Illogan (St. Illogan)

ILLOGAN (St. Illogan), a parish, in the union of Redruth, E. division of the hundred of Penwith, W. division of Cornwall, 2¾ miles (N. W.) from Redruth; containing 7815 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the shore of the Bristol Channel, and is intersected by a small river which here falls into the sea; it comprises by measurement 8078 acres, of which 2195 are common or waste. The substratum is rich in mineral wealth, and several mines are in operation, producing abundance of copper-ore; granite of good quality is found in large quantities, and there are extensive quarries of building-stone. Portreath, or Bassett's Cove, a small haven for the exportation of copper-ore to the smelting-works in Wales, is a flourishing place, and carries on a considerable trade also in the importation of coal and lime. The railway from Hayle into the mining district of Gwennap passes through the parish, and a branch diverges from it to Portreath. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £22. 7. 6., and in the gift of Lady Bassett; the tithes have been commuted for £670, and the glebe comprises 77 acres. The church, an ancient structure, contains a beautiful monument to Francis Bassett, Esq., and another to James Bassett, Esq., in which are four brasses with his effigy and those of his lady and their children. A chapel was erected at Trevenson, in the parish, by the late Lord de Dunstanville, who endowed it with land producing about £42 per annum; and another has been erected by subscription, at Portreath. The Wesleyans and Bryanites have places of worship, and the Redruth union workhouse is situated in the parish. There are numerous Druidical remains, the principal of which is Carn Brea, considered by antiquaries to have been the chief seat of the Druidical ceremonies in this part of the country. The remains of this work occupy the eastern extremity of a hill, 700 feet above the level of the sea; they are founded upon several of the rocks with which the hill abounds, and the rocks not being contiguous, are connected by arches over the intervals. The ancient part, which is pierced with loop-hole windows, is supposed to have been built by the Britons, and the modern part to have been constructed simply as an object to embellish the view from the grounds of Tehidy House. About 300 yards to the west, are the remains of a circular fortress called the Old Castle, which appears to have been surrounded by a strong wall. There are also some remains of fortifications on the cliffs along the coast. On the side of Carn Brea, Roman coins and British gold coins have been found.

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

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