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Morwenstow, Cornwall

Historical Description

Moorwinstow or Morwenstow, a parish in Cornwall, on the coast, at the boundary with Devonshire, 6 miles NNW of Stratton, and 15 from Holsworthy station on the L. & S.W. E. It contains the hamlets of Moorwinstow, Coombe, Crosstown, Eastcot, Gooseham, Woodford, and Woolley; has a post office under Stratton; money order and telegraph office, Kilkhampton. Acreage, 8139; population, 704. The coast abounds in high cliffs and magnificent scenery, and the interior is furrowed by deep and finely wooded hollows. A striking example of curved and contorted stratified rocks occurs at Stanbury Creek. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Truro; value, £300 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Truro. The church stands near a cliff at Moorwinstow hamlet; includes very interesting portions of Norman architecture, particularly the entrance doorway and the arcades; has a S aisle and a chancel of 1300, with subsequent additions and alterations; contains an elaborate screen and costly old monuments of the Kempthornes and Waddons; and was restored in 1884. The churchyard contains some affecting memorials of wrecks on the adjacent shores. There are Wesleyan and Bible Christian chapels. Sir "W. Adams the distinguished oculist was a native. The Rev R. S. Hawker, author of " Echoes from Old Cornwall," was vicar for many years, and effected numerous improvements in the parish. Before he took the living there had not been a resident vicar for more than a hundred years.

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 parishMoorwinstow St. Morvenna 
Poor Law unionStratton 

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

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Morwenstow from the following:


Online maps of Morwenstow are available from a number of sites:

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.

RegionSouth West
Postal districtEX23
Post TownBude