Boscastle is a village and fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall, England, since 1918 in the civil parish of Forrabury and Minster. It is 14 miles (23 km) south of Bude and 5 miles (8 km) northeast of Tintagel.
Boscastle is not a civil parish in itself, but a village sitting on the border of two parishes, Forrabury and Minster, which merged ecclesiastically in 1779, but did not become one civil parish until 1918. As a result finding vital records for people who lived in the area before 1918 may involve searching two or three registers.
The name of the village comes from Botreaux Castle (pronounced "But'ry"), a 12th-century motte-and-bailey fortress, of which few remains survive. The castle was anciently in the possession of the de Botreaux family, which became, under William de Botereaux (1337–91), the Barons Botreaux.
Boscastle harbour is a natural inlet protected by two stone harbour walls built in 1584 by Sir Richard Grenville (of HMS Revenge). It is the only significant harbour for 20 miles (32 km) along the coast. As well as being a fishing harbour it was also a port for importing limestone and coal and exporting slate and other local produce.
The oldest part of Boscastle surrounds the harbour; more modern residential building extends up the valleys of the River Valency and River Jordan.
Boscastle is prone to flash floods due to the steepness of the drop down to the harbour level from the plains above. There have been two floods of note in the 21st century.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Boscastle.
One of the many maps available on A Vision of Britain through Time is one from the Ordnance Survey Series of 1900 illustrating the parish boundaries of Cornwall at the turn of the 20th century. This map blows up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets.
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