Warbstow, (Cornish: Lannwarburgh), is situated in the Deanery of Trigg Major and the Hundred of Lesnewth. It is bounded on the north by St Gennys and Jacobstow, on the east by Tremaine and Treneglos, on the south by Treneglos and Davidstow, and on the west by Otterham. A detached portion of the parish on the left bank of the River Attery at Canworthy Water, is also bounded on the north by the detached portion of Jacobstow, on the east by North Petherwin, on the south by Tremaine, and on the west by Jacobstow. This portion measured about a mile in length and three quarters of a mile in breadth. The parish lies at an altitude of 820 feet above sea-level.

Warbstow is located about ten miles north-west of Launceston. The name is taken from the nun, St Waerburgha, daughter of an Anglo-Saxon king. Her relics, at Chester, were an object of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. Warburghstow was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. The original manor house of Downwinney stood at one end of the village green, but only the Norman door, porch, and an upstairs window have survived. Just above the village is the prehistoric defensive earthworks known as Warbstow Bury or Barrow, which lies 820 feet above sea-level. Mining of manganese and wolfram in the parish has been recorded. It was not until 1955 when mains water became available in the village. Many retired people now live in the village, but farming is still active in the surrounding countryside.

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 - 366 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 SX2090 and was dedicated to St Werburga, or Werburgha. The parish church was built by the Normans; it was originally cruciform in shape but was partially rebuilt in the 15th century, when a north arcade and tower were added. The edifice comprises a chancel, nave and north aisle; there was a south transept which was destroyed in a mid-19th century restoration. The arcade has five four-centred arches supported on monolith granite pillars. The entrance is by a north porch, dated 1601. The tower is of two stages, is 50 feet in height and is finished with battlements and stump pinnacles. It contains three bells.
    The parish has been ecclesiastically consolidated with Treneglos; it is now part of St Gennys, Jacobstow with Warbstow and Treneglos.
  • Non-Conformist. There was a Wesleyan Association chapel, and a Bible Christian chapel, at Canworthy Water.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1695 - 1813, Burials 1695 - 1813, Marriages 1695 - 1838, Boyd's Marriage Index 1612 - 1812, Pallot's Marrriage Index 1790 - 1812, BTs 1612 - 1629.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
    • Pre 1813 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Marriages.
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1813 to 1911 in this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornish Forefathers Society have published on CD baptisms 1695 to 1812 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest..
    • The Parish Chest have published on CD, baptisms 1813 to 1908 for this parish.
  • Marriages.
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Marriages in the Parish 1683 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
    • Phillimore's marriages 1683 to 1812 in this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD marriages 1695 to 1837 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
  • Burials.

Civil Registration

The parish of Warbstow 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 are: 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

You can see pictures of Warbstow which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"WARBSTOW, a parish in the hundred of Lesnewth, county Cornwall, 8 miles N.E. of Camelford. The surface is hilly and the soil light. The living is a vicarage annexed to that of Treneglos, in the diocese of Exeter. The church, dedicated to St. Werburgh, contains a curious Norman font. There is a National school. The Wesleyans and Bible Christians have each a chapel. In this parish is an ancient fortification called Warbstow Barrow."



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. The new OPC can now offer baptism-marriage-burial look-up service for the parish of Warbstow. If you think your people may have lived there, please send as much as you know about their names and dates and the OPC will be happy to make a search.


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 Warbstow ecclesiastical parish:

You can see the administrative areas in which Warbstow 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 SX206904 (Lat/Lon: 50.685528, -4.54096), Warbstow which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law

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



  • Population in 1801 - 330 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 323 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 439 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 481 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 503 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 470 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 419 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 425 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 373 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 396 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 375 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 344 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 332 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 327 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 297 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 259 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 345 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 415 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 425 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 439 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 520 persons


The parish comprises 4151 acres of land.