St Winnow


The parish of St Winnow, (Cornish: Sen Gwynnow), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of West. It is bounded on the north by Cardinham, on the east by Bradock and Boconnoc, on the south by St Veep, and on the west by the River Fowey and the parish of Lostwithiel. The River Fowey separates St Winnow from (Golant) St Sampson, Lanlivery and Lanhydrock. There is some doubt as to whether the name is connected with St Winnoe or St Winwaloe. The parish is mentioned in Domesday Survey of 1086 as San Winnuc and the Church still has some remains of the Norman building. In 1644-5, some 90 persons of this parish died of the plague; this occurred during the English Civil War but only four of the dead were soldiers.

This thinly-populated scattered parish is east of Lostwithiel and the River Fowey. The picturesque village and church are close to the river's edge. Some scenes from the BBC Poldark TV series were filmed here. Other villages in the parish are Bridgend, Polscoe, and Respryn.

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 on-line for:

  • The Parish Church - 838 entries.
  • St Nectan Chapel - 633 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. There are two Anglican churches in St Winnow:
    • Parish Church. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SX1157 and was dedicated to St Winnocus. It comprises a chancel, nave, south aisle, and north transept. The arcade consists of six four-centred arches supported on monolith granite pillars with capitals of porcelain stone. There are a south porch and a priest's door. The tower has three stages, is buttressed on the square, and finished with battlements and pinnacles. The belfry contained five bells.
      Like so many other churches in Cornwall, this church was probably founded by a Celtic religious community round about the 7th century (St Winnow or Winnoc was an evangelist, perhaps Welsh, who also founded churches in Wales, Brittany and northern France, and died in 717); about 500 years later a larger, stone building probably replaced the old cob-and-thatch one; further enlargements and the tower were added in the l5th century; and a thorough restoration was carried out in Victorian times. Luckily, the restoration was more sensitive than that suffered by many other churches, and one of the most attractive features inside is the old woodwork. The wagon roofs, except in the chancel, are old, and so are the pulpit and parts of the beautiful screen which dominates the interior. The early bench-ends (l5th-l7th centuries) are particularly fine.
      About two miles north-east of the church stands a chapel of ease dedicated to St Nectan (called locally St Nighton's chapel). It comprises a chancel, nave, and north and south aisles. The orginal structure consisted of what is now the south aisle only. The entrances are a south porch and a vestry door. At the south-west corner of the chapel stands one substantial buttressed stage of the tower on which there is a wooden bell-cote. The upper stages were destroyed in the Civil War when the bells were melted down for use as armaments. The chapel is surrounded by a burial ground, and marriages and baptisms are celebrated it in.
    • St Nectan. St Nightons (Nectan's) chapel of ease is 2 1/2 miles north-east from the Parish church. It is an ancient building of stone, consisting of chancel, nave and aisles, and at the south-west corner is one stage of an old and substantial butteresed tower with a bell cot, containing one bell. The upper stages were destroyed during the Civil war in 1644, and the six bells are said to have been melted down to furnish war material. One pinnacle was removed years ago to Boconnoc, and another serves as a gate post on the steps to the entrance to the churchyard. There are 250 sittings.
      Details about the plans of this church are available on-line.
  • Non-Conformist. At Bofarnel, near Resprin, was a Wesleyan Methodist chapel. There was also a Primitive Methodist chapel at Bridgend.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for St Winnow are: P002211, St Winnow with St Nighton C053491. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage of this parish is 1612 - 1837; it is NOT believed to be fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1622 - 1970, Burials 1622 - 1920, Marriages 1622 - 1947, Boyd's Marriage Index 1612 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1800 - 1812, BTs 1612 - 1639.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1892 to 1911, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD baptisms 1708 to 1850 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
  • Marriages.
  • Burials.
    • Burials 1684 to 1782, and 1868 to 1912, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Burials in the Parish 1813 to 1837, which is available in CD and Book formats.

Civil Registration

The parish of St Winnow was originally in Bodmin Registration District; it is now in the Liskeard Registration District. There were sub-districts are Bodmin, Egloshayle, Lanlivery and St Mabyn but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the BOdmin district were: Blisland, Bodmin, Bodmin Borough, Cardinham, Egloshayle, Endellion, Helland, Lanhydrock, Lanviet, Lanlivery, Lostwithiel, Luxulion, St. Kew, St. Mabyn, St. Minver Highlands, St. Minver Lowlands, St. Tudy, St. Winnow, Temple, Wadebridge, Warleggon, Withiel.

The Superintendant Registrar of Liskeard can be contacted at: Graylands, Dean Street, Liskeard, PL14 4AH. Tel: 01579 343442.


Description & Travel

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



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"ST. WINNOW, a parish in the hundred of West, county Cornwall, 2½ miles S.E. of Lostwithiel, and 27 from Plymouth railway station. It is situated on the navigable river Fowey, which is crossed by a bridge on the road from Bodmin to Plymouth. It includes the village of Bridge-End, at which place a fair is held on the 12th of January. The soil is various, upon a subsoil of shelf and spar. There are five mines at present in operation. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Exeter, value £200, in the patronage of the dean and chapter, who are impropriators. The church is dedicated to St. Winnow; there is also the hermitage chapel of St. Nictan, or Nighton, situated near the bridge. The Wesleyans have a chapel. There is a National school for both sexes. Lord Vivian is lord of the manor.

"ST. NIGHTON, a chapelry in the parish of St. Winnow, hundred of West, county Cornwall, 2 miles N.E. of Lostwithiel. The chapel-of-ease is dedicated to St. Necton.



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.


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 Winnow ecclesiastical parish:

You can see the administrative areas in which St Winnow 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 SX116570 (Lat/Lon: 50.382883, -4.651337), St Winnow which are provided by:



Apprenticeship Indentures for St Winnow (1761 - 1820) can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • St Winnow parish was part of the Bodmin Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
  • Overseers' Accounts (1758 to 1837) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


  • Population in 1801 - 671 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 782 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 906 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1048 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 1056 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 1076 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 1115 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 1168 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 1131 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1064 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 989 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 958 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 893 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 880 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 365 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 391 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 321 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 490 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 480 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 304 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 328 persons


The parish comprises 5038 acres of land.