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The parish of Mawnan is situated in the deanery and hundred of Kerrier. It is bounded on the north by Budock, to the east lies the sea, and to the south and west lie the Helford Creek and Constantine. The name means Church of St Maunan. St Maunan was an Irish Bishop, who was of the habit of cursing people who opposed him. He sought absolution for St Maelruain, the abbot of Tallaght (modern-day Wicklow) and upon refusal , he said 'Mark my words, the days will come when girls speak impertinently, when there will be grumbling among the lower classes and lack of reverence for elders, when churches will be slackly attended and women shall exercise wiles'

Mawnan Smith Church

Mawnan Smith Church courtesy of Steve Beazley

The Parish is now known by its modern name of Mawnan Smith, due to the fact the smithy's shop was in the centre of the village. Villages in the parish are Mawnan Smith, Carlidnack and Bareppa. Two popular attractions in the area are Glendurgan and Trebah gardens. Glendurgan garden was built in the 1820's and 30's by the quaker Alfred Fox. It was given to the National Trust in 1962. Trebah was aquired in 1831 by the same Fox family who built Glendurgan. The gardens were created by Charles Fox and completed by his son in law, Edmund Backhouse, who was the MP for Darlington. The gardens became the property of the Hext family in 1907, but after the deaths of Charles Hawkins Hext and his wife Alice, the gardens fell into decline. The gardens have since undergone a great deal of restoration and were opened to the public in 1987. The gardens found use during World War II as the launching point for the assault on Omaha Beach in Normandy, launching from Polgwidden Beach at the foot of the gardens. Anybody with an interest in the paranormal might like to visit Mawnan Smith. Sightings of a large owl-like creature have been reported around Mawnan Old Church and the nearby woods since 1976 to as recently as 1995. The Owlman is described as being as tall as a man, with glowing red eyes and pincers instead of talons for feet. Apparently it makes a hissing noise and often appears to young girls. oo-er!!

Follow this link to my transcriptions of Mawnan Parish Records

DISCLAIMER: I, nor any other member of the Cornwall Online Parish Clerk Project (OPC's) are affiliated in any way, with any Parish Council, nor do we claim to be. If you are looking for Mawnan Parish Council or the Parish Clerk for Mawnan and not the Online Parish Clerk (me) please use the following link:


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