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
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
|Last update 1st May 2007|