The parish of Treverbyn, (Cornish: Treverbin), (known locally as Bugle), is in the Hundred and Deanery of Powder. It was created in 1846, under the Church Endowment Act (of Parliament), from the northern half of the St Austell parish. It extends from the east side of the Gover Stream (also called the White River) that runs down the Gover Valley (known locally as "The Stents"). From there it extends throughout prime china clay country past the great Carclaze mine (once the largest in the country - over a mile around), which has been in production for over 400 years, first for tin and copper, then china clay. The parish continues to Trethurgy (meaning farm of Devergi, per Padel). It then goes northward past Rescorla and Rosevear to just north of Bugle. It then angles south-west past Goonbarrow China Clay Works and Hensbarrow Downs.

This encompasses some of the richest china clay deposits in the world - the quality of which is equaled by only four other places in the world! Mines included Carclaze, Hensbarrow, Goonbarrow, Ninestones, Gunheath, and Greensplat. These were the "first, oldest, and best" clayworks owned by the people "to whom the industry owes everything": Martins, Loverings, Varcoes, Higmans, Stockers, and Nichollses. According to the Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum, the value of the china clay mined from this area (and St. Austell parish), if valued in today's money, would equal £13.5 billion. The museum, near Carthew on the west side of the parish and which includes original mine buildings and equipment, offers an authentic view of 19th century mining experience. The A391 runs through the parish from St.Austell to Bodmin. The chief industry is still the mining of china clay. Until recently the landscape was notable for its pyramids of waste made from the extraction process, but these are now being flattened out.

The parish centers on the village of Bugle, which grew up in the 19th century around an inn of the same name. The rapid growth occurred while china clay mining was at its zenith (1840 to 1914). Other villages included in the parish are Treverbyn, Carthew, Stenalees, and Penwithick. Chapels - including Primitive and United Methodist - proliferated in the "Higher Quarters", as the parish was known. According to Rowse, village life revolved around these chapels.

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)





Census information for this parish (1851 - 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 SX0157 and is situated at Stenalees. It was dedicated to St Peter. The building of stone is in the Middle-Pointed or Decorated Style; it was constructed in 1848-50 and was consecrated in 1850. It consists of nave, chancel, and sanctuary. There is a south porch and turret containing one bell; there are memorial windows to the Gill family. (Thomas Gill was formerly Lord of the Manor of Treverbyn). The pulpit is also a memorial. Vestries were built at the west end of the church in 1928, as a memorial to members of the church who fell in the Great War 1914-18. The Henry Willis organ was recently reinstalled here from St James church, Quegeley, Gloucestershire.
  • Non-Conformist. There is a Wesleyan Chapel at Trethurgy ; other chapels were located at Treverbyn, Bugle, and Penwithick. Primitive Methodists had a chapel at Rescorla built in 1873. The Wesleyans built a chapel at Stenalees in 1861 and the Bible Christians built one in Bugle in 1858.

Church Records


Civil Registration

The parish of Treverbyn has been in the Registration District of St Austell continuously from its creation in 1850. There were sub-districts at Fowey, Grampound, Mevagissey and St Austell, but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Creed, Fowey, Gorran, Grampound, Mevagissey, Roche, St. Austell, St. Blazey, St. Dennis, St. Ewe, St. Mewan, St. Michael Carhays, St. Sampson, St. Stephen in Brannel, Tywardreath. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: 12 Carlyon Road, St Austell, PL25 4LD. Tel: 01726 68974. Fax: 01726 68974.


Description & Travel

  • The OPC have provided some photographs of Treverbyn on-line.
  • Most of the parish was originally included in the manor of Treverbyn, owned by the Courtenay Earls of Devon, and the Duchy manor of Tewington. According to A.L. Rowse, "what surplus wealth there was - rentals, tolls of tin and minerals - went mostly 'up the country' to support those great estates of the realm". The Rescorlas were "a good yeoman family", but there was never an old leading family of gentry there. There is not a single manor-house or country-house, which Rowse felt contributed greatly to the feelings of independence and self-reliance ingrained in the people. The parish was mostly moors, high up and exposed, composed primarily of granite, which was thinly inhabited by small farmers who also streamed for tin. Then Cooksworthy discovered the secret of china clay and porcelain, and developments were made in pumping engines for tin mining so they were no longer limited to the surface. The parish started to grow in population as people moved in to mine the wondrous resources.
    Life was very hard for the miners locally. Men were exposed to horrendous hours, dangerous conditions, and primitive ventilation; often, they died in their 40's of "miners lung". (It was not until 1874 that a law was passed restricting women and children to working only 12 hours a day). Some children started in the mines at 8 years of age, but this was not the norm. In 1910, one miner earned 16 shillings a week to support a family of five. Most of the miners farmed a bit to support themselves, and looked to whatever might provide for their families - such as having a small store in their ground floor, over which they lived.
    Its most famous inhabitant was Samuel Drew, who was born in Tregrehan Mills in 1765. He was a "buddle boy" at a local mine at nine. He was then apprenticed to a shoemaker 2 years later. Entirely self-educated, he eventually became famous as a Methodist preacher and author of theological books and articles. He is included in the "Dictionary of National Biography", one of only three persons from the historic St. Austell parish to be so honoured.
You can see pictures of Treverbyn which are provided by:





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.


Land & Property

In 1660, there was a Parliamentary (Taxation) Survey undertaken of Cornwall; this listed Freeholders, Copyholders and Leaseholders of land. The list for the Manor of Treverbyn Courtney (or Courtnay), in St Austell parish, is available on-line.



The only two manors applicable to Treverbyn parish were those of Treverbyn and Tewington which were originally in St Austell parish prefer the parish was created in 1850. The surviving document relevent to these parishes are as follows:

  • Tewington Manor.
    • Rents. Rents of the Manor of Tewington - 1710 are available on-line, courtesy of the OPC.
    • Minister's accounts 1341-75, 1458-1630, receiver's 1400-1660, assession rolls 1333-1752 (non consecutive), court rolls 1628-1796, rentals and assessioning papers 17th-18th cent and surveys 1338, 1619, 1650, 1663-1773 in the Duchy of Cornwall Office (access restricted).
    • Minister's accounts and assession rolls, etc, with other Duchy manors 13th-16th cent, court rolls and estreats 1398-99, 1539-1648 and Commonwealth survey in the Public Record Office (no reference given).
    • Court rolls 1540-1774 in the British Library, Manuscript Collections, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB (ref: BM List 1928, p. 36).
    • Modern translations of court rolls 1604-1750 in Cornwall Record Office (ref: X507/2).
    • Court rolls and estreats 1642/43-1643/44 in the Public Record Office (ref: SC2/156/22).
    • Misc rentals, reeve's accounts and papers rel to enclosure 1662, 1729, 1774-1846 in Cornwall Record Office (collection ref: Mr T Carlyon, Tregrehen; reported on 25 January 1955).
    • Court book 1790-97, steward's book 1781-1821, assession books 1759, 1767, 1794, 1812, 1822, jury and tenants' answers c1590, c1690, 1710, 1759, 1767, 1774, 1787, list of reeves 1683-1713, lists of tenants c1714, c1790, 1796, 1815, lists, demands and receipts rel to rents and dues 1717-51, list of customary rents c1780, rental 1816 and note of homage 1638 in the Cornwall Record Office (ref: DDCF 3134-3159).
    • Rents and fines, with Tybesta 1798 in the Cornwall Record Office (ref: DDEN 1983).
    • Accession rolls 16th-18th cent in the Royal Institution of Cornwall, Royal Cornwall Museum, River Street, Truro TR1 2SJ (correspondence address: Courtney Library, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Royal Cornwall Museum, River Street, Truro TR1 2SJ) (ref: HK).
  • Treverbyn Courtenay & Treverbyn Trevanion Manor.
    Map of commons c1840, copy plan 1840, account of tin tells 1845-49 and plans c1908, 1947 in Cornwall Record Office (ref: MT 272-3, 847-50).
    • Treverbyn Courtenay Manor.
      • Rents. Freeholders and tenants by lease of the Manor Court of Treverbyn-Courtnay", are available on-line, courtesy of the OPC.
      • Court rolls 1355/56-1356/57, 1543/44-1546/47, 1575/76-1600/01 (non consecutive), 1610/11-1648/49 (non consecutive) in the Public Record Office (ref: SC2/156/21, 26; SC2/164/28-30).
      • Minister's accounts 1561-1623, receiver's accounts 1542-1661, court rolls 1628-1795 and surveys 1611-c1840 (non consecutive), 1974 in the Duchy of Cornwall Office (access restricted).
      • Extracts from accounts 1528, copy surveys 1601, 1611, copy Parliamentary survey 1650, extract from terrier 1797 and book of reference 1840 in Cornwall Record Office (ref: MT 274-84, 848).
      • Survey 17th cent in Southampton Archives Office (collection ref: D/M).
      • Rent rolls 1730, 1790 in Cornwall Record Office (ref: ME 1708, 1712).
      • Survey 1601/02 in the Public Record Office (ref: E315/414/65-75).
      • Surveys temp. Jas I in the Public Record Office (ref: LR2/207/44-46).
      • Court book 1790-1812, rentals 1776, 18th cent, copy quietus 1786, list of tenants 1809, notes on property c1795-6 and deputy steward's book of copies of court roll 1742-1818 (ref: DDCF 3168-77, 3155).
      • Lease books, with Treverbyn Trevanion 1857-1960 at Wheal Martyn China Clay Heritage Centre (ref: 1992.61).
      • Printed map of commons with other St Austell manors nd (19th cent) in Cornwall Record Office (ref: Acc. Jan-March 1971, no. 11).
    • Treverbyn Trevanion Manor.
      • Rental with other manors 1753 in the Cornwall Record Office (ref: DDCF 3578).
      • Court books, rentals and rent accounts 1755-69, 1789-97, 1830-38 and map of commons c1840 in the Cornwall Record Office (ref: MT 285-88, 847).


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX018564 (Lat/Lon: 50.373663, -4.789113), Treverbyn which are provided by:




Poor Houses, Poor Law

Treverbyn parish became part of the St Austell Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief on its creation.



Treverbyn was created from part of St Austell 1850. Population figures before 1850 are with St Austell.

  • Population in 1851 - 2003 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 2109 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 2489 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2712 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 2867 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 3301 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 4064 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 4283 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 4251 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 4088 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 0 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 0 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 4780 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 5441 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 6159 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 7611 persons


The parish comprises 6000 acres of land.