St Breage, Cornwall
Breage or St Breage (pronounced Brague), a village and a parish in Cornwall. The village stands on the coast, 4 miles W of Helston station on the G.W.R., and has a post office under Helston, which is the money order office; telegraph office, Porthleven. It is said to have been founded by the Irish St Breaca. The parish comprises 7265 acres of land and 130 of foreshore and water; population of the civil parish, 2751; of the ecclesiastical, with Germoe, 2187. Much of the property belonged formerly to the Godolphin family, but the sole heiress marrying the Duke of Leeds, it passed into that family. Godolphin mansion is now used as a farmhouse. Godolphin and Tregonning Hills rise to altitudes of 495 and 596 feet, consist of granite, and are rich in minerals. China clay is worked out of part of Tregonning and Godolphin Hills and sent to neighbouring ports for shipment. Huel-Vor or Wheal-Vor tin mine is in the same hills, was worked in lodes 30 feet wide, extends upwards of 1½ mile under ground, and yielded at times a clear profit of £10,000 in three months, but is now worked out. The living is a vicarage with Germoe in the diocese of Truro; net value, £200. Patron, the Crown. The church contains the remains of Mrs Godolphin, and was restored in 1890 at a cost of £4000. Many frescoes were discovered, some of which have been restored. The church is now one of the finest in Cornwall, and possesses the largest bell. The vicarage of Godolphin and that of Cury and Gnnwalloe are separate benefices. There are Wesleyan, Bible Christian, and Methodist chapels, and a mission church at Ashtown. Lord Treasurer Godolphin and the first Viscount Exmouth were born here.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Breage St. Breage|
|Poor Law union||Helston|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The register of baptisms dates from the year 1607; marriages and burials, 1559.
Church of England
St. Breage (parish church)
The church of St. Breage is an ancient building of stone and granite, in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles separated from the nave by arcades of seven arches, transepts, south porch and an embattled western tower, surmounted by four pinnacles and containing a clock and 2 bells, dated 1771: in the north transept are portions of the old carved oak roof, with elaborate corbels and beams: the east windows of the chancel and south aisle are memorials respectively to Caroline Isabella Wilson, 1846-54, and Elizabeth Wilson, 1780-1886; the west window of the same aisle commemorates the marriage of His late Majesty King Edw. VII. and Queen Alexandra, March 10th, 1863, and was erected by the parishioners: there are monuments to the Coode family, 1671-94, and others of modern date: Margaret (Blagge), wife of Sidney, first Earl of Godolphin K.G. was buried here, September 27th, 1678: in the south aisle are three helmets, two bearing the Godolphin crest: the church affords 300 sittings: in the churchyard, near the south entrance, stands the head of an ancient cross: the church was thoroughly restored and reseated with open benches in 1890-91, at a cost of £4,000.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for St Breage from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Breage (St. Breage))
Online maps of St Breage are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Cornwall papers online:
- Royal Cornwall Gazette
- West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser
- Lake's Falmouth Packet and Cornwall Advertiser
We have a copy of The Visitations of Cornwall, by Lieut.-Col. J.L. Vivian online.