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Gorran, Cornwall

Historical Description

Gorran (St Goran), two villages and a parish in Cornwall. The villages stand 2 miles N of Dodman Point, 2 S of Mevagissey, and 8 S of St Austell station on the G.W.R. One of them is on the coast, at the entrance of Mevagissey Bay, bears the name of Gorran Haven or Port East, is a coastguard station, has a very old pier, and is supposed to have been anciently a place of some consequence. The parish includes also the hamlets of Rescassa, Tregavarras, Pennare, Treveor, Menegwins, and Trevarrick. There is a post, money order, and telegraph office under St Austell. Acreage, 4961; population, 928. The manor belonged to the Bodrugans, had a mansion, called Bodrugan Castle, long ago destroyed, and passed to Lord Mount-Edgecumbe. Sir Henry Bodrugan was attainted for treason at the accession of Henry VII., and being in danger of capture, he fled to a vessel by a tremendous leap over a cliff, at a spot which is still called Bodrugan's Leap. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Truro, with Gorran Haven annexed; joint value, £220 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Truro. The church stands on an eminence, and has a pinnacled tower of 1606. Chapels anciently stood at Gorran Haven, Bodrugan, and Galowras. There are Wesleyan and Bible Christian chapels.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyCornwall 
Ecclesiastical parishGorran St. Gorran 
Poor Law unionSt. Austell 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The register of baptisms and burials dates from the year 1661; marriages, 1668.


Church of England

St. Goran (parish church)

The church of St. Goran, erected in the 16th century, is a building of stone in the Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel and nave, unitedly of eight bays, south aisle extending along both, north transept, south porch and a lofty embattled western tower, 110 feet in height, with four pinnacles, built in 1606, and containing 6 bells, all cast in 1772, and renovated in 1896 at a cost of £150: there are two piscinæ: the nave and aisle retain some good benches with well-carved ends, many of them bearing initials: there is an ancient monument in the nave to Richard Edgcumbe esq. of Bodrugan, ob. 1655, and the granite font bears the arms of Bodrugan; a brass to William Algernon Slade-Gully M.A. d. 1870, with other modern memorials; some once existing here to the Trevanions have now disappeared: there are two stained windows and some fragments of old glass in the aisle: in the chancel stands a curious oak chair, elaborately carved at the back with the figure of a woman (probably St. Eva of St. Ewe) and various emblems: the tower is a well-known sea-mark and a conspicuous object for many miles round: a new roof was erected in 1870, from designs by J. P. St. Aubyn esq. and in 1874-5 the body of the church was restored by the same architect at a cost of £1,154: there are 365 sittings.

St. Goran, Gorran
St. Goran, GorranNave of St. Goran, Gorran

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Gorran from the following:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Cornwall papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

We have a copy of The Visitations of Cornwall, by Lieut.-Col. J.L. Vivian online.