CORNWALL ONLINE PARISH CLERKS - helping bring the past alive
The parish of
History of Cornwall tells us that the parish of Tywardreath is situated in the deanery and hundred of Powder. The boundaries of the parish are set in the north by those of Luxulyan and Lanlivery, in the east by St Sampson and Fowey, in the south by the sea in St Austell Bay [Tywardreath Bay as it was once called] and in the west by St Blazey. The descriptions provided by the Superintendent Registrar for the District of St Austell at each census as a guide for enumerators is of great assistance in establishing the boundaries of the civil parish.
The Manor of Tiwardrai is identified in the Domesday Book with 34 households and 170 people but the area was inhabited long before that. There have been Bronze Age finds in the parish and the Iron Age fort at Castle Dore was established in 200 BC. In 1801 the parish contained a population of 727 and in the tythe survey of 1840 it was of 3252 acres by measurement.
The pretty village of Tywardreath lies on the Pilgrim’s Way and was traversed by many a cowled figure on his way to take ship at Fowey for the holy shrines at Santiago de Compostella, Rome and the Holy Land.
The parish church is dedicated to St Andrew and was consecrated by David Mageraghty, Archbishop of Armagh on July 30th 1347. The tower was added in 1480. Until the dire deeds of King Henry VIII, situated on the southern edge of the village and next to the churchyard was the Benedictine priory of St Andrew founded by the Cardinham family. It was subservient to the abbey of St Sergius and St Bacchus at Angers in Normandy. It was mentioned in official records as early as July 27 th 1261, and controlled land and estates throughout Cornwall for centuries.
Until 1849, the ecclesiastical parish included the villages of Tywardreath, Par and Polkerris and also the hamlets of Tywardreath Highway, Polmear, Middleway Bridge, Kilhallon, Lanescott and Chapel Down. In that year the parish of Par was formed, with its parish church situated at St Blazey Gate just to confuse things. The civil parish right up to and including the 1901 census contained the pre 1849 ecclesiastical parish though the civil registration district for births, marriages and deaths and formed in 1837, doesn’t include Polkerris which is in Fowey.
The considerable growth in population of the parish in the 1800s was as a result of the expansion in mining in the area. Employment rose rapidly at the Fowey Consols Copper Mine, formed by Joseph Austin Treffry in 1822. These mines included many of the old mines in the immediate area and later including the smaller Lanescot Copper Mine. In his History of Copper Mining in Cornwall & Devon, D B Barton tells us that the combined output of the two mines between 1822 and 1867 output was 382,915 tons, second only in the county to Gwennap. The large population increase seen in the Census for 1841 through 1861 reached 3379 at its zenith. Equally, the failure of the mines in 1867 resulted in a rapid decline and the mass migration to both other mines up country and, of course, abroad.
Today there is little sign of the old mines and the land quickly reverted to the beautiful pastoral scene it is today. Farms are relatively small as they always have been and are mainly concerned in the dairy industry.
Information can be found at COCP (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 alternate resources.
I am well advanced in transcribing all available registers for the parish from their start in 1608. Please contact me for information. or visit our online searchable database (C-PROP) which is updated frequently and GenUKI. The C-PROP parish coverage page is here.
Directories and many other books are available to me; please feel free to contact me. For further information, see the University of Leicester's Historical Directories website.
Once again, I have a fairly well stocked library of books on the parish and local area, mostly of an historical nature and several books of old photos and post cards. In addition, I have taken many digital photos in and around the parish that might help give a sense of the parish and its surroundings. I’m prepared to take photos for people and deliver them electronically as an attachment to e mail but cannot guarantee this will be an instant response!
To view a Bastardy Bond, dated 21 Feb 1776 and naming Richard Rosevear of this parish, click here.
Documents mentioning several parishes, including Tywardreath, can be found here.
For further information regarding history, population, etc., visit GenUKI.
For a Parish Locator map, please click here. Tywardreath can be located at coordinates H - 4.
For further map information, please visit GenUKI (Genealogy - United Kingdom & Ireland).