St Agnes 1889
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Kelly’s Directory of Cornwall 1889

ST AGNES (pronounced by its inhabitants with the g silent, so as to distinguish it from St Agnes, one of the Scilly Isles) was formerly called Breanick and is a large parish and market town, bounded on the north and west by the sea, 8 miles north-west from Truro, 6 1/2 east-by-north from Redruth and 4 north-west from Chacewater station on the West Cornwall section of the Great Western railway.

The parish is in the North Western division of the county, hundred of Pyder, petty sessional division of Powder West, Truro union and county court district, rural deanery of Powder, archeaconry of Cornwall and diocese of Truro.

There once existed a chapel at Chapel Porth, near the sea shore. The church of St Agnes is a building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave of four bays, aisles, south porch and a tower, with a finely tapering spire, containing six bells: there is a memorial window to John James Halls BA FRCS who died in 1860, two other windows are also stained: the church was rebuilt under the direction of Mr. Wm. White, architect: there are 500 sittings: in the churchyard is a massive cross with irregularly shaped head, 5 feet high and about 2 feet wide.

The register of baptisms dates from the year 1601: marriages 1741: burials, 1726. The living is a vicarage, average tithe rent-charge £221, net yearly value £230, with residence and ½ acre of glebe, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Truro, and held since 1887 by the Rev. Alfred Rudall MA of Wadham College, Oxford.

There are Catholic, Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist and Bible Christian chapels.

A Cemetery of 2 acres was formed in 1876 at a cost of £900, including two mortuary chapels; it is under the control of a Burial Board of nine members.

Nicholas Kent, of Mingoose, by his will, bearing date 1688, gave, for the term of 499 years, a dwelling-house, divided into four tenements, and a garden for poor widows of this parish; the property having become ruinous, its site now let for pasturage.

In 1632 an attempt was made to form harbour at Trevaunance (now called Trevaunance Quay), and after repeated failures the effort was resumed in 1710 by the Tonkin family, who were so far successful that this work remained nearly a century, when some portions having become decayed, a new pier of moor-stone was erected in 1794 by a company at a cost of £10,000; considerable trade is carried on with Ireland and Wales. A pilchard fishery has been established here, but has not proved very profitable.

A Board of Trade Rocket Apparatus is kept here, and there is a Coastguard officer in charge, with four men.

A weekly market is held in the town on Thursday for the sale of all sorts of wares.

At Trevaunance are clay works. This town and parish are mainly dependant on tin-mining. The following mines are at present working;-

The West Kitty Mine, employing 120 persons; this mine is by far the most prosperous in the district; during the last seven years it has distributed in dividends to its shareholders nearly £60,000, and in the year 1888 the dividends amounted to £10,500; The Blue Hills Tin Mine, about 50 persons:

The East Blue Hills Tin Mine, about 50 persons; and

The Wheal Trevaunance United Tin Mine.

On the 3rd February, 1830, a fearful accident occurred at the United Hills Mine, in this parish, by the bursting of the engine boiler; out of thirteen persons on the premises at the time, nine were killed on the spot, or died shortly afterwards.

The Odd fellows’ Hall is a building of stone, erected at a cost of £600, and opened in 1882; it is also used for public entertainments; secretary J T Rillstone.

There is also a Mechanics’ Institute.

John Opie ARA, the celebrated painter, was born at Harmony Cottage, in this parish, in May, 1761; he was the son of a carpenter, but his genius for painting became known to Dr. Wolcot (Peter Pindar), who was so highly gratified with his juvenile attainments in the art, that he provided instruction for him and afterwards took him to London, where he much distinguished himself as an artist; he also possessed great literary ability, and was the author of the ‘Life of Reynolds’ published Dr Wolcot’s edition of ‘Pilkington’s Dictionary’; he afterwards published a letter in a daily paper ‘ The True Briton’ entitled ‘An Enquiry into the Requisite Cultivation of the Arts of Design in England’ in which he proposed a distinct plan for the formation of a National Gallery of pictures : he afterwards was elected professor of painting at the Royal Academy: died 9th April 1807, and was buried in St Paul’s Cathedral.

St Agnes Beacon is a lofty hill of singular geological character, rising pyramidally nearly 600 feet above the level of the sea, and commanding extensive views; on the summit are three barrows; Borlase particularly describes the extraordinary stratification of this hill, as deserving the attention of the geologists. In a large entrenchment, called the Gorres, a golden coin of Valentinian was ploughed up.

Off the coasts are the Boden Rocks, also called the Cow and Calf or Man and His Man.

Trevaunance was formerly the property and residence of Thomas Tonkin esq. The annotator in 1811 of Carew’s Survey of Cornwall and author of the parochial history of the county.

The rights of the manors of Tywarnhale and Mithian was vested in Joshua Sydney Davey esq. JP of Bochym, Cury, and John Charles Williams esq. Of Caerhayes Castle; those of the manor of Goonlaze in the representative of the last Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, J S Davey esq, and JC Williams esq.

That of Trevaunance in Major-General John Jago-Trelawny JP of Coldrenick, Menheniot and others.

The soil is clay: subsoil spar and killas. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. The parish comprises 5419 acres of which 60 are water: rateable value £10,901 and the population in 1881 was 2585 attached to the mother church; the remaining population of the parish is in the ecclesiastical parishes of Mithian and Mount Hawke, which are given separately.

BLACKWATER is a village 3 miles south-east, in the ecclesiastical parish of Mithian, on the road between Redruth and St Columb. Here the four hundreds of Powder, Pyder, Penwith and Kirrier meet.

POST M.O. & T.O. & S.B. Church town – Miss Susan Stribley, sub-postmistress. Letters through Scorrier R.S.O. arrive from London at 9 a.m. & are despatched thereto at 3.45 p.m. per messenger. Letters for the North are dispatched at 5.35 a.m : arrive at 7.5 p.m.

WALL POST BOX at Peterville, cleared at 2.15 p.m. ; Sundays 11.55 a.m.

INSURANCE AGENTS :-

Commercial Union, W.L. Geach

North British & Mercantile, T. Powning

Northern, W.L. Geach & W.A. Bennett

Royal Exchange, G.C. Hancock

Sun Fire, W.S. Hooper

COASTGUARD STATION :- Joseph Willcocks, officer in charge

PUBLIC OFFICERS :-

Clerk to the Burial Board, George Coulter Hancock, Coulterville

Medical Officer to St Agnes District of the Truro Union, William Whitworth, Church town

Rate Collector, Richard Stephens, Mingoose

Registrar of Births & Deaths for St Agnes Sub-district, Isaac Rowse, Rosemundy

SCHOOLS :-

A Sunday School belonging to the church has recently been built, at a cost of £600, to hold 120 scholars

A School Board of 7 members was formed February 7, 1871 ; George Coulter Hancock, clerk to the board ; Thomas Sleeman, attendance officer

Board School (Mixed), built in 1872 for 400 children ; average attendance, 71 boys, 57 girls, & 65 infants ; John Endey, master ; Mrs Annie Harris, mistress ; Mrs Elizabeth Lockett, infants mistress

CARRIERS TO :-

TRURO – Stribley & Hancock, from the Church town, mon, wed, & sat ; returning same days

REDRUTH – Stribley & Hancock, fri

Private Residents

Cameron, William Booth Joseph Price

 

Stephen’s Cottages, Beacon

Carne, William Naylor

 

Rosemundy

Davies, Rev. William Rhode

[Wesleyan]

 

Geach, W Littleton

 

Goonlaze House

Hitchins, John

 

Quay

Icely, Rev. Frank BA

[curate]

 

James, Mrs

 

Vicarage

James, Robert

 

Wheal Butson

Martin, Thomas

 

Elm Villa

Opie, Thomas Frezise

 

Harmony Cottage

Rudall, Rev. Alfred MA

[vicar]

 

Twite, Charles RGS, FGS

 

Castle House

Whitworth, Miss Kate

 

Church town

Whitworth, William

 

Church town

Commercial

Argall, Samuel

Boot maker

Peterville

Billina, George

Photographer

Water Lane

Bennetts, Samuel

Mine manager

Trevaunance Cottage

Bice, William

Farmer

Beacon

Blight, Thomas

Farmer

Goombells

Blackney, Sarah (Mrs)

Shopkr.

Vicarage

Blue Hills Tin Mine (Blue Hills Mining Co.) (Samuel Bennetts, chief agent)

   

Bryant, Nicholas

Gen. Agent

Beacon Cot

Butson, William

Farmer

Goonown

Cemetery (G.C. Hancock, clerk to the burial board),

 

Coulterville

Chynoweth, Benj.

Clay mercht.

Bolster

Coast Guard Station (Joseph Willcocks, officer in charge

   

Cock, John

Farmer

Banns

Courtis, John

Ironmonger

Church twn

Cowling, James

Farmer

Goonvrea

Dadow, Jonathan

Shopkeeper

Vicarage

Dale, Henry

Farmer

Goonvrea

Davies, Richard

Grocer

Church town

East Blue Hills Tin Mine (East Blue Hills Mining Co.) (Walter Pike, purser; Samuel Bennetts, manager; William Kent Michell, chief agent

   

Geach, William

Slctr. [solicitor?]

Goonlaze House

Gill, John

Shoe maker

Vicarage

Gill, Mary (Mrs)

Shop keeper

Vicarage

Goyne, James

Farmer

Goonvrea

Grigg, William Isaac

Farmer

Cross Coombe

Gripe, Arthur

Grocer

Church town

Hancock, George Coulter

Clerk to the burial and school boards

Coulterville

Hancock, Joseph

Van prop.

Peterville

Hancock, Richard

Plume of Feather P.H.

Church town

Hancock, Thomas

Smiths’ Arms P.H.

Vicarage

Harris, Christopher

Farm bailiff to Mr Hitchins

Pressingole

Harris, Francis

Farmer

Banns

Harris, Mary Ann (Mrs)

Shopkeeper

Vicarage

Harvey, Edward

Saddler

Vicarage

Henwood, Richard

Shoe maker

Vicarage

Hitchins, John

Overseer, shipowner & general merchant

Quay

Hoskins, Nicholas

The Hotel

 

Jeffery, Edward

Farmer

Ivy Chimney

Jeffery, Jane (Mrs)

Shopkpr.

Goonvrea

Jenkin, Henry

Peterville Inn

Peterville

King, Richard

Carpenter

Vicarage

Letcher, Jas. & Son

Grocers

Peterville

Letcher, John

Farmer

Wheal Butson

Letcher, Walter

Watch ma.

Church twn.

Lockett, Thomas

Stove maker

Peterville

Miners’ & Mechanics’ Literary Institution (C Twite esq. FRGS FGS pres. ; W Whitworth MRCS hon. Sec.)

   

Mitchell, Wm.

Farmer

Trevellas house

Nankivell, Thomas

Carpenter

Peterville

Oates, Mark

Shopkeeper

Vicarage

Odd Fellows’ Hall (J T Rillston, sec)

   

Opie & Sons

Grocers & ironmongers

 

Paull, John

Paull’s Hotel

Church town

Peters, Francis

Farmer

Beacon

Peters, William

Farmer

Beacon

Polberro Tin Mine Co. (J B Reynolds, sec. ; William Vivian, manager)

   

Prout, John

Lodging house : first-class apartments at moderate charges

Vicarage Road

Repper, Edward

Golden Lion P.H.

 

Reynolds, John

Shopkeeper

Vicarage

Reynolds, John, jun.

Painter

Vicarage

Richards, Henry

Farmer

Gover

Rilstone, Richard

Tailor

Vicarage

Roberts, Joseph

Victoria P.H.

Peterville

Rogers, John

Farmer

Higher Bal

Rowe, Rachel (Mrs)

Grocer, haberdasher & draper

Church town

Rowse, Isaac

Farmer & registrar of births & deaths for St Agnes sub-district

Rosemundy

Rowe, Edward

Farmer

Goonvrea

Sandoe, James

Tailor

Church town

Stephens, Richd.

Rate collector

Mingoose

Stephens, Thos.

Clay dealer

Rosemundy

Stone, W.H.

Grocer & draper

Church twn.

Stribley, Anna (Miss)

Milliner

Vicarage

Stribley, Henry

Carrier

Vicarage

Stribley, Susan (Miss)

Shopkpr.

Vicarage

Symons, John

Builder

Blackwater

Symons, William

Farmer

Blackwater

Thomas, Hy.

Boot maker

Church town

Tiddy, Martin

Farmer

Presingole

Tonkin, James

Farmer

Towan

 

   
Last update 1st May 2007