St Stephen by Launceston


St Stephen-by-Launceston, (Cornish: Sen Stefan), (sometimes just called St Stephens or St Stephens with Newport) is situated in the Deanery of Trigg Major and Hundred of East. It is bounded on the north by the parish of North Petherwin and Werrington, on the east by Werrington and the Devon parish of Lifton, on the south by Lawhitton, Launceston and St Thomas-by-Launceston, and on the west by Egloskerry. Originally known as 'Lann-Stephen', church site of St Stephen. This ancient town guarded the gateway to Cornwall in medieval times, being on the main northern route into the county. The South Gate of Robert of Mortain's 11th century castle still survives, restricting the traffic to one lane.

The parish contains the villages of yeolmbridge, Dutson, Langore and Truscott; the pleasant town of Newport is situated between the Churchtown and Launceston, from which it is separated by an ancient bridge of three arches over the River Kinsey. Newport sent members to Parliament from 1552 until the seats were abolished by the Reform Act in 1832. The parish is also bounded on three sides by rivers: on the north by the Attery, on the east by the Tamar, on the south by the Kinsey. The eastern part of the parish is composed of clay slate, calcareous schist, limestone, etc.;the western part rests on quartzous rocks and felspar.

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 Monumental Inscriptions for:

  • The Parish Church - 1144 entries
  • Newport Wesleyan Chapel - 441 entries
  • Truscott Methodist Chapel - 18 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 SX3285; it was dedicated to St Stephen by Bishop Bronescombe, bishop of Exeter, on 23rd October 1259. it is supposed to have been rebuilt by Bishop Stafford before he died in 1419. It consists of a chancel, nave, south aisle, and north transept. The vestry is entered from the chancel by a doorway inserted in a blocked pointed arch. The arcade consists of five pointed arches, on of which is higher than the others; the material is of polyphant stone. here is a south porch and a north door. The tower of of three stages, buttressed and finished with tall pinnacles and is battlemented. It has six bells and a clock.
  • Non-Conformist. There was a Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Langore, which was also used by the Independents, and a Bible Christian chapel at Truscott.

Church Records

In the 18th century, the parish chest, in which deeds, etc. of various charitable records were kept, was stolen. Some years after, in repairing the house in which the clergyman resided, it was found walled up under the parlour windows, but it was empty.

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for St Stephens are: P002221. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage of this parish is 1568 - 1812; it is NOT believed to be fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1568 - 1909, Burials 1566 - 1912, Marriages 1566 - 1968, Boyd's Marriage Index 1566 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1800 - 1812.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1569 to 1912 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published baptisms 1707-1850 for this parish on CD which can be purchased on Parish Chest..
  • Banns. Banns 1888 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
  • Marriages.
  • Burials.

Civil Registration

The parish of St Stephen-by-Launceston is in the Launceston Registration District, and has been since 1st July 1837. There were sub-districts at Altarnun, Launceston, North Hill, North Petherwin and St Stephen-by-Launceston, but these are now all closed. Parishes within the district were: Altarnun, Boyton, Egloskerry, Laneast, Launceston, Lawhitton, Lewannick, Lezant, Northill, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Stephens by Launceston, St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Thomas Street, South Petherwin, Stokeclimsland, Tremaine, Treneglos, Tresmeer, Trewen, Warbstow.

The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Hendra, Dunheved Road, Launceston, PL15 9JG. Tel: 01566 772464.


Description and Travel

You can see pictures of St Stephen by Launceston which are provided by:





  • 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 Launceston, (including St Thomas-by-Launceston and St Stephen-by-Launceston).

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 Stephen-by-Launceston ecclesiastical parish:

You can see the administrative areas in which St Stephen by Launceston 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 SX315862 (Lat/Lon: 50.65111, -4.385305), St Stephen by Launceston which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law, etc.

St Stephens-by-Launceston parish was part of the Launceston Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.



  • Population in 1801 - 738 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 896 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 977 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1084 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 1068 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 934 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 873 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 929 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 959 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1107 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 1059 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 308 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 331 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 297 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 302 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 268 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 247 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 285 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 330 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 312 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 308 persons


The parish comprised 3949 acres of land.