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Launcells St Swithin


Parish History

Launcells St Swithin is an ancient parish in Cornwall, places in the parish include: Butspur, Cross, Grimscott, Hersham, and Prestacott.

The parish church is dedicated to St Swithin: nearby, in the wooded valley is the holy well of St Swithin. There are two aisles but the arcades differ: while the north is of granite the south is of Polyphant stone. The fine series of over 60 benchends is from the same workshop as those of Kilkhampton, Cornwall and  Poughill, Cornwall. Other features of interest are the medieval wall painting and the tomb of Sir John Chamond, 1624.[Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall, 2nd ed. Penguin Books; p. 95]

Charles Henderson writing in 1925 gives the dedication as to St Andrew.[Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; pp. 136-37] The origin of the name Launcells is probably from Lan- and a personal name Kellys. In the early Middle Ages the church belonged to Hartland Abbey and there are records of a dispute over the building of the chancel in 1382 which required episcopal intervention. Unusually for a Cornish church it has not been affected by Victorian or later restorations.


Civil Registration

Births, marriages and deaths were kept by the government from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is Free BMD.

Church records

Overview, Include information for parish registers and Bishop's Transcripts, Contact information for the office holding the original records, Links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.

Images of parish registers are available online in historic records (formerly Record Search) Images refer to Cornwall County Record Office reference: P 117

Cornwall Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource is the Cornwall Online Parish Clerks page for the parish

The history, registers and much more have been contributed by the Online Parish clerk for Launcells . The Launcells page contains images of the church and local history.

Census records

Overview, Include any unique information such as, the census for X year was destroyed, Collection in FHL and link to catalog, Online sites. for details of public houses in the 1881 census

Cornwall Online Census Project

Poor Law Unions


Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to [county] Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

There are many maps and gazetteers showing English places. Valuable web sites are:

Web sites

Add here any relevant sites that aren't mentioned above.


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