The parish is named after the Saxon monk, Saint Neot (who also gives his name to St. Neots now in Cambridgeshire and formerly in Huntingdonshire, whence his alleged bones were taken in the early Middle Ages), and means "pleasant (or beautiful) pasture (or habitation)" in Hebrew.
On the northern side the parish includes part of Bodmin Moor. Hamlets in the parish include Draynes, Ley and Pantersbridge.
John Anstis, born and buried at St Neot, was an English officer of arms and antiquarian who rose to the highest heraldic office in England and became Garter King of Arms in 1718. Henry Dangar (1796–1861) was a native of St Neot who became a surveyor and explorer of Australia. St. Neot was part of the Liskeard Rural District from 1894 until 1974.
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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