CORNWALL ONLINE PARISH CLERKS - helping bring the past alive


The parish of

CALSTOCK

Calstock Viaduct
Calstock Viaduct and part of the village c. 1907
 
Calstock Viaduct
Calstock Viaduct and part of the village 2002
 

comprises the villages of Calstock, Chilsworthy, Gunnislake, Harrowbarrow, Latchley and Metherell plus smaller settlements, many with descriptive names such as Rising Sun, Danescombe, Honeycombe Corner - and Slimeford. The spellings of the names have changed over the years, but most are still recognisable.

Mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 (most of the land belonged to a brother of William the Conqueror), the Parish has had a long and chequered history. For much of the time, its prosperity was linked to agriculture, mining and quarrying and its location on the banks of the River Tamar. The building of the railway, and its spectacular arched bridge, played a part in the early 20th Century.
 

Gunnislake Newbridge
Gunnislake Newbridge, taken from the Cornish bank
with part of Devon Great Consols Mine in the background
 

Farming has been mainly concerned with the production of early fruit, flowers and vegetables, thanks to the southerly aspect of the valley and the mild maritime influences, and parts of the parish once produced the first English strawberries of the summer. Many market gardening families owned or rented only a few acres, which they cultivated intensively.

Mining and quarrying were important in Mediaeval Times, but flourished in the late eighteenth century and for the whole of the nineteenth. Products included copper, silver, tin, lead and arsenic. Granite from local quarries was used for paving stones in many British cities, part of Plymouth breakwater and also international destinations such as St Petersburg naval harbour.

Many families moved from parish to parish and back and forth across the county boundary of the Tamar, as one set of small mines closed and another opened. Several Calstock families could be found living in Tavistock (where the Devon Great Consuls mine was at one stage the richest copper mine in Europe), Mary Tavy, Callington and other nearby parishes. The Calstock/Callington area produced 50% of the world's arsenic in the late 1800s.

 
Because of the close association with Devon (and the fact that the parish was in the Tavistock Registration District for several years), it is sometimes mistakenly recorded in online records as being part of that county.

With the gradual collapse of the mining industry, as bigger and more productive mines were opened elsewhere, many parish residents emigrated and Cornish communities can be found in countries worldwide.
 


Cornwall Online Parish Clerks

The volunteer OPC (Genealogy) for Calstock is Myra Cordrey, who can be contacted at myra@minebydesign.co.uk.

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.


PARISH INFORMATION

CENSUS:

REGISTERS:

For Parish Register records and other resources, please see our searchable database (C-PROP) which is updated frequently. The C-PROP parish coverage page is here.

  • Records for the Parish Church can be found on the OPC's website, as can more detailed information on other subjects.
  • An increasing number of images of Parish Registers are being added to the LDS website. Select Browse by Location / British Isles, then England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010 / Browse Images and drill down from there. The specific url seems to change frequently.
  • Parish Church Register pages from 1560-1655 appear to be missing, see this explanation. (Some Exeter Bishops' Transcripts have survived.)
  • During the 1800s, daughter Anglican Churches and Mission Rooms were established at Cotehele, Gunnislake, Harrowbarrow, Latchley and Metherell.
  • Many thriving non-conformist chapels were established, too. Baptism records from these are currently available from LDS Family History Centre films. A start has been made on transcribing them for the website and our searchable database
  • 1813 - 1900 A list of residents of Calstock & St Dominick who were buried in Bodmin

DIRECTORIES:

Trade Directory transcriptions can also be found on the website.

For further information visit the University of Leicester's Directories website, which has many directories online to view for free.

OTHER:

  • A list of some local surnames that are being researched, and contact details, can be found on the Family Research page of the OPC website.
  • Other transcriptions are available, such as Poor Law Union Rates, a reference list for emigration websites and relevant newspaper articles.
  • Many photographs can be found on the OPC's website.

Obituaries of Emigrants:

Dates could be of death or of newspaper publication.  Other obituaries, where the parish name isn't specified, can be found in our resources section and our searchable database contains an index.

  1. 1 Apr 1914, Rev. James ROWE
  2. 10 Aug 1936, Major Richard Thomas Peardon OLVER
  3. 10 Jul 1939, William John OLVER

Settlement Documents:

  18 Nov 1803, Prudence MITCHELL (& Probus) 19 May 1804, Prudence MITCHELL (& Probus)

Voters Lists:

  1. 1851/52
  2. 1852/53
  3. 1864/65

Wills:

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.

Transcriptions on this website:-

9 Dec 1553, Dame Katherine EDGECOMBE 17 Nov 1826, Susanna KELLY
  12 Jan 1603, Jone HONYCUMBE 3 Jun 1831, William ALMOND
  28 May 1607, Joan HILL 22 Jun 1831, James EDDEY
  Dec 1684, John STEPHINS (inventory only) 19 Jan 1832, John PLEACE
  13 Feb 1690, Henry FOWELL 8 Mar 1832, William Kelly/Kelley ROWLAND
  8 Mar 1740, Stephen WILLIAMS 30 Jan 1833, John Francis Moore BRAY
  26 Jun 1745, Francis DOIDGE 14 Aug 1837, Priscilla POPHAM
  26 Dec 1745, William DOBLE 2 Apr 1842, Richard GRIBBELL
  8 Jul 1746, Mary LAVERS 9 Oct 1843, John AMBROSE (proved 1853)
20 Jul 1746, Jane DALY 11 Jul 1845, Thomas UNWIN
  9 Jan 1747, John JANE 31 May 1848, Richard ROSEKILLY
  7 Sep 1748, John FRIENDSHIP 18 Sep 1848, Richard CLATWORTHY
  27 Sep 1748, Richard TERRELL 30 Jan 1849, Revd. Edward MORSHEAD
  5 Sep 1749, Nicholas GROSE 12 Sep 1850, Betty BATE
  29 Dec 1751, Stephen BENNET(T) 1 Jan 1852, Susanna DERRY
  18 Jun 1754, Richard VEAL 2 Dec 1853, Mary Dorcas MARCHANT
  22 Apr 1818, Thomas HARRIS 4 Jun 1857, Sir William Lewis Salusbury Trelawny (& codicil)
  22 Feb 1825, James LOAM  

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

MAPS:

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 Calstock at http://maps.google.co.uk/, then drag the person icon from above the zoom commands and place it at a specific location on the map.

ADJACENT PARISHES:

St Dominick, Callington, Stoke Climsland and, across the Tamar, Beer Ferrers (Bere Ferris) in Devon.

ONLINE BOOKS:

  1. Calstock 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 n192). Also downloadable as a pdf.
  2. 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

RECOMMENDED READING:

  1. From Calstock to New Cornwall by Marion Hextall. The story of what happened to Matthew East from Calstock, his five sons, and his brother Joseph in Australia. Available in some Australian libraries.

MORE PHOTOGRAPHS:

Click to enlarge
 
Steamboat near the Ashburton (later the Danescombe) Hotel
© Malcolm McCarthy
War Memorial  Part of Churchtown
in 2005
 © Myra Cordrey
"New Houses"
in 2005
 © Myra Cordrey