CORNWALL ONLINE PARISH CLERKS - helping bring the past alive

The parish of


is in the Hundred of Lesneweth, in the deanery of Trigg-major and is eight miles west of Launceston. The name means Altar [church altar] of St Nonna. Altarnun Parish is now in the North Cornwall district and part of it lies within Bodmin Moor. The south-west area of Altarnun parish became part of the newer parish of Bolventor.

Altarnun can truly be described as one of the prettiest villages in Cornwall. Across two bridges stands the Church of St. Nonna. The Normans built a church here in the 12th century, but the church as it now stands was built in the 15th century, and was partly constructed of unquarried stone from the moors.

Church of St. Nonna,
© Simon Lewis, 2001

As this area is so picturesque, tourism is now a major industry.

Village of Altarnun © 2002, Simon Lewis

By the church gate stands a fine Celtic cross, possibly dating back to the 6th century, the time of St. Nonna herself. She was the mother of St. David and left her native Wales around the year 527.

The parish is mainly moorland, and grazed by animals, but there are areas of farmland in the Eastern areas. The river Lynher rises in this parish.

The principal villages in this parish are the churchtown, more properly called Penpont, Tredaule, Five Lanes, Gunnon, Treveage, West Carne, Trethyn, Treween, and Trewint. At Five Lanes, large cattle fairs once were held.

Cornwall Online Parish Clerks

The Online Parish Clerk (Genealogy) for Altarnun is Mike Gabriel, who can be contacted by Email.
For information about, and contact details for, the current parish council, please see this website.
Contact details for the church can be found by searching here.



Information can be found at COCP - the Cornwall Online Census Project - which is complete for 1841 to 1891 and has been verified, FreeCen at Rootsweb, which has a very good search engine and information from COCP, as well as GenUKI, which has more reference information and alternative resources.


Information can be found in our searchable database (C-PROP), which is updated frequently and contains full transcriptions. The C-PROP coverage page is here.


Trade Directories for Cornwall can be searched online here. For other information, see GenUKI.


Many of the items below also mention Parish officials such as Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor:-

An agreement, involving a dispute over land in the parishes of Altarnun and Blisland, dated 1661 or 1662, naming Daniel and Getrude WILLS, Joseph and Margaret TOKER.

Apprenticeship Indentures:

   25 Jun 1752, Thomas SMITH to William NOTTLE 3 Apr 1780, William SAUNDERCOCK to Charles GINN
  4 Jun 1757, James VENNING to Katherine LAWS 3 Jun 1782, Jennifer WADGE to Richard BURDEN
  4 Feb 1760, John MITCHELL to Robart NOTTLE 24 Apr 1783, William STEPHENS to William NICHOLLS
  7 Jan 1765, George STEVENS to Richard TINNER 11 Aug 1783, Elizabeth MITCHELL to Richard SLOGGETT
  29 Apr 1765, Joseph DOWNING to George VENNING 12 Jul 1784, Mary COUMBE to Benjamin GABRIEL
  2 Feb 1770, Elizabeth HENDER to John WILLIAMS 18 May 1785, Joseph BRAY to Thomas WHALE
  8 Sep 1772, Dorothy HERRING to Henry HOSKIN 11 Apr 1787, Elizabeth BOUNDY to John PETHICK
  8 Sep 1772, Elizabeth HERRING to Charles GIN 13 Oct 1789, William DOWNING to William WEVILL
  8 Sep 1772, Mary HENDER to Christopher EDGCOMBE 6 May 1794, Joseph DOWNING to George VENNING
  8 Sep 1772, Moses STEPHENS to George VENNING 6 May 1794, Mary GABRIEL to Joseph DUNN
  29 Apr 1773, Grace JASPER to John POPLESTONE 6 May 1794, John COOK to Daniel VENNING
  29 Apr 1773, John JASPER to Thomas NICHOLS 6 May 1794, John HERRING to John HERRING
  27 Apr 1774, Mary HERRING to John DENNIS 7 Apr 1795, Joseph GABRIEL to Thomas WESTLAKE
  23 Jan 1776, Mary HARFOOT to Philip COOMBE 26 Apr 1797, Elizabeth DOWNING to John BROWN
  10 Apr 1776, Richard WHALE to John VENNING 24 Apr 1800, Mary NORTHY to Arthur PETER
  30 May 1777, Mary BATH to Jonathan HARVEY 16 Apr 1821, Richard SPEAR to William STEPHENS
  8 Sep 1777, Ann SLEEP to Henry CORAM 7 Oct 1822, John DENNIS to Edmund Herring LAFFER
  4 May 1778, Elizabeth WADGE to Charles BURNETT  

Bastardy/Filiation Documents:

  16 Jun 1755, Jone MARK, Antoney, Robert and William GIMBLET 31 May 1796, Catherine BURNARD & Charles HERRING
  30 Jul 1760, Geare BASTARD, Arthur, William and Richard HERRING 19 Jun 1797, Ann SLEEP & Charles JENKINS
  30 Jun 1764, Charity MATTHEW, Walter & Edward OKE 25 Jul 1825, Mary ROWE
  19 Sep 1765, Grace COCK, William & Benjamin GABRIEL  

Memorial Inscriptions:

  Bowithick Wesleyan Chapel Inscriptions  

Settlement Documents:

  28 Jun 1714, John & Elizabeth NILLE (& St Columb Minor) 28 May 1778, Richard & Elizabeth HILL (& St Cleer)
  16 Jul 1752, Nicholas & Margaret DAW & family (& St Neot) 8 Apr 1779, Ralph SHILLABEER
  3 Jan 1753, Degory & Mary ROGERS & family (& Tresmeer) 8 Apr 1779, Peter TENNEY
  8 Apr 1757, William COOKE (& Lanteglos by Camelford) 14 Oct 1782, Jane DAVIS (& Redruth)
  28 Apr 1757, William SPEAR (& Lewannick) 3 Nov 1785, Elizabeth JACKETT (& Launceston St Mary)
  23 Jan 1758, William & Rebekah KESTLE & sons (& Gulval) 2 Jun 1788, Joseph HAMBLY & children (& Lanivet)
  25 Apr 1758, Philippa RICHARDS (& Perranuthnoe) 24 Dec 1819, John & Anna Maria PROUT (& Lewannick)
  24 Mar 1762, John & Jane GABRIEL & dau (& St Clether) 29 Sep 1821, William & Grace BRAY & child (& St Cleer)
  18 May 1767, Joseph & Mary COOKE & family (& Laneast) 24 Apr 1824, Mary Johns DAWE (& St Clether)
  23 May 1767, George HAWKE & dau Elizabeth (& Tremaine) 12 Jan 1848, John & Mary BRAY (& St Cleer)

Voters Lists:

  1. 1851/52
  2. 1852/53
  3. 1856/57
  4. 1864/65


A list of available Wills and Probate Documents. Copies of those marked as CRO can be ordered from here using the appropriate reference.  For those marked as NA enter the reference in the search box on this page and follow the onscreen instructions.

  21 Jul 1608, William HAWKE 8 Jun 1746, George HEALE
1 Sep 1612, Richard HARRYE 13 Mar 1747, William SPEAR/SPARE
  6 May 1614, Thomas HODGE 9 Aug 1747, Jane SOPER
  18 Jun 1614, John HAYDEN 1 Apr 1748, William HAMLEY 
  11 Feb 1616, Edward HARDY 3 Oct 1748, Mary SLADE
  25 Jul 1745, Lovday SCANTELBURY 25 Nov 1748, Nevil NORTHY
  6 May 1746, John LAWS 6 Nov 1749, Henry LAFFER

War Memorial:

Photographs by Mike Gabriel, 2007

Other documents mentioning several parishes, including Altarnun, can be found here.

For more information regarding history, population, etc., visit GenUKI.


For a zoomable and printable map of Cornwall please visit Cornwall Council’s mapping website. To see the Parish boundaries, click on the Layers Tab for Government Boundaries.

For maps and satellite images use Google Maps.

To enjoy a "walk" around this parish, search for Altarnun at, then drag the person icon from above the zoom commands and place it at a specific location on the map.


St Breward, Davidstow, St Clether, Laneast, Trewen, Lewannick, North Hill, St Cleer, Bolventor (post-1847) and St Neot (pre-1847).


  1. Altarnun is included in The Parochial History of Cornwall, Volume I by Davies Gilbert, William Hals, Thomas Tonkin, Henry Samuel Boase, originally published in 1838 (page n60). Also downloadable as a pdf.
  2. The Cornwall Register by John Wallis, A.M. F.S.S., then Vicar of Bodmin, printed 1847. If the in-built search produces no results, use the index pages (474-476) to find your parish of interest. Tables of statistics and other data can be found at the beginning of the book, starting at page n9.
  3. Venning's New Century Postal Directory of 20 Parishes in East Cornwall, published 1901. Included several pages of advertisements from local businesses, as well as being a parish directory