Minor which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • St Columb Minor parish was part of the St Columb Major Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1729 to 1779) for this parish are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


  • Population in 1801 - 999 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1126 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1297 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1406 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 1681 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 2250 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 2025 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 2305 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2744 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1165 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 1268 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 1290 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 1361 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1728 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 3586 persons

From 1960, the population figures were included in those for the civil parish of Newquay.



The parish comprises 5779 acres of land.