Three interesting old Cornish communities
Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
241Trip End Mar 15, 2007
My first stop was in St. Gluvias, in Penryn. The GENUKI genealogy site tells me that "The parish church ... was dedicated to St Gluvias the Martyr. St Gluvias is said to have been the nephew of St Petroc. ... The church was dedicated on 25th July 1318. It comprises a cancel, nave, north and south aisles, extreme south aisle, north, south and west galleries, vestry and store-room. The roofs, which are semi-circular, and rest on molded cornices, are supported by three rows of tall Composite columns, which give the structure the appearance of some metropolitan churches. The tower is of three stages, is buttressed on the square, and is finished with battlements
It is an edifice of stone, and, with the exception of the tower, was rebuilt in the last century in a Modern Classic style. The register dates from the year 1645. It is a beautiful and well cared for church (I especially liked the bright red door) in a lovely setting by the river, with the bonus, for cat lovers of meeting brother James Archippus, the Church cat. I was most fortunate to find the rector, John Harris, and some of the congregation still in. They permitted me to go through the church and get a feeling for the place as my ancestors were married here and likely some were also baptized or buried from here as well. Not a lot of "old" stuff - some tablets and things but most is restored stuff. There are some bits of stone in the children's corner which look like they could have come from Glasny (the college destroyed in the 1500's I think) and apparently that's what they are. Nothing you can really identify though. And I did meet James the cat who appears in the background of one of my photos.
I took a spin down to the city (just down the hill and around the corner) but the museum was not open until later in the morning
I then headed on to Mylor and took these notes from the Mylor parish brochure: "The parish church is dedicated to St Melorus (or Milor, Melor). It goes back to the earliest days of Christianity in the British Isles when there were Christians in Roman Britain and it was probably there then that the Christian faith was first preached in Cornwall. Later Celtic missionaries arrived from Ireland and Wales. When the Roman Empire was breaking up, Britons from Cornwall emigrated across the Channel, giving their name and language to their new home, Brittany. Cornwall must have formed a trading crossroads between Brittany, Ireland and Wales. There followed a great missionary movement back to Britain and the estuary of the Fal was well situated for sea communication with Brittany, which is linked with most of the Saints of the Fal, including Saint Budock, Feock and Mawes
The Celtic Christians were great missionaries and seafarers. They spread across the West coast of Britain and Ireland and ranged to Iceland in one direction and northwest Spain in the other. Although the basic organization was monastic, there was little in common with the medieval monasteries. There would be a small circle of huts around a little church, from which the neighbourhood was evangelized by a faith characterized by tolerance, zeal and a love of beauty.
The roots of the building which now stands on the site go back to the Norman Church (1100 - 1299) and this was probably cruciform, dating back to the early part of the 12th century, consisting of the Cancel, Nave and N and S transepts. The foundations of an early S Transept corresponding to the N Transept were found in 1870. All that remains in the present fabric is: the lower part of the N Walls of the Chancel, N Transept and Nave: the carefully preserved doorway in its original position as the N Entrance to the Nave; the outer walls of the buttresses of the Tower, and the foundations of the wall and parts of the doorway of the W of the Tower. In the last part of the 13th century or the beginning of the 14th, possibly from 1260 - 1320, the Church was partly reconstructed and enlarged in the Late Decorated style and a small tower was built upon masses of masonry set against the inner sides of the Norman walls supporting the W gable of the Nave. The builders of the 15th century, from 1420 - 1500 destroyed the S
I had a lovely wander 'round the church and graveyard, noting a phone number to call for gravestone records or memorials. I called the gentleman in question and he gave me directions to Mylor Bridge and where he lived (half way up Passage hill past the Lemon Tree Pub, which I missed last night). I went to see him and he did not have any record of Creases buried or worshipping at St. Mylor. He suggested they may have in either diocesan records or at the record office in Truro (Cornwall Record Office) or Redruth (The Cornwall Centre - they have many books, journals, newsletters, photographs, newspapers, censuses and other records)
I then headed in to Flushing to see if I could locate the building relating to my ancestor. As I was racing around Flushing, it was getting very, very hot. Initially I thought I had identified the buildings as places above St. Peter's Church; however, a resident of them corrected me indicating that these were built later and all the land from below the church to Tregew was in fields until about the 1820s. The "New Road" in 1789 would have been the road from the quay to below the area of the church. I spoke to a gentleman putting up a notice on the notice board at the church and he referred me to someone else (and gave me directions) saying she may have more information as she does history of Flushing
She was a bit hesitant about talking to me at first however, after I mentioned the family names, churches, occupations and buildings, she brightened up and told me I would not likely find much in the church records. She has come across the name before but can not lay hands on them, neither has she the time now. She suggests going another route, seeing if I can get my hands on records relating to packet captains, Pellews, or see if the modern Trefusis' has any information. She said that the records of the Estate burned for the period I am looking for and it will be a hard go to find anything but she thinks there is something there. She thinks particularly there may be something about the places built and that I should try going back into the records of Tregew. She says that her house is one of those built about that time and the records go 'way back as do the depth of the houses.
She pointed out the house across the street saying that although they look like two level houses, in fact they are three and the street has just built up over time. Even in her house the cellar goes 'way down and 'way back - like the description of the building I have says. She also mentioned something about "Row, Rowe, or Rolle" records and referred me to other books and things written on the Packet Captains. A packet ship is a vessel employed to carry Post Office mail packets to and from British colonies and outposts. The captains were generally also able to carry bullion, private goods, and passengers. The ships were usually lightly armed and relied on speed for their security. I think this may mean they were able to take part in privateering efforts as long as this did not interfere with their main job to carry the mail. I brought out the book I'd bought at St
I thanked her and headed back up the hill snapping pictures of a number of the houses on St. Peter's Terrace (these, she tells me, are likely the ones referred to) as I went. I noticed that while they are all different, they all seem to have a lot of garden space at the back. In fact, I think the Royal Standard, where I ate dinner last night may have been number 1 on the road.
I am clearly going to have to come back to Flushing to try to follow up all the references to Crease as a possible Packet Captain.
I got into Truro about 2 in the afternoon and settled down with the baptismal registers for St. Mylor and St. Gluvias. Much to my dismay they were almost unreadable. When I tried the bishop's transcripts, they were missing for those years - both types of them. What I did find was record in the Bishop's Transcripts of the Crease ancestor who moved to Virginia as Church Warden 1802 to 1807 at Mylor, which was where we expected I'd find him. The records office told me I need to get yet other bishops records from Plymouth. Sigh - I'd just been there the other day.
I then had a very warm drive back to Julia's. After all my spinning about between the various communities today, I feel I may just have learned how to navigate in England. I don't seem to be making as many wrong turns or misunderstanding directions. It seems more natural somehow. About time, hey, only took me about two and a half months.