St Hilary


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"ST. HILARY, a parish in the hundred of Penwith, county Cornwall, 6 miles E. of Penzance. This parish is situated in the midst of a mineral district on the coast of Mount's Bay, and contains the market town of Marazion and St. Michael's Mount, which is 231 feet high. The West Cornwall railway passes in the vicinity, and has a station at Marazion Road. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the tin and copper mines at Wheal Fortune, Marazion, and Retallack. The rocks are chiefly granite and slate. On St. Michael's Mount are remains of an old priory belonging to the family of St. Aubyn. The living is a vicarage' in the diocese of Exeter, value £311. The church of St. Hilary, which is situated on the highest ground in the parish, forms a conspicuous landmark. It contains tombs of the Godolphins of Treveneage, Pennecks of Tregembo, and Milletts of Ennis. The Wesleyans and several other Dissenting congregations have chapels here. There is a school with a small endowment.

"MARAZION, (or Market-jew), a chapelry, post and market town, in the parish of St. Hilary, hundred of Penwith, county Cornwall, 3 miles N.E. of Penzance, and 9 S.W. of Helston. It is situated on the eastern side of Mount's Bay, and has a station at Marazion Road, on the Cornwall and West Cornwall railway. From the mildness of its atmosphere it is much frequented by invalids. A greater quantity of rain falls here during the year than in any other part of the county. The houses are chiefly built at the foot of a hill, by which it is sheltered from the N. winds. It was a place of importance in the reign of Henry VIII., and was fired by the French fleet, then cruising in the Channel. It again suffered by conflagration in the reign of Edward VI. It was the headquarters of pilgrims to St. Michael's Mount, to which priory belonged the profits of the markets and fairs. Under a charter of Queen Elizabeth it is governed by a mayor, eight aldermen, and twelve burgesses, with the name of "Marghasjewe. On the common seal it is spelled Marghasion, and is still called Market-jew by the common people. The town is connected with St. Michael's Mount by a causeway formed of rocks and pebbles 120 feet in width, which, as the tide recedes, becomes passable for three or four hours. St. Michael's Mount, which is the chief attraction of this place, is 250 feet above sea-level, and 1 mile in circumference at the base, resembling in form a vast pyramid. It has a castle and a small Saxon chapel on its summit: the latter, built by Edward the Confessor, is of great beauty. The castle contains many relics of great antiquity, and was visited by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1846. Over the chapel is the tower containing in one of the angles an ancient lantern, better known as St. Michael's chair. There are numerous traditions concerning this mount. The part of the island towards Marazion has several houses, also a shipping harbour. The chief trade of Marazion is in coal, iron, and timber, the pilchard fishery, formerly so remunerative, being now almost extinct. The only manufacture is that of ropes. Several mines were formerly worked, and asbestos, iron ore, and actynolite are found in consider by Dr. Moyle, who found many hundred coins of the Roman emperors. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £105, and the vicarial for £147. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Exeter, value £66, in the patronage of the Vicar of St. Hilary. The church is a modern stone structure, with a small spire, dedicated to St. Catherine, and is situated about 2 miles distant from the town, in the parish of St. Hilary. The charities produce about £10 per annum. There is a school for both sexes, erected at the expense of Lady Mary Cole, which is supported by voluntary contributions. The Wesleyans, Independents, and the Society of Friends have each a place of worship. Market day is Saturday. Fairs are held on 20th March and 29th September, chiefly for cattle.

"MOUNT'S BAY, in the parish of St. Hilary, S.W. division of county Cornwall, near Penzance, where is a pier, harbour, and lighthouse. The bay is nearly 18 miles across from the Lizard to Penwith Point, and is 8 miles deep, with from 3 to 30 fathoms water. It derives its name from St. Michael's Mount, situated off Marazion. Actynolite is found in the felspar rocks which bound its coasts."