St Kew Parish, North Cornwall

This is a quiet agricultural Parish. The soil contains many necessary trace mineral elements which makes for successful farming. The several fine houses in the Parish - Pengenna, Bokelly, Trewane and Tretawn, reveal a prosperous past.

In all, the Parish has some 6,500 acres and the population is around 1,200. It has a long recorded history, starting in the 7th century when monks from Wales arrived and discovered an established monastery, thought to have been founded in the 5th century by St Docco. The precise position of this community, named Lanhedoc, is uncertain. There is a farm called Lanow, the name of the Parish in the Domesday Book, about half a mile from the Church, which could have been the site. Alternatively, there is support for it having been on the site of the present Church where, until the 18th century, there was an additional Chapel. Others have suggested it might have been in the grounds of Trewane, near Trelill, or along the northern boundary near St Endellion Church.

The Parish Church is an impressive 15th Century building, reflecting the prosperity of the inhabitants who supported it. Its windows contain some of the best medieval stained glass in Cornwall. It is thought that they had been brought from Bodmin when St Petrocs Church was modernised in 1469.

The vicarage in St Kew Churchtown is a handsome Georgian house, built by Rev. Scobell in the early years of the 19th century. There is now a united benefice with St Endellion and Port Isaac, and the old vicarage is a private house.

The Parish contains a number of scattered hamlets; Trelill, Trequite, Tregillist, Chapel Amble and Pendoggett. The largest now is St Kew Highway, or Highway St Kew, as it used to be known.

James Godden, from the book “The Parish of St Kew North Cornwall”, by Mary Fellgett & James Godden.

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© St Kew Parish Council 2009 - 2015, Photography by Kim Appleby

Page updated 17 September, 2020