The following description is quoted from [Hals 1750] and must be read in the context of about 1730 when it was written. The extract is taken from [Polsue 1868]. Other extracts are available online.

Gulval is situate in the hundred of Penwith, and hath upon the north Ludgvan, south the Mount’s Bay, west Madron, east St. Hilary.

In the time of William the Conqueror’s survey of lands, anno Dom. 1087, this parish I suppose, passed in tax under the jurisdiction of Ludgvan. In the Inquisition and Taxation of Benefices in Cornwall, by the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294. Ecclesia de Lanesely, in decanatu de Penwith, appropriata priori Sancti Germrmi, is valued lxvis. viiid. Vicar ibidem, xxs. At which time, it seems, it was but a Vicarage church; the garb impropriated, though since restored. Neither was the name of Gulval then mentioned. However in Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, it is rated by the name of Gulval, also Lanesely, £6 11 0½. The patronage was formerly in the Prior of St. Germans now in the crown. The incumbent Penhellick ; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, by the name of Gulval, £120.

This manor of Laneseley, in this parish, was, in the time of Richard I. and King John, the lands of the family surnamed DeAls, now Hals, so called from the barton and dismantled manor of Als now Alse and Alesa, in Buryan, as tradition saith, or Beer Alseton, Alston, in Devon, in Possession Of Trevanion and others, whereof they were lords; and in particular William de Als, in the beginning of the reign of King Henry III. that married Mary, the daughter of Francis de Bray, was possessed thereof: father of Simon de Alls, who lived at Halsham, in Yorkshire (from him denominated), that married Jane, daughter of Thomas de Campo Arnulpho (now Champernown), Sheriff of York second, third, sixth, and seventh years of King Henry III. Anno Dom. 1222, as appears from the catalogue of those Sheriffs, and the Hals’s allowed pedigree, 1483; from which also it is manifest by an authentic deed or record therein, yet legible, that, the said Simon for the health and salvation of his soul his wife’s, his ancestors’, and other relations’, gave the said manor of Lanesely to the Prior of St. Germans, his canonical brothers, and their successors for ever, in these words.

In nomine Domini, &c. Ego Simon de Als, pro salute animæ meæ et Janæ uxoris meæ, et parentum meorum, dono et concedo manerium de Laneseley, in comitatu Cornubiæ, Priori Saneti Germani, et fratibus canonicis, et successoribus eorum, cum dominicis redditibus &c., et omnibus ibidem appendentibus, terra sylva, pratos, et aquam, &c. ut habeant, teneant, et possidennt in perpetuum, &c.; dat vicesimo sexto die Augusti, anno regni nostri Regis Henrici tertii post conquestum octavo. Hiis testibuss Thoma de Tracye, Henrico de la Pombre, Reginaldo de Valtorta, Roberto de Ciheni, Radolpho de Esse. This grant, or donation, was in the year 1266.

By virtue whereof the Prior of S. Germans and his successors were possessed of this manor from that till the 26th Henry VIII. 1536, when that priory was dissolved, and the lands thereof vested in the crown. At which time King Henry VIII. gave the lands thereof to Champernown, Beaumont, Barry, and others: and Beaumont’s and Barry’s share fell this manor of Laneseley; who parted with it, either by purchase or in marriage with his daughter to John Tripcony about the year 1565, whose son, John Tripcony, having by riot and excess comparatively wasted his father’s paternal estate, mortgaged this manor of Laneseley to Sir Nicholas Hals, of Fentongollan, knight about the Year 1620, who was lineally descended from Simon de Als, aforesaid and died seised thereof about year 1637. After his decease his unthrifty son and heir John Hals, became possessed thereof, who assigned the mortgage thereof for £500 to one Mr. Downes, A.D. 1655; and soon after, having spent his whole paternal estate elsewhere, went beyond the seas, and was never since heard of to this day; leaving issue by Jane Arundel his wife, Major Thomas Hals, of Hals’s Savana, in Clarendon parish and province, in Jamaica, who had issue Thomas Hals, Esq., his son and heir.

After the departure of the said John Hals beyond the seas, the said Mr. Downes assigned over the mortgage of the premises to one Mr. Collwell, a scrivener of London; who dying soon after, his son Thomas Collwell, became seised thereof; and after his death his widow, who by her last will and testament (as executrix of her said husband,) conveyed the said manor to Charles Bonython, Esq,—Spur, Longeville, and others, in trust, now in possession thereof, 1700; before which time, between the said Downes and Collwell, on pretence of the equity of redemption reserved in Downes, John Hals being beyond the seas, and that the mortgage money to Collwell was satisfied out of the profits of these lands; and a cross bill of Collwell’s against Downes, alleging the contrary, and to forclose him; happened so many tedious and costly Chancery suits as comparatively undid them both. But, maugre all their endeavours, the old titles of Tripcony and Hals were foreclosed by a decree in Chancery, betwixt Downes and Collwell, in Hillary term 1689, yet extant and to be seen.

This manor of Lanesely, for goodness of land, jurisdiction, court leet, fishing craft, and royalties over all that part of the sea of the Mount’s Bay, between Longbridge and Chiandower, near Penzance, may equal, if not surpass, any other manor in those parts of its value, which is now scarcely worth £300 per annum, though in former ages it was of far larger extent; for in the survey of Cornish acres temporo Edward II. it was numbered in the Exchequer to contain twenty-eight acres, that is, about six thousand statute acres; every ancient Cornish acre being sixty statute acres of land; the contents of the whole now not exceeding a thousand statute acres, which lies in Gulvel and Ludgvan.

In Fosses Moor, part of this manor of Lanesely, in this parish, is that well-known fountain called Gulval Well. To which place great numbers of people, time out of mind, have resorted for pleasure and profit of their health, as the credulous country people do in these days, not only to drink the waters thereof, but to enquire after the life or death of their absent friends; where, being arrived they demanded the question at the well, whether such a person, by name, be living, in health, sick, or dead; if the party be living, and in health, the still quiet water of the well-pit, as soon as the question is demanded, will instantly bubble or boil up as a pot, clear christaline water; if sick, foul and puddle waters; if the party be dead it will neither bubble, boil up, or alter its colour or still motion. However, I can speak nothing of the truth of those supernatural facts from my own sight or experience, hut write from the mouths of those who told me they had seen and proved the veracity thereof. Finally, it is a strong and courageous fountain of water, kept neat and clean by an old woman of the vicinity, to accommodate strangers for her own advantage, by blazing the virtues and divine qualities of those waters.

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