CORNWALL ONLINE PARISH CLERKS - helping bring the past alive


The parish of

ST STEPHEN IN BRANNEL

St Stephen in Brannel Parish Church Left: The Parish Church

Photographs © John Evans

Click thumbnails below to enlarge
Tower from graveyard  Porch Font

A large parish, extending to about 9,000 acres, it is situated to the north-west of the town of St Austell, and shares a boundary with the parishes of St Mewan, St Ewe, Creed, Probus, Ladock, St Enoder, St Dennis, Roche and Treverbyn (formerly St Austell). Because of its size, there are a number of hamlets or villages where populations built up over the years – Churchtown (now known as the village of St Stephen) Coombe, High Street, Lanjeth, Carpalla, Foxhole, Goverseth, Nanpean, Whitemoor (partly in St Dennis), Treviscoe, Little Treviscoe, Trethosa and Stepaside. The parish church is dedicated to St Stephen and, to distinguish it from the two other parishes in the county which have similar dedications (St Stephen by Launceston and St Stephens by Saltash) its name was adopted to indicate that it was within the ancient manor of Brannel (or Bernel as it is named in the Domesday Survey).
Following the Norman Conquest, the manor of Bernel was given by William to his half brother, Robert (Earl of Mortain) who was also made Earl of Cornwall.
In addition to the parish church, which was dedicated by Bishop Bronescombe in 1261, there is also the chapel of ease at Nanpean, built in 1879 and dedicated to St George. There were also formerly a number of non-conformist chapels in the parish – at Churchtown, Coombe, Lanjeth, High Street, Foxhole, Old Pound, Nanpean, Whitemoor, Treviscoe, Trethosa & Trelion – but today only those at Old Pound, Nanpean, Whitemoor & Treviscoe remain open for worship.
The first mention of a school in the parish is in the Churchwardens’ Accounts for 1765-66, when Mr. Clemo, the school master, was paid the annual salary of £3.0.0. The location of that school, however, is not clear. What is certain is that, by the time of the Tithe Apportionment in 1838, the school was on the site of the former Churchtown Primary School, adjoining the wrestling ring on the northern side of the church. Later, other schools were built at Lanjeth/High Street, Trethosa, Foxhole and Nanpean, although the first two were closed over 50 years ago.
Mining was an important industry in the parish in days gone by. There are very old references to stream works for tin at Gwindra, Court and Crow Hill, and mention in the 16th century of workings (probably surface) at Meen Munday, Parc Gwyn and Stennagwyn. The majority of the mines produced tin, but copper, iron, lead and zinc were also produced, and the parish has the distinction of having the only mine in Cornwall where the main metal worked (as opposed to a by-product) was uranium and later radium – at South Terras, which finally closed in the 1920’s, having provided Marie Curie with much of her required raw material.
When William Cookworthy discovered the opportunities for hard paste porcelain manufacture from china clay and china stone in about 1750, although his initial supplies had come from Tregonning Hill in Germoe parish, he soon discovered higher quality and more extensive deposits at Carloggas in St Stephen in Brannel. Cookworthy took a clay sett on Carloggas Moor in 1770, and was followed by Wedgwood, Minton, Spode and other potters whose names have now passed into history. The fact is that the kaolin deposits in the parish, on the western end of the Hensbarrow granite massif, are high grade ceramic clay, as opposed to the cheaper filler and paper coating clays, and still provide opportunities for employment over 250 years later.
From a population of 1738 in 1801, the parish expanded rapidly in subsequent years, reaching just over 5000 in 1921. It then fell back in the dark years of the depression, only getting back to the 5000 figure in 1981, since when it has risen to its present figure of just over 7000.


Cornwall Online Parish Clerks

The Online Parish Clerk (Genealogy) for St Stephen-in-Brannel is John Evans, who can be contacted at johnrpevans@hotmail.co.uk.

The website of a former OPC might be useful in your research. 
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:

Information can be found at COCP (the Cornwall Online Census Project), 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.

REGISTERS:

For Parish Register information and other resources for St Stephen in Brannel, please see our online searchable database (C-PROP), which is updated frequently. The parish coverage page is here.

DIRECTORIES:

For information, see the Cornwall Towns & Parishes link on GenUKI or visit the University of Leicester's Historical Directory website.

OTHER:

Bastardy/Filiation Documents:

Many such documents also name local J.P.s, Churchwardens and / or Overseers of the Poor.

  1. dated 10 Sep 1737, naming James HARRIS, Thomas ROBERTS and John PARSONS of this parish.
  2. dated 11 Jun 1795, naming Stephen MAYNARD and John MAYNARD of this parish.
  3. dated 22 Sep 1818, naming Francis and John HONEY of this Parish.

Indentures and Other Legal Documents:

  1. An Indenture, dated 4 Nov 1773, naming Thomas TRUSCOTT of this parish.

Manorial Documents:

  1722, Manor of Trenowth/Trenoweth  

Memorial Inscriptions:

Parish Church Graveyard
  Images are available from the OPC, please quote the reference number given in the Notes column.

Photographs & Maps:

Many photographs are held by the Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum (and copies by the China Clay History Society), not only those related to that industry. John Evans has offered to search them for any of specific families and locations, and electronic copies would be supplied free of charge. Two examples are given below (click thumbnails to enlarge).

A large number of old O.S. Maps of many areas of Cornwall (various scales) are also available, the index is here. For the maps, please keep to the Crown Copyright as explained on the Ordnance Survey website.

   
  Blacksmith's Shop at Terras,
1878-1910 run by John Yelland
Chapel Road, St Stephen.
Albina Jenkin (X), Julia Nancorrow (far right), Morley Olds (small boy),
Irene Minnear of Meledor, Church organist (6 from right)
 
 
© Wheal Martyn & China Clay History Society

School Admissions:

  1908 on, Infant School 1906 - 1922, Churchtown School*
  1878 - 1906, Churchtown School 1878 - 1925, High Street School*
    * later look-ups available from John Evans

Settlement Papers:

  5 May 1704, Isaac Morten & family (& St Breock) 2 Dec 1799, Mary KNIGHT (& Probus)
  23 Apr 1728, Francis TRUSCOTT & family (& St Breock) 18 Jul 1826, William TRUSCOTT (& St Breock)
  7 Jun 1748, William & Bridgett BEER & family 2 Jan 1827, Robert PELANRICK & family (& Perranarworthal)
  22 Nov 1756, Mary WHETTER & children (& Probus) 6 Jan 1829, Ann HAWKE (& Luxulyan)

Vaccination Records:

  From the second half of the 19th Century

Voters Lists:

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

Wills:

11 May 1610, Wylliam STOATTE 23 Nov 1701, Joanna HOOPER
  2 Jun 1613, Johane TRENOWTH(E) 23 Oct1731, John WISE
22 Jul 1615, John WHITEFORDE 31 Oct 1741, Isabell HICKS
  27 Jan 1616, William BRAYE 11 Nov 1743, James NANKIVELL
  19 Jun 1621, Jone WHITFORDE 21 Jun 1745, Thomas STICK, proved 1753
  4 Feb 1623, Dorothie WHITEFORD(E) 17 Mar 1745, Joseph ROWE
  22 Apr 1650, Hugh WITHELL, proved 1657 5 Mar 1746, John HARRIS
  20 Feb 1653, Henry WARDE 14 Aug 1746, William LARK(E)
  30 May 1654, Francis LULY 17 Aug 1747, Francis ARTHUR
  13 Jul 1655, Richard EDWARDS 18 Jan 1748, Edward COAD
  25 Mar 1656, Jane KIMOLD 20 Nov 1748, William BENNETTA
  22 Nov 1656, Florence WARD 30 Apr 1751, Joseph HICKS/HICKES
  17 Mar 1658, Francis NANKEVILL/NANKEVELL 17 May 1751, Mary COAD
  13 May 1659, John JAMES senior 26 May 1790, Peter BODY
  13 Jul 1659, Henry NICHOLAS 22 Apr 1803, John HOOPER
  19 Jan 1686, Antony VIAN (intestate) 26 Apr 1805, Benjamin HOOPER
  26 Mar 1694, Lewis TRETHEWY 6 Jan 1817, William BODY
  27 Jul 1696, Joanna TRETHEWY 22 May 1824, John HOOPER
  22 Nov 1698, John HOOPER (intestate) 13 Jun 1851, Richard HOOPER

Other Probate material abstracts can be found on the VCH website, 1660-1772 & 1773-1857.

For further 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 St Stephen in Brannel 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.

WAR MEMORIAL:

At Nanpean
Click thumbnails to enlarge

© John Evans

ADJACENT PARISHES:

Ladock, St Enoder, St Dennis, Roche, St Austell, St Mewan, St Ewe, Creed and Probus.

ONLINE BOOKS:

  1. St Stephen in Brannel is included in The Parochial History of Cornwall, Volume III by Davies Gilbert, William Hals, Thomas Tonkin, Henry Samuel Boase, originally published in 1838 (page 448). Also downloadable as a pdf from here.
  2. Phillimore's Marriages Vol X transcripts including St Stephen in Brannel (transcribed and in our database)