Columb, St., Minor (St. Columb)

COLUMB, ST., MINOR (St. Columb), a parish, in the union of St. Columb Major, hundred of Pyder, E. division of Cornwall, 5¼ miles (W. by S.) from St. Columb Major; containing 1681 inhabitants. The parish comprises 5535 acres, and is bounded on the west by the bays of Towan and Watergate, in which are the small harbours of New Quay and Porth, on the Bristol Channel. The cliffs on this part of the coast are very lofty, and over them proceeds a narrow path, which descends to a fine sandy beach, stretching to Mawgan Porth: in the rocks are many curious caverns, formed by the action of the sea. The pilchard-fishery is carried on extensively at New Quay, the harbour there having been formed for the vessels employed in that concern, in which the principal part of the population is either interested or engaged. Lead-ore is found in several parts, and three mines have been opened, of which two, at New Quay and Narrow Cliff, are still worked with moderate success; but the third, at Watergate, after a large outlay in the buildings and machinery, has been abandoned. There are also quarries of slatestone well adapted for common building purposes, and a quarry of stone partaking of the properties of granite, which is much valued. A fair for cattle held here on the 9th of June, is one of the chief cattle-fairs in the county. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £117; patron and impropriator, Sir J. B. Y. Buller, Bart. The church is a spacious and ancient structure, with a very lofty tower; the roof is of oak. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Baptists. Considerable remains exist of Rialton Priory, a cell to the priory of Bodmin, built by Thomas Vivian, prior of Bodmin, about the close of the 15th century; they consist of the archways leading into three courts, and are embattled, and mantled with ivy. There are also some earthworks, the principal of them being at Porth Island; and several barrows, in one of which, on a farm at Tretharas, five urns containing bones were found a few years since.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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