Place:Charlestown, Cornwall, England

Coordinates50.3314°N 4.7578°W
Located inCornwall, England
See alsoPowder Hundred, Cornwall, Englandhundred in which it was located
St. Austell, Cornwall, Englandparish of which it was a part
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Charlestown (Cornish: Porth Meur, meaning "great cove") is a village and port on the south coast of Cornwall, England approximately 2 miles (3 km) south east of St. Austell town centre. Since 1974 it has been located in the parish of St Austell Bay.

The port at Charlestown developed from what was in the late 18th century the fishing village of West Polmear. Whereas other areas within the conurbation of St Austell have seen much development during the 20th century, Charlestown has remained relatively unchanged within this expansion. There are deposits of china clay in the area. Particles of mica quartz in the sea near Charlestown give it a turquoise-blue colour. The same colour is imparted to flooded china clay quarries.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Charlestown from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"CHARLESTOWN, a small seaport town and a chapelry in St. Austell parish, Cornwall. The town stands on the coast, 2 miles SE of St. Austell; is a sub-port to Fowey; and has a post office under St. Austell. It was founded, towards the close of last century, by Charles Rashleigh, Esq; has harbour and docks, of capacity for large ships; has also building yards and pilchard fisheries; carries on a large export trade in lime, china clay, and other mineral produce; and is connected, by tram railway, with St. Austell, and with extensive tin mines of its own name, employing about 430 hands.
"The chapelry includes the town; and was constituted in 1846. Population: 3,367. Houses: 675. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter. Value: £160. Patron, alternately the Crown and the Bishop. The church is good."

Charlestown has always been considered to be part of both the ecclesiastical and civil parish of St. Austell.

Research Tips

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.

The following websites have pages explaining their provisions in WeRelate's Repository Section. Some provide free online databases.

  • GENUKI makes a great many suggestions as to other websites with worthwhile information about Cornwall as well as providing 19th century descriptions of each of the ecclesiastical parishes.
  • FamilySearch Wiki provides a similar information service to GENUKI which may be more up-to-date.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time has
  1. organization charts of the hierarchies of parishes within hundreds, registration districts and rural and urban districts of the 20th century
  2. excerpts from a gazetteer of circa 1870 outlining individual towns and parishes
  3. reviews of population through the time period 1800-1960
  • More local sources can often be found by referring to "What Links Here" in the column on the left.
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