St Merryn: before the tourists arrived

Situated in the north coast of mid-Cornwall, St Merryn is now part of Cornwall’s supposed honeypot tourism periphery, with a high number of second homes and holiday cottages. As much as 60-70 per cent of the housing stock in the coastal areas of the parish had no permanent resident in 2011. We’re still waiting for … Continue reading St Merryn: before the tourists arrived

St Mellion: trees, wooden and family

St Mellion near the Tamar in south-east Cornwall is now home to an Australian-owned up-market golf resort with its hundreds of holiday lodges and periodic controversial planning disputes. In the 1800s it would have been much less manicured. It’s another in what sometimes feels like an endless run of smallish rural parishes that were mainly … Continue reading St Mellion: trees, wooden and family

St Martin in Meneage: the state of agriculture in the ‘Great Depression’

As we saw in the previous blog, farmers in south-east Cornwall were getting along relatively well in the face of the so-called ‘Great Depression’ of British agriculture that began around 1873. Were farmers in the west at St Martin in Meneage equally fortunate? On the Lizard it was reported in 1882 that more farms were … Continue reading St Martin in Meneage: the state of agriculture in the ‘Great Depression’

St Martin by Looe: what could keep them down on the farm?

St Martin by Looe was the mother church of the town of East Looe. By the 1800s East Looe had long been hived off, leaving St Martin as a small rural parish in east Cornwall, where farming employed almost 90 per cent of its men. Farm track near Treveria, where Thomas grew up Only two … Continue reading St Martin by Looe: what could keep them down on the farm?

St Keyne: farm labouring, shoemaking and gender relations

St Keyne is a small, easily overlooked parish in the south east Cornish countryside. In the 1800s its economy was almost entirely dominated by its farms. Farmers, their sons and farm labourers made up fully 92 per cent of the working male population in 1861. St Keyne Well, made famous by Robert Southey's poem of … Continue reading St Keyne: farm labouring, shoemaking and gender relations

St Keverne: from rebellion to respectability

In the late 1400s and early 1500s the parish of St Keverne on the Lizard peninsula was at the heart of Cornwall’s several ‘commotions’. Men and women from the parish enthusiastically rose in revolt against the taxation of Henry VII in 1497 – not once but twice. They were closely involved in the explosion of … Continue reading St Keverne: from rebellion to respectability