With the current boundaries the area is 4,355 acres. Since 1934 the civil parish has been incorporated into the parishes of Madron, Ludgvan and the Borough of Penzance [[Off Site]GENUKI 1997]. In 1868, Polsue had very similar figures and said “The parish comprises by actual measurement 4357A. 0R. 5P.” The population of Gulval was :-

Year Population Year Population Year Population
1801 1,076 1901 1,476
1811 1,224 1911 1,332
1821 1,353 1921 1,292
1831 1,467 1931 1,223 1992 1,165
1841 1,941 1993 1,215
1851 1,859 1994 1,195
1861 1,743 1995 1,215
1871 1,668 1996 1,155
1881 1,623 1981 770 1997 1,240
1891 1,476 1991 1,055 1998 1,290

The later figures were obtained from from the [Off Site]Country Socio-Economic Statistics of Gulval sub-parish.

Online Parish Clerk

A new (Jan 2001) initiative that has started in Cornwall is the [Off Site]Online Parish Clerk. One person is encouraged from the CORNISH-L or CORNISH-GEN-L mailing list to be the custodian of historical records, including transcripts of registers, for each parish and will supply extracts to researchers as they need them. This person may be geographically distant from the parish, but their heart will be there. Parish information


[Off Site]SOSKernow (friends of Cornwall) have a [Off Site]detailed history of Gulval church.

See also the general West Penwith Links.


facsimile extract from the book of Domesday
Domesday Book, folio 120d, chapter 2, paragraph 10 [James 1861].
Translation — [Archdeacon] Roland holds GULVAL [LANDICLE] from the Bishop; In the time of King Edward [before 1066] it paid tax for 1 hide [120 acres]; 1½ hides there however. Land for 12 ploughs [requiring, perhaps, 8 oxen each]; in lordship 1 plough; 3 slaves. 13 villagers and 4 smallholders with 3 ploughs. Meadow 2 acres, Pasture, 2 leagues long and 1 league wide. Value formerly and now £3. Exon Domesday adds that 1 virgate [30 acres] was held by the lord, 1 hide 3 virgates by the villagers and that there were “1 cob; 3 cows; 30 sheep”. The sum of the parts makes 2 hides so perhaps Exon overestimates the villagers share [Thorn 1979].

Lysons’ History & Topography—1814

The following description is lifted directly from [Lysons 1814]. It must be read in the context of that date.

Gulval, in the hundred and deanery of Penwith, lies about a mile north-east of Penzance, which is the post-office town, and about two and a half west from Marazion. The principal villages exclusively of the church-town, are Chyendower, Trevarrack, and Trezela.

The manor of Lanestley or Lanisley, which was formerly the name of the parish, belonged at an early period to the family of De Als, who took their name from the manor of Alsa or Als, in St. Buryan. Simon de Als gave it, in 1266, to the priory of St. Germans. King Henry VIII. granted it to Beaumont and Parry, from whom it passed to the family of Tripcony. About the year 1620, it became the property of Sir Nicholas Hals, ancestor to Mr. William Hals who wrote the parochial history of Cornwall [Hals 1750], and who describes himself as descended from the family of de Als before-mentioned. After some mortgages and sales, which became the subject of a suit in Chancery, it was purchased by the Onslow familys, and is now the joint property of Admiral Sir Richard Onslow, Bart., and his brother Dr. Onslow, Dean of Worcester.

Kenegie was formerly the seat of a family of that name: the heiress of the Kenegies married Tripcony, whose descendant resided at this place in the reigns of Henry VIII. and Queen Elizabeth. About the year 1600, Kenegie became the seat of a younger branch of the Harris’s, of Heyne in Devonshire, who on the extinction of the male line in the elder branch, removed to Heyne. Christopher Harris Esq. (who died in 1775) bequeathed this barton to William Arundell, Esq., of Menadarva, who took the name of Harris, and was grandfather of William Arundell Harris, Esq., of Lifton in Devonshire, the present proprietor. Kenegie is at present in the occupation of Rose Price, Esq. There is a plate of the house in Borlase’s Natural History [Borlase 1758]: from the terrace is a very fine view of Mount’s-bay.

In the parish-church is the monument of Arthur Harris, Esq., of Heyne, governor of Mount St. Michael, who died in 1628, with the other memorials of the Harris family. Joseph Beauchamp, Esq. is impropriator of the great tithes, which belonged formerly to the priory of St. Germans. The King is patron of the vicarage.

The superstitious notions relating to the spring called Gulfwell, or the Hebrew brook, in this parish, have been elsewhere spoken of.t

s Col. Onslow, a younger son of Foot Onslow, Esq., possessed it in 1737. (Tonkin. [Tonkin 1739])

t See p.ccii. [below]

In the neighbouring parish of Gulvall is a well much resorted to formerly, for similar purposes [to Madron well], particularly by those who wished to make enquiries after absent friends. “An old woman, ” says Hals, “attended to shew the well; before whom, on their approach, the question was to ba asked aloud. If the person enquired after was in health, the water was instantly to bubble; if sick, to be suddenly discoloured; and if dead, to remain in its natural state.” Dr. Borlase, who writes in 1749, speaks of this woman as then lately dead, and says that “she was supposed to be so conversant with the mysteries of the well, that she was daily resorted to by numbers of persons, who wished to consult its oracular waters, and have their curiosity satisfied, particularly as to goods or cattle lost or stolen.” We find on enquiry, that this superstition still keeps its ground, and that the spring is called Gulfwell, “the Hebrew brook.”

Additions and Corrections

Trevayler has been long in the family of Veale, and is now the property and residence of the Rev. William Veale, who has considerable property in the parish. George John, Esq. has much improved the scenery of this parish by large plantations on Rosmorran-Cairnef, and another of his estates called Trye in this parish.

f There are the remains of a Cromlech at this place, which is called in the neighbourhood, “the old burying-ground:” near which have been found a celt and some broken pottery.

Topographical Dictionary of England—1831

The following is from [Lewis 1831] and must be read in the context of that date.

GULVAL, a parish in the hundred of Penwith county of Cornwall, 1½ mile (N.E.) from Penzance, containing 1353 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconary of Cornwall, and diocese of Exeter, rated in the king’s books at £6. 11. 0½., and in the patronage of the Crown. The church is dedicated to St. Gulwal. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. A stream, called Dane river, from its passing under a bridge of that name, runs through the parish, in its course to Mount’s bay. Several tin mines have been worked in the northern part of the parish, but being in an exhausted state, they are now almost relinquished. At Rosemorren are the remains of a cromlech, near which several sculptured stones, earthern urns containing ashes, burnt bones, and ancient belt, &c., have been found. There is a spring called Gulfwell, or the Hebrew brook, which is held in great veneration by the superstitious.