St Neot


The parish of St Neot, (Cornish: Lanniet), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of West. It is bounded on the north by Altarnun, on the east by St Cleer and Liskeard, on the south by St Pinnock and Bradock, and on the west by Warleggan, Temple and Blisland. St Neot parish is in the centre of Cornwall, north of Liskeard. St Neot founded a monastery here, and he is believed to have been a relative of King Alfred. A thriving agricultural industry existed in the parish in the past, particularly with sheep, provided enough money to build the beautiful parish church.

In the Domesday Survey of 1086, it is recorded:
"The clergy of St Neotus held NEOTESTOU, and they held it at the time of King Edward (the Confessor); there are two hides which were taxed; there are four borderers; it is worth five shillings. All this land, except one acre of arable land which the Priests hold, was taken away from the church by the Earl Odo holds it of him, and it is worth five shillings; it was before this worth 20 shillings".

During the English civil war, the village supported the royalist cause and this is still commemorated each year by placing an oak branch on the church tower on Oak Apple Day. Tin used to be mined in the area, and the village is said to be honeycombed with old mine workings. Dozmary Pool is reputed to be in the Arthurian legend as the possible site of Excalibur.

The principal villages are St Neot village, Ley and Dreynes.

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 on-line Monumental Inscriptions for the Trenant Bible Christian Chapel - 112 entries.
  • Some individuals from St Cleer/St Neot area were buried at the Trenant Bible Christian Chapel at St Neot. St Cleer was quite a large parish so some people were buried at St Neot churchyard as it was closer (and some from St Neot were buried at St Cleer).


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

A Saxon Monastery is said to have existed here dedicated to St Neot who died in AD 877, and was buried in the church. In 974, these relics were stolen by Earl Aelric and his wife Ethelfleda, having founded a religious house at Eynesbury in Huntingdonshire. The parish of parish church of St Neot in Cornwall is located in OS Grid Square SX1867 and was dedicated to St Neotus on 14th October 1321. It consists of a chancel, nave, and north and south aisles. The south arcade has seven four-centred arches supported on monolith granite pillars; the north has six similar arches with like pillars and a seventh, or most eastern, which is an ogee arch and much less than the others. The church is well-known for its stained-glass windows, most of which date from the 15th or 16th century. There is a south porch, a north porch which is now used as a vestry, and north and south chancel doors. The church is buttressed throughout. The tower is 71 feet in height; it has thre stages, and the parapet is finished with battlements. The belfry contains six bells.

  • Mission Churches. St Neot's parish had two mission projects:
    • St Simon and St Jude at Ley. The church had a single bell. The Mission Church at Ley is now a private residence and the bell was removed to St Neot Church many years ago.
    • St Agatha's. This was a mission room at Draynes; it was moved some years ago to be the Church hall at St Cleer and in the past few years has been demolished.
  • Non-Conformist. There was a Wesleyan Methodist chapel in St Neot village, and a Bible Christian chapel at Trenant.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1549 - 1950, Burials 1549 - 1898, Marriages 1550 - 1947, Boyd's Marriage Index 1610 - 1673, BTs 1610 - 1673, Non-Conformist records 1820 - 1837.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1549 to 1911, and 1680 to 1772 (Bishop's transcripts), for this parish are available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • St Neot Bible Christian Chapel baptisms 1837 to 1857 (registers also include Liskeard) are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, baptisms 1710 to 1840 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
  • Banns. Banns 1756 to 1809, and 1846 to 1900, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Marriages.
    • Callington Area Heritage Centre (broken link) have placed on-line marriage records for St Neot parish 1813 to 1837.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1550 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
    • Marriages 1550 to 1900, including 1680 to 1772 (Bishop's transcripts), for this parish are available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Burials.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in CD format.
    • Burials 1549 to 1936, including Bishop's transcripts 1680 to 1772, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).

Civil Registration

The parish of St Neot has always been in the Liskeard Registration District. There were sub-districts at Callington, Lerrin, Liskeard and Looe, but these closed in the 1930s. Parishes within the district are: Boconnoc, Broadoak, Callington, Calstock (1837-60), Duloe, East Looe, Lanreath, Lansallos, Lanteglos, Linkinhorne, Liskeard, Liskeard Borough, Menheniot, Morval, Pelynt, St. Cleer, St. Dominick, St. Ive, St. Keyne, St. Martin's, St. Neot, St. Pinnock, St. Veep, Southill, Talland and West Looe. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Graylands, Dean Street, Liskeard, PL14 4AH. Tel: 01579 343442.


Description & Travel

  • Historical sketch of the parish of Saint Neot (Cornwall). Including the life of Saint Neot, together with a description of the Parish church and its windows, and the Ballad of Tregeagle, by William A. Axworthy (Published 1906), is available on-line, courtesy of the Old Cornwall Society.
You can see pictures of St Neot which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"ST. NEOT, a parish, township, and village in the hundred of West, county Cornwall, 6 miles W. by N. of Liskeard, and 30 from Plymouth. The parish, which is of large extent, comprising an area of 13,997 acres, is situated at the head of a valley watered by a branch of the river Fowey, called the river of St. Neot. It had previous to the Norman conquest a hermitage or monastery of St. Neot, which has given name to the village. More than half the surface is still common and waste, and about 400 acres of woodland. The substratum abounds in granite, greywacke, and slate, which are quarried, and in some places contain veins of stream tin. The soil is clay and loam, producing good crops of corn. In this parish is Dozmere, an intermittent lake, to which various superstitions attach. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Exeter, value £367. The church of St. Neot is in the perpendicular style of architecture, with a tower containing six bells. It contains several ancient brasses and monuments, an antique font, and a register chest. The windows exhibit some remains of the legend of St. Neot in ancient stained glass, by Hedgeland, and sixteen others enriched with subjects from Scripture history, as the Creation, Deluge, Lord's Supper, Crucifixion, &c. The glass was restored in 1824 by the Rev. R. G. Grylls, at an expense of £2,000. There are two places of worship belonging to the Bible Christians, and one to the Wesleyans, also a National and free school for boys and girls, and a Sunday-school. The parochial charities produce about £33 per annum, besides £13 belonging to the free school. The Rev. William Grylls is lord of the manor. In this parish are the ruins of a chapel dedicated to St. Luke, also traces of the monastery or college of St. Neot, said to have been founded in memory of Neotus, a brother of King Alfred. John Austin, the antiquary, was born here in 1699.



  • 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.

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 Neot ecclesiastical parish:

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



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX185679 (Lat/Lon: 50.482306, -4.559757), St Neot which are provided by:




Poor Houses, Poor Law

St Neot parish was part of the Liskeard Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.



  • Population in 1801 - 906 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1041 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1255 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1424 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 1515 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 1628 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 1584 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 1608 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 1303 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1237 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 1020 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 1074 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 1086 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1009 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 932 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 799 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 824 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 820 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 892 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 867 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 1000 persons

Public Records

Parochial accounts, seventeenth century, St. Neot's, Cornwall, by J.H. Lefroy (Published 1891), is available on-line, courtesy of the Old Cornwall Society.



The parish comprises 14090 acres of land and 75 acres of water.