St Giles on the Heath


"ST. GILES IN THE HEATH, a village and parish, 5 miles N.N.E. of Launceston, and 9 miles S. by E. of Holsworthy, has 375 souls, and 3044A. of land, including the hamlets of Panson, Hoggadon, and Sitcott. Part of it is in the Duke of Bedford's manor of Werrington. Sir Wm. Molesworth is lord of the manor of Panson, or Paunston; and the Misses May, and several smaller owners, have estates in the parish. The Church is a small structure, with a tower and five bells, and was formerly in the appropriation of Tavistock Abbey. The living is a donative, valued at £97, in the patronage of the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, the Marquis of Lothian, and the Dowager Countess of Suffield; and in the incumbency of the Rev. Edward Rudall, M.A. of Boyton. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Black Torrington Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Cornwall and the Diocese of Exeter. The parish was originally in Cornwall, and one of the few Cornish places on the east of the river Tamar, but is now part of the county of Devon. Its hamlets include Panson, Hoggadon, and Sitcott.



The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Methodist Chapel - 22 entries.


Church History

The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SX3590 and was dedicated to St Giles.


Church Records

According to Peskett, Bishop's Transcripts covering 1602-73, 1737-40, and 1773-?? are held in the Devon Record Office, and ones covering 1684-1736 and 1741-1772 are held in the Cornwall Record Office. No mention is made of the Parish Registers in the June 1997 edition of "Parish, Non-Parochial and Civil Registers in the Devon Record Office".

The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1653 - 1902, Burials 1653 - 1982, Marriages 1653 - 1980.

The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of 1813-37 Marriages, and 1813-37 Burials.

Baptisms (1706 - 1846), marriages {1600-1836) and burials (1813-1837) of St Giles in the Heath (1796 to 1846) are available on CD from the Parish Chest.

Baptisms (1813 - 1902), Banns (1833 - 1901) and Burials (1653 - 1936) are included in the Cornwall OPC searchable parish register database.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1754-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1681-1804. (From Bishops' Transcripts.)

Cornwall burial index 1813-1837: St. Giles in the Heath. Cornwall Family History Soc. (1996) [ISBN 1858694205]


Civil Registration

The parish of St Giles-in-the-Heath was originally in the Broadwoodwidger sub-district, in the Holesworthy Registration District of Devon. (GRO volumes : X (1837-51); 5b (1852-1930)). In 1853, the parish moved under the control of the St Stephen-by Launceston sub-district of the Launceston Registration District of Cornwall, where it remained until 1901 when it became part of the North Petherwin sub-district.

In 1936, it moved back to the Holsworthy Registration district of Devon. In 1998, Holsworthy became subsumed into the Torridge Registration District of Devon.


Description & Travel

Section on St Giles on the Heath from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Lockie.

You can see pictures of St Giles on the Heath which are provided by:



Copy provided by Val Henderson of the entry (description and names) in Morris and Co's Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of Devonshire 1870.



The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.



Notes from Parish Records on Oath-takers from Ashwater, Broadwoodwidger, Hollacombe, Holsworthy and St Giles in the Heath by Pat Williams, provided by the Friends of Devon Archives.

Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the parish of Saint Giles-in-the-Heath, Devon (1964) 5p. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/St.G 7/0001/WIL]



Map of the Launceston Registration District in which the parish once lay.

View a map of the boundaries of this town/parish.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX353907 (Lat/Lon: 50.692571, -4.333217), St Giles on the Heath which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law

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



  • Population in 1841 - 375 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 275 persons

Probate Records

Wills for this parish were proved in the Court of the Archdeacon of Cornwall, and are now held by the Cornwall Record Office. They are listed in:

Glencross, R.M. (ed.). Calendar of Wills, Administrations and Accounts Relating to the Counties of Cornwall and Devon in the Connotorial Archdiaconal Court of Cornwall (with which are included the records of the Royal Peculiar of St. Burian) now preserved in the District Probate Office at Bodmin. Index Library, vols. 56 & 59.

Alcock, N.W. Surviving Devon Wills and Inventories, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, vol. 31, (1968-70) pp.182.

Moger, O.M. Some Notes on the Whereabouts of Devon Wills, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, vol. 25, (1952-53) pp.9-10.