History and geography
The Arundells have been the chief landowners here since the 13th century: in 1794 Lanherne House (mainly built in the 16th and 17th centuries) became a convent for émigré nuns from Belgium. Many memorials of the Arundells may be found in the church and more in the church of St Columb Major. There are in the village two pubs, The Falcon Inn and The Airways: also at St Mawgan is a bonsai tree nursery and a Japanese Garden attraction, plus a small craft shop.
St Mawgan also has a 13th-century parish church, dedicated to St Mauganus and St Nicholas. The church was originally a cruciform building of the 13th century but was enlarged by a south aisle and the upper part of the tower in the 15th. The unusual rood screen and bench ends are noteworthy and there are many monumental brasses to members of the Arundell family; these include George Arundell, 1573, Mary Arundell, 1578, Cyssel and Jane Arundell, ca. 1580, Edward Arundell (?), 1586, (St Mauganus was a Welshman and is also honoured at Mawgan in Meneage in Kerrier and in Wales and Brittany.)
Nanskeval House is on the parish boundaries of St Mawgan in Pydar and St Columb Major: in 1277 it was spelt Nanscuvel. Nanskeval House was once the home of Liberal MP Edward Brydges Willyams and is still part of the Carnanton estate which is still owned by descendants of the same family. Nans means 'valley' in Old Cornish, and Kivell is thought to derive from the Cornish equivalent of the Welsh word ceffyl, meaning a horse. The surname Nankivell and its variants are thought to derive from this place.
Education and recreation
There are two local cricket teams which play Sunday friendlies, the Vale of Lanherne C.C. and St Mawgan C.C.
Arundells of Lanherne
- Sir John Arundell of Lanherne alias John FitzAlan, 1st Baron Arundel (died 1379), naval commander and Lord Marshal of England
- John Arundell (of Lanherne, died 1423), MP for Cornwall (UK Parliament constituency),1404,1406,1411,1414,1416,1417,1422 and 1423
- John Arundell (1474–1545) of Lanherne, Receiver General of the Duchy of Cornwall
- Sir John Arundell (of Lanherne, died 1557), MP for Cornwall, 1554
- John Arundell (of Lanherne, died 1590), MP for Helston, Shaftesbury, Preston and Cornwall
- Gerry Cawley, wrestling champion