Stoke Climsland


Stoke Climsland (sometimes known as Stokeclimsland), (Cornish: Eglosstock), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of East. It is bounded on the north by the river Inny, which separates it from Lezant, and by the River Tamar which separates it from Milton Abbot, South Sydenham and Lamerton in Devon, (these days just Sydenham Damerell adjoins, Lamerton doesn't quite come down to the river), and Calstock, on the south by Calstock and Callington, and on the west by Southill and Linkinhorne.
Stoke Climsland is a village and large parish in the centre of Cornwall on the border with Devon. Stoke means 'outlying farm'; Climsland is the name of the manor, which in the Domesday Survey of 1086 was referred to as Climstone. This suffix was added to the name distinguish it from other Stoke place names in Devon.

The parish has for many centuries been predominantly Duchy land and the Duchy Home Farm is situated near Stoke village. This has now become the Duchy College. To the south of the parish is Kit Hill, a significant landscape feature and for many years the source of stone and minerals.

As well as Stoke village and Luckett, the parish contains many hamlets of Beals Mill, part of Bray Shop, Downgate, Higherland, Monks Cross and Venterdon. At one time there were seven mines employing over a thousand men, but these went into decline at the end of the 19th century, although the Luckett mines were reopened for a period of just over five years in 1947.

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)


Archives & Libraries

Based at the Old School Community Centre in the parish, the Archive contains thousands of documents, photos, maps and plans from the tenth century to present day. (Not online)



  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line Monumental Inscriptions
    • The Parish Church - 1429 entries
    • Downhouse Methodist Chapel - 132 entries
    • Hampt Plymouth Bretheren Chapel - 110 entries
    • Kelly Bray Methodist Chapel - 50 entries
    • Luckett Methodist Chapel - 246 entries
    • Venterdon Methodist Chapel - 289 entries
  • The Stoke Climsland War Memorial on the Cornwall FHS site


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 SX3684, and is dedicated to All Saints. There has been a church on this site since Norman times, and the chancel and nave are the oldest part of the present building with the north and south aisles being added later. The church, which was restored in 1860, now comprises a chancel, nave, and north and south aisles. The wooden arch of the chancel springs from angel corbels carved in Bath stone - one holding a chalice, the other a paten. There is an early 15th century south porch. In the middle ages the porch was used for many church services. The churching of women was held in the porch and the baptism and wedding services began there. At the right hand of the inner arch of the south porch, which is the only entrance to the church, is a plain stoup; a chancel and north doors are blocked. The tower arch, which is lofty and moulded, is open to the nave. The church is buttressed throughout. The tower is a handsome structure of three stages, buttressed and battlemented, with crocketed pinnacles at the angles. The belfry contains 8 bells.
    Details about the plans of the modern church are available on-line.
  • Non-Conformist.
    • Downhouse. This United Methodist Free Church (UMFC) was opened in 1855 and could seat 100 people, this rose to 200 seats. The services had previously been held in a building on the other side of the lane which became the Sunday School. It was for a time licensed for marriages but has now been converted to a dwelling; however the adjacent burial ground is still maintained as such.
    • Hampt. This chapel was erected as an independent church on the front is the date 1835 and the name 'Jehovah'. It contained a total immersion font, a gallery and had a Sunday Room for a dozen or so scholars. In 1875 it was sold to the Plymouth Brethren and in 1959 it was converted to a dwelling. There was a small burial ground around the building.
    • Luckett. An original chapel from 1840 was demolished when a new one was built in 1877. A schoolroom was added in 1889. The building was closed for worship in 1993 and was demolished a couple of years ago. The burial ground surrounding the building is still maintained as a memorial garden.
    • Monks Cross. There was a small chapel at the cross roads which was erected in 1874 by the Bible Christians. A Sunday School was added in 1889. The chapel closed in the 1970s and was demolished but the Sunday School was converted to a dwelling.
    • Downgate. Another Bible Christian chapel was built at Downgate only 2 miles from Monks Cross. This was a larger chapel erected in 1854 although it has also been listed as a Wesleyan chapel. The chapel was licensed for marriages in 1892 but very few occurred there. There was a Sunday School. The chapel closed in 1992 and is now a dwelling.
    • Bray Shop. This small chapel with its burial ground was originally a Bible Christian chapel; a stone shed on the opposite side of the road is said to be the original site of the chapel. It is still in use as a place of worship and is licensed for marriages.
    • Venterdon. The original Wesleyan chapel in Venterdon was erected in 1816, the new chapel was built behind this in 1869 and the old building was converted to a Sunday school but has since been demolished. The chapel remains a place of worship to this day.

Church Records

  • The Cornish Studies Library (Cornwall Centre) have a hand-written transcript of the entries from these registers.
  • LDS Church Records.
    • The LDS Church batch numbers for Stoke Climsland are: C042971. These are searchable by surname.
    • The IGI coverage for this parish is 1675 - 1773.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1538 - 1975, Burials 1539 - 1950, Marriages 1538 - 1963, Boyd's Marriage Index 1597 - 1673, BTs 1597 - 1673.
  • Baptisms.
    • Some baptisms 1735 to 1812 (some are surnames only), and 1813 to 1901, in this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Parish Chest have published on CD baptisms 1735 to 1840 for this parish.
  • Marriages.
    • Callington Area Heritage Centre (broken link) have placed on-line marriage records for Stoke Climsland parish 1813 to 1837.
    • Marriages 1813 to 1906, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Marriages in the Parish 1538 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
  • Burials.
    • Callington Area Heritage Centre (broken link) have placed on-line burial records for Stoke Climsland parish 1800 to 1864.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Burials in the Parish 1813 to 1837, which is available in Boor and CD formats.
    • Burials 1800 to 1863 (with gaps), and 1864 to 1936, in this parish are also available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).

Civil Registration

The parish of Stoke Climsland 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 & Travel

  • The North Cornwall District Council has identified the centre of Stoke Climsland as a potential Conservation Area. Following public consultation it was designated as a Conservation Area by the Council on 3 February 1997.
  • Photographs of Stoke Climsland are available on-line.
You can see pictures of Stoke Climsland which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"STOKE CLIMSLAND, a parish in the N. division of East hundred, county Cornwall, 3 miles N. of Callington, its post town, and 16 N. of Plymouth. The village, which is large, is situated on the road from Launceston to Callington, near the river Taw, which here separates the counties of Cornwall and Devon, and is bounded on the N. by the river Inney, which runs into the Tamar on the E. The manor was formerly held by Tavistock and Launceston abbeys. The parish includes the hamlets of Brayshop, Bealsmill, Downgate, Luckett, Oldmill, and Venterdon, with the liberty of Cary Bullock, which belongs to the duchy. The surface is hilly and the soil light, upon a substratum of granite, schistose rock, and porphyry. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in agriculture and in the tin mines. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Exeter, value £621. The parochial charities produce about £25 per annum. There is a National school for both sexes, in which a Sunday-school is held. The Wesleyans, Bible Christians, and Plymouth Brethren have each a chapel. Whiteford House is the principal residence. The Prince of Wales, as Duke of Cornwall, is lord of the manor. A cattle fair is held on 29th May."

"HAMPTON, a hamlet in the parish of Stoke Climsland, hundred of Middle East, county Cornwall, 4 miles N.E. of Callington, and 7 S. of Launceston. It is situated on the river Tamar."



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 Stoke Climsland ecclesiastical parish:

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



Callington Area Heritage Centre (broken link) have placed on-line a webpage for the history of Stoke Climsland parish.


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.
  • The Parliamentary Survey of the Duchy of Cornwall was undertaken in 1649 to 1650 to record and value all the lands in the Duchy that had been owned by the Crown. A transcript of this survey with explanatory notes was published by the Devon & Cornwall Record Society in 1982 and 1984, it was edited by NJG Pounds. Names of persons listed (not available online 8/18) are from the manors that lie in the parishes of South Hill, North Hill, and Stoke Climsland.


The Manorial Documents Register (MDR) maintained by the Historic Manuscripts Commission notes that, so far as can be established, the parish of Stoke Climsland contained the manors of Climsland Prior and Stoke Climsland (also known as Climsland), and the parish of Lawhitton contained the manors of Lawhitton and Sheers Barton.

The MDR contains the following information for these manors:

  • Climsland Prior Manor.
    • Minister's accounts 1542-1623, receiver's accounts 1542-1661, court rolls 1628-45, 1666-91 and surveys 1608-1851, 1974 (non consecutive) in the Duchy of Cornwall Office, 10 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LA. It should be noted that access to the Duchy of Cornwall archive, which is primarily an internal resource, is restricted.
    • Court rolls 1574/75-1647/48 (non consecutive) and surveys temp James I and Commonwealth in the Public Record Office, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU (ref: SC2/156/21-22; SC2/158/6, 26, 34-36; SC2/163/16; LR2/207/60; E317/Cornwall/9).
    • Survey 17th cent in Southampton Archives Office, South Block, Civic Centre, Southampton SO14 7LY (collection ref: D/M).
  • Stoke Climsland Manor.
    • Minister's accounts 1341-1633, receiver's accounts 1400-1660, assession rolls 1333-1756 (non consecutive), court rolls 1631-1795, rent roll temp James I, rentals and assessioning papers 17th-18th century and surveys 1338, c1649-1840, 1974 (non consecutive) in the Duchy of Cornwall Office (access restricted).
      Arrentation roll 1340, minister's accounts and assession rolls, etc, with other Duchy manors 13th-16th cent, rental 1608/9, extent of woodland 1600/01, survey temp Commonwealth and court rolls 1466-1649 in the Public Record Office (no reference given).
    • Judgement of court 1522 in the Cornwall Record Office, Old County Hall, Truro TR1 3AY (ref: DD.CM/1408).
    • Arrentation roll 1756. In 1940 this was in private possession.
    • Maps 1843,1845, assessionable manors commission award 1844-46 and customs 1897 in Devon Record Office, Castle Street, Exeter EX4 3PU (ref: TI258/24/25, TI258M/M23, 24, TI258M/E32).
    • Plan 1815 in the Cornwall Record Office (ref: DDEN 1981).

Further enquiries about these records should be addressed to the staff at the relevant repository.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX360744 (Lat/Lon: 50.546306, -4.316106), Stoke Climsland which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Stoke Climsland parish was part of the Launceston Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.



  • Population in 1801 - 1153 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 1237 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1524 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1608 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 2073 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 2596 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 2554 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 2422 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2100 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1865 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 1638 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 1651 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 1578 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1464 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 1282 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 1147 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 1119 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 1150 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 1475 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 1670 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 1639 persons

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 Stoke Climsland are available on-line.



There is a Local History Group. For more information, please contact Caroline Vulliamy at the Old School, Stoke Climsland on 01579 370493.



The parish comprised 8720 acres of land.