The parish of
is located on the North coast of Cornwall, near Padstow. Originally part of the St. Columb Registration District, it is now in the Bodmin District. Principal places of residence are St Merryn Shop, Constantine, Treyarnon, Porthcothan and Harlyn. There are several hamlets, namely Trevear, Trevorrick, Towan, Porthcothan Mill, Trethias and Carnevas.
The Church has been rebuilt and restored throughout the centuries, but traces of the older churches remain. The earliest recorded Vicar was in 1259. The entrance today is through the North Porch, and the Church is well cared for, as is the attached burial ground. Across the road is "The Cornish Arms", which was the Old Vicarage, and a few cottages in Churchtown.
About one mile to the southwest of St Merryn village are the ruins of St Constantine church. They consist of a portion of the tower, with its doorway, and other fragments; no gravestones or other monuments exist. There was also a Wesleyan Methodist chapel at The Cottages and a Bible Christian chapel at Trehemborne.
This is mainly a farming parish and there are some 17 farms, many of which have been farmed by the same families for generations. These days there is diversification into bed & breakfast, caravan sites and other tourist attractions on many of them. There is also a maritime association in the parish, as it contains Trevose Lighthouse, built in 1847. The lighthouse men were to be found in the censuses in 1851, 61, 71 and 81. There are also World War II military graves in the Church Cemetery.
|A 'Mangel Cave' at Porthcothan
Root vegetable, similar to turnips, used mainly for animal fodder
© the Malcolm McCarthy Collection
|Seaweed Pickers at Porthcothan c. 1890
probably collecting for the Andrews family of Trevethan Farm
© the Malcolm McCarthy Collection
The Online Parish Clerk (Genealogy) for St Merryn is Tim Johnson, 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.
Many have been transcribed and are in our database, see the parish coverage page. To search for records, please see our searchable database (C-PROP) which is updated frequently.
See the University of Leicester's website of Historical Directories.
- 21 Apr 1764, William DENNIS
- A list of Vicars from 1688 to 1887
- 27 Dec 1662, transcription of a pre-nuptial agreement, relating to the marriage of Martin LIVERTON & Jane MAYE
- An 18th Century Charm/Spell prepared for Thamson LEVERTON.
- St Merryn School Admissions Register
- 1823-1825, Sunday School lists
- For an account book, apparently kept by William PETER, with dates ranging from the late 1700s to approx. 1849, click here. Many local residents are named.
- A letter concerning non-payment of tithes, dated 28 Apr 1843 and signed T. H. PETER.
- To view a transcription of a bankruptcy indenture, dated 2 Apr 1898, involving James PARKYN of St Merryn, click here.
- There are also indentures involving people from St Merryn amongst those for multiple parishes linking from here.
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 Merryn 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.
St Eval, St Ervan and Padstow.
With a Pasty in my Pocket by Jack Ingrey and Malcolm McCarthy. ISBN-10: 0954991346. ISBN-13: 978-0954991340.
- St Merryn is included in The Parochial History of Cornwall, Volume III by Davies Gilbert, William Hals, Thomas Tonkin, Henry Samuel Boase, originally published in 1838. Also downloadable as a pdf from here. The relevant pages can be found under the old spelling of St Merran.
- Phillimore's Marriages Vol IV transcripts including St Merryn (transcribed and in our database)