St Erth


The parish of St Erth, (Cornish: Lannudhno), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith. It was bounded on the north by Phillack, on the east by Gwinear and Crowan, on the south by Breage and St Hilary, and on the west by Ludgvan and Lelant. Little is known about St Ercius. from whom this village gets its name. The River Hayle has its source in the parish of Crowan. The parish of St Erth stretches about three miles south from the Hayle estuary and has had a bridge over the river Hayle for at least six hundred years. The railway station was formerly known as the St Ives Road Station and in 1877 this section of railway had the last section of broad gauge track ever laid.

The populous areas were the Churchtown with Lanuthnoe, Trelissick, and Tredrea Lane.

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:


Church History

  • Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW5535 and was dedicated to St Ercius (or Ercus), who was the first Bishop of Slane, in the county of Meath in Ireland, and who died in A.D. 514. The church consists of a chancel, nave, and north and south aisles. The arcades each have six obtuse arches. There is a south porch, a north door, and a priest's door. The chancel wall was rebuilt in 1742, and the church was repaired and replastered in 1747. The tower is of three stages, surmounted with battlements and pinnacles. It is 54 feet in height and contained three bells.
    The church is mentioned in a visitation in 1281 when it was reported that the chancel was ill-covered and required whitening.
    By 2008, the parish was part of Godrevy United Benefice. Details about the plans of the modern church are available on-line.
  • Non-Conformist. The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel in the Churchtown, and at St Erth Praze; the Bible Christians also had a chapel in the Churchtown.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1563 - 1918, Burials 1563 - 1906, Marriages 1578 - 1980, Boyd's Marriage Index 1563 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1800 - 1812.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1837 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials
  • Baptisms.
  • Marriages.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1563 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
    • Marriages 1563 to 1907, and Phillimore's marriages 1563 to 1812, for this parish are also available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Some St Erth marriage records 1563 to 1960 are available on-line, courtesy of the OPC.
    • Marriages at St Erth 1701 to 1919 of those whose Bride or groom's abode is Phillack or Hayle are on-line courtesy of the OPC.
  • Burials.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book and CD format.
    • Burials 1565 to 1937 for this parish are also available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • Some St Erth burials 1565 to 1960 are available on-line, courtesy of the OPC.
    • Burials at St Erth 1813 to 1899 of those whose abode is Phillack or Hayle are on-line courtesy of the OPC.

Civil Registration

The parish of St Erth has been in the Penzance Registration District continuously from 1st July 1837. There were originally sub-districts at Marazion, Penzance, St Buryan, St Just, St Ives and Uny-Lelant but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Gulval, Ludgvan, Madron, Marazion, Morvah, Penzance, Perranuthnoe, St. Buryan, St. Erth, St. Hilary, St. Ives, St. Just in Penwith, St. Levan, St. Michael's Mount, St. Paul, Sancreed, Sennen, Towednack, Uny-Lelant, Wolfe Rock Lighthouse, and Zennor. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Alphington House, Alverton Place, Penzance, TR18 4JJ. Tel: 01736 330093.


Description & Travel

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



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"ST. ERTH, a parish in the hundred of Penwith, county Cornwall, 5 miles N.E. of Penzance. It is situated to the S. of St. Ive's Bay, on the river Heyle, across which there is a bridge. The copper and tin mines afford employment to the people. Iron-founders' moulding sand is also obtained here. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Exeter, value £249, in the patronage of the dean and chapter. The church is about five centuries old. It is dedicated to St. Erth, and contains several monuments and brasses. The charities, including a small school endowment, produce about £10 per annum. The Wesleyans have a chapel, and there is a National school for both sexes. In the neighbourhood are some remains of crosses, a chapel, and a camp.

"BOSWIDDY, a hamlet in the parish of St. Erth, hundred of Penwith, in the county of Cornwall, 7 miles to the N.E. of Penzance. It is situated on the river Hayle, near its mouth."

"HAYLE, (or Hale), a small seaport in the parishes of St. Erth and Phillack, hundred of Penwith, county Cornwall, 4 miles S.E. of St. Ives. It is a station on the Cornwall railway, and has communication with Bristol by steamboat. Vessels of 200 tons burthen can enter the harbour at spring tides, and there are commodious wharfs and canals with flood-gates; also two fixed lights, put up in 1840, which are visible for 6 miles. The trade of the port is chiefly in the exportation of copper ore to Wales and tin to Bristol, and in the importation of coal, timber, and other articles for the use of the mines, and of groceries, &c., from Bristol. The village, which is a subport to St. Ives, is situated on the Bristol Channel, at the grand causeway across the Hayle river, 1,040 feet in length. The smelting and refining of copper were formerly carried on to a very great extent, but have recently been discontinued, owing to the scarcity of coal, and the ore is exported in its crude state.



  • 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.
    • The OPC for St Erth has produced a genealogical website for the parish.
    Persons either born in St Erth and living elsewhere or living in St Erth but born elsewhere, are known as "Strays". Strays found in St Erth are available on-line.

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 Erth ecclesiastical parish:

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


Land & Property

  • The parish and town tithe maps, and 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.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW561347 (Lat/Lon: 50.161642, -5.416133), St Erth which are provided by:


Names, Personal





Information about the St Ives, Zennor, St Erth Mines, is available on-line.


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • St Erth parish was part of the Penzance Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.


  • Population in 1801 - 1122 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1317 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1604 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1922 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 2452 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 2457 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 2558 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 2317 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 1995 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1507 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 1308 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 1210 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 1145 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1085 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 1066 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 884 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 916 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 1025 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 1135 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 1384 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 1374 persons

Probate Records


Religion & 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 Erth are available on-line, courtesy of the OPC.
  • An index to Clergy (by name) of St.Erth is available, courtesy of the OPC.


The Penwith Local History Group aims:

  • To encourage and sustain public interest in the history of Penwith to provide mutual support and encouragement to members in their individual research projects, whether related to Penwith or of wider historical interest.
  • To work as a group on specific research projects, with the aim of publication to an academic standard.
  • To encourage the strong link with the Morrab Library in Penzance, supporting the Library in its aims and activities.


The parish comprises 3792 acres of land, 13 acres of water, 27 acres of tidal water and 80 acres of foreshore.