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Gulval (Cornish: Lannystli) is a village in the former Penwith district of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom . Although historically a parish in its own right, Gulval was incorporated into the parishes of Penzance, Madron and Ludgvan in 1934, and like Heamoor, is now considered to be a suburb of Penzance. Gulval, however, still maintains its status as an ecclesiastical parish and parts of the village church date back to the 12th century. Together with Heamoor, Gulval also still retains its status as an electoral ward. The ward population at the 2011 census was 4,185.
The parish is named after a 6th-century saint, Gulval, the original form of which was probably Welvela or Wolvela. Baring-Gould thought this was Wilgitha, the sister of Saint Juthwara: David Nash Ford agrees. Gilbert Hunter Doble, however, favoured an identification with one of the male Welsh missionaries, Gudwall or Gurwall who are honoured in Brittany, eponym of Locoal-Mendon. A life of each one is to be found in the Acta Sanctorum, June; Bollandists, 1867. Neither identification has been widely accepted by modern scholars. The parish church is dedicated to Gulval and his/her feast is celebrated on 6 June.
During the Iron Age there was much activity in the area, and a few miles from Gulval, beyond the hamlet of Badgers Cross, are the remains of the Chysauster settlement. The site shows the remnants of nine courtyard houses, of a type only found on the Land's End peninsula and Isles of Scilly, and was inhabited from the first century BC for the following four hundred years. The historic Celtic site is now under the protection of English Heritage.
Two inscribed stones attest to continued occupation in the early medieval period. The first is a memorial for "Quenatucus, son of Dinvus", and has been dated as carved sometime between fifth and eighth centuries; it stands near one end of a footbridge in Balowena Bottom. The second is a cross-shaft lacking base or cross-head with a now illegible inscription; it was found in a wall of the church in 1885, and now stands in the churchyard. (see also, Gulval Church, below)
There is a Cornish cross at Rosemorran; on the front of the head is a crude crucifixus figure and on the back is a cross of unusual shape (the only similar one is at Lelant).
In ancient times Gulval was known as Lanisley, derived from Lan, a church, and ishei, low, (i.e. the low church). According to Charles Henderson (quoted by Doble (1960)) this is a corruption of Laniskley. A Latinised version of this, Landicle, is mentioned in the Domesday Book:
- "Roland holds [LANDICLE](GULVAL) from the Bishop; In the time of King Edward (the Confessor, i.e. before 1066) it paid tax for 1 hide (around 120 acres); 1½ hides there however. Land for 12 ploughs (requiring, perhaps, 8 oxen each); in lordship 1 plough; 3 slaves. 13 villagers and 4 smallholders with 3 ploughs. Meadow 2 acres (0.81 ha), Pasture, 2 leagues long and 1 league wide. Value formerly and now £3. 1 virgate (about 30 acres) held by the lord, 1 hide 3 virgates by the villagers; also "1 cob; 3 cows; 30 sheep". (Roland was the Archdeacon of Cornwall.)
The current church building is predominantly 12th-century with subsequent additions. Most notable of these are the tower, built in 1440 and containing eight bells, and a large stone lych gate that was added in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The graveyard is home to the remains of local pirate and smuggler John 'Eyebrows' Thomas of Marazion, as well as to William Wingfield, MP. One of the vicars of Gulval, the Rev. William W. Wingfield, was vicar for a remarkable 72 years, from 1839 until his death in 1912.
There is an ornamented Cornish cross shaft in the churchyard. It was found in 1885 built into the chancel wall and re-erected in the churchyard.
Local government and village amenities
For purposes of local government Gulval is included in the civil parish of Penzance and has its own single member ward on Penzance town council. The principal local authority in the area is Cornwall Council. Elections to Cornwall Council are by way of a three-member Penzance electoral division.
Gulval is home to a post office and general store, a public house, and a primary school that houses 144 pupils.
Joseph of Arimathea
Within the bounds of the parish lies the disused Ding Dong mine, reputedly one of the oldest in Cornwall. Popular local legend claims that Joseph of Arimathea, a tin trader, visited the mine and brought a young Jesus to address the miners, although there is no evidence to support this.
The Ding Dong mines have, according to tradition, been worked since Roman times but by the end of the 18th century it was disused. In 1814 it was reopened and worked until 1878. Attempts were made in 1912 and 1928 to reopen it but these failed.
James Payne and the Wilson brothers
Theatre organist Dudley Savage (20 March 1920 – 25 November 2008), known for the long-running BBC radio request programme "As Prescribed", was born in Gulval.
Sport and recreation
Gulval has two football teams competing in the Trelawny League and two cricket teams competing in the Cornwall Cricket League. The Old Inn – a public house in Gulval Churchtown – was given to the Coldstream Guards Association in memory of Capt Michael Lempriere Bolitho and renamed "The Coldstreamer" (Capt Bolitho was killed in HMS Walney, a Royal Navy tug; her task was to crash through the boom at the entrance to Oran Harbour in Operation Torch on 8 November 1942).
- Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel. Cornish Language Partnership.
- Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
- "Gulval and Heamoor ward census 2011.Retrieved 5 Feb 2015".
- Doble, G. H. (1960) The Saints of Cornwall: part 1. Truro: Dean and Chapter; pp. 61–78
- Doble, G. H. (1933) Saint Gudwal or Gurwal, bishop and confessor; with notes on Gulval church and parish by Charles Henderson. Truro: Netherton and Worth
- "St Gulval".
- See the discussion and bibliography in Elisabeth Okasha, Corpus of early Christian inscribed stones of South-west Britain. Leicester: University Press, 1993, pp. 109–15
- Langdon, A. G. (1896) Old Cornish Crosses. Truro: Joseph Pollard; pp. 142-43
- Thorn, Caroline & Frank [eds.] "Domesday Book: Cornwall"; Phillimore, Chichester: 1979. ISBN 0-85033-155-2; entry 2,10
- Brown, H. M. (1976) A Century for Cornwall. Truro: Blackford; p. 40
- Langdon, A. G. (1896) Old Cornish Crosses. Truro: Joseph Pollard; pp. 372-74
- Ofsted. "Reports on pupils" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 November 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
- Matthews, John (ed.) (1991) A Glastonbury Reader: Selections From the Myths, Legends and Stories of Ancient Avalon. London: HarperCollins (reissued by The Aquarian Press)
- C. C. Dobson in his Did Our Lord Visit Britain ... ? (1936) collects various traditions which would connect Joseph to Cornwall and Somerset and the tin trade without mentioning Gulval
- Barton, D. B. (1963) A Guide to the Mines of West Cornwall. Truro: D. Bradford Barton; pp. 9–10
- Persey, P. (1796) Legends of Olde Weste Cornwall. Plymouth: Anglican Press
- "Volunteer run Penwith Radio to change its name to Coast FM". falmouthpacket.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
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