ST. LEVAN is a parish, on the extreme south point of the Penwith peninsula, 8 miles south-west from Penzance where is the nearest railway station, and 3 south-east from the Land’s End, in the Western division of the county, hundred of Penwith, petty sessional division of Penwith West, Penzance union and county court district, rural deanery of Penwith, archdeaconry of Cornwall and diocese of Truro. This place now gives the title of baron to the St. Aubyn family.

The church of St. Levan, situated in a secluded dell opening to the sea at Portchapel, is a plain building of granite in the Late Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave of four bays, south aisle, north transept, south porch and an embattled western tower with pinnacles, containing 3 bells: the screen, restored in 1885, retains some fragments of old oak carving, and there are a number of curiously carved old bench ends, one of which has a jester in a cap and bells: the piscina and rood stairs remain and in the south porch is a singular square stoup: the east window is stained: the church was thoroughly restored in 1876, and has sittings for 250 persons: in the churchyard is an ancient cross about 7 feet high, on a round base, the head of which bears a rude carving of the “Crucifixion:” on the churchyard wall is the round head of another, and a third stands in an adjoining field: at the north and east entrances to the churchyard are the old lych stones used as resting places for funerals. The register dates from the year 1700. This place was formerly included ecclesiastically in the Royal peculiar of St. Burian, which see. The living is a rectory, average tithe rent-charge £190, net yearly value £159, in the gift of H.R.H. the Duke of Cornwall K.G. and held since 1878 by the Rev. Paul D’Ockham Silvester M.A. Exeter College, Oxford. There are Wesleyan chapels at Chygwidden Cross and at Treen.

This parish is bounded on the south by the superb stretch of sea coast from Penberth Cove to Nanjisal Bay—about 4 miles of granite cliffs mostly over 200 feet in height, and comprising many rocky headlands, bays and caverns. Porthgwarrah, three-quarters of a mile south-west from the church, is a sheltered cove walled with lofty granite cliffs, where crab and lobster fishing is carried on. Tol-Pedn-Penwith, the most southerly point on this coast, is about 1½ miles south-west from the church: the coast scenery in this locality is most striking; here is the Funnel Rock, a natural, well shaped chasm, the bottom of which is accessible at low water: and near here is Chair Ladder, a huge pile of gigantic blocks of granite: on the high ground behind the cliffs are two conical beacons 12 feet high, placed 70 yards apart in a line with the Runnel Stone, a dangerous rock 4 yards long by two in breadth, which rises from the deep sea about a mile from the shore. At Pendower Cove, about a mile west, is the Bosistow Logan Rock. Eastward, on the headland called “Treryn Dinas,” is the celebrated Logan Stone, an immense block of granite placed on the summit of three piles of rock rising from the sea; the weight of this stone is supposed to be 90 tons, yet it is so nicely balanced that it may be easily logged, or rocked to and fro in a certain direction: in 1820 it was displaced in a frolic by some sailors under the command of Lieut. Goldsmith R.N. nephew of the poet, and then in charge of a revenue cutter cruising along this coast, but was replaced by the officer under instructions from the Admiralty in the same year, but the original nicety of its adjustment is now lost: the headland has at some time been fortified and portions of the entrenchments still remain.

The lords of the manor and the principal landowners are Lord St. Levan, Rev. Sir Vyell Donnithorne Vyvian bart. J.P. of Trelowarren, Mawgan, Thomas Bedford Bolitho esq. of Polwithen, Penzance, Henry Hodge esq. and Nicholas Thomas Tremewen esq. The soil is growan, overlying granite. The chief crops are wheat, potatoes and mangolds. The area is 2,328 acres; rateable value, £3,675; the population in 1891 was 629.

Portcurnow, in this parish, is bounded on the west by magnificent and lofty rocks, extending far out seaward and heaped one upon another in magnificent disorder; these rocks are wholly granitic, no trace of limestone being found in them, and constitute a portion of the boldest and most romantic scenery in the south of Cornwall. Here is a station of the Eastern Telegraph Company, having direct submarine communication with Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Malta, Egypt, India and Australia. The cables of the French-American Company are also sunk from this bay.

Roskestal is a hamlet lying half-a-mile westwards

Treen is a place in this parish.

Sexton, Francis Thomas

Post & M.O.O. [Money Order Office], S.B. [Savings Bank] & Annuity & Insurance Office. (Railway Sub-Office. Letters should have R.S.O.Cornwall added).—Thomas Nicholas Bennetts, sub-postmaster. Letters arrive at 9.15 a.m. & 6.10 p.m.; dispatched at 8 a.m. & 2.25 p.m. The nearest telegraph office is at Portcurnow, Eastern Telegraph Co.’s station

A School Board of 5 members was formed March 18, 1872; the Rev. Paul D’Ockham Silvester M.A. hon. clerk to the board; Alfd. James Hocking, Bosistow, attendance officer

Board School (mixed), built in 1849, for 146 children; average attendance, 38 boys, 36 girls & 21 infants; John James Redhead, master;

St. Levan.

Ash William Henry, Porthcurnow

Hodge Miss, Bosistow

Silvester Rev. Paul D’Ockham M.A. [rectr]

Spratt George Oscar, Porthcurnow


Bennett Thomas Nicholas, frmr. Bottoms

Boddy John Harley, market gardener, Lands End vineries

Bottrell Chas. shoe maker, Polgigga cross

Davey James, farmer, Trebehor

Eastern Telegraph Co.’s Station (William Henry Ash, supt.), Porthcurnow

Grenfell William, Farmer, Chegwidden

Hocking Jsph. & Son, frmrs, Trendrennen

Hocking James, farmer, Bosistow

Hocking William, farmer, Raftra

Hodge Henry, farmer, Bosistow

Hosking Augustus, farmer, Trengothal

Hosking George, farmer, Trengothal

Jackson Jas. lodging ho. Porthgwarrah

Jackson Robt. lodging ho. Porthgwarrah

Jackson Thos. lodging ho. Porthgwarrah

Jackson Wm. lodging ho. Porthgwarrah

Jeffrey John, farmer, Trebebor

Marks Wm. Richd. smith, Polgigga cross

Matthews Chas. lodging ho. Porthgwarrah

Osborne Nabouth, farmer & miller (water), Penberth

Prowse John Henry, farmer, Raftra

Rodda Francis, farmer, Roskestal & Churchtown

Rowe John, lodging ho. Porthgwarrah

Rowe Thomas, farmer, Trebehor

Saundry John, farmer, Sawah

Strick Thomas, farmer, Rospletha

Tonking Thos. Harvey, farmer, Roskestal

Tremewen Nicholas Thomas, landowner & farmer, Trewey

Trewern William, farmer, Bodellan

Waters Thomas, dairyman, Bosistow

Waters Thomas, dairyman, Soah

Williams George, farmer, Raftra

Williams Jn. farmr. & carrier, Roskestal


Rowe James

Barnicoat John, refreshment house

Guy Ellen (Mrs.), apartments

Hall William, dairyman

Harvey Benjamin, farmer

Hocking Thomas, shopkeeper

John William, Logan Rock inn

Johns William, farmer

Prowse Jane (Miss), tailoress

Prowse William Henry, farmer

Wallis Francis, farmer

More about St. Levan

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