Paul, Cornwall

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Paul church penwith.jpg
Paul parish church
Paul is located in Cornwall
Location within Cornwall
Population269 (2011 Census including Buryas Bridge and Castallack)
OS grid referenceSW462269
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtTR19
Dialling code01736
PoliceDevon and Cornwall
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°05′24″N 5°32′49″W / 50.090°N 5.547°W / 50.090; -5.547Coordinates: 50°05′24″N 5°32′49″W / 50.090°N 5.547°W / 50.090; -5.547

Paul (Cornish: Breweni)[1] is a village in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is in the civil parish of Penzance. The village is two miles (3 km) south of Penzance and one mile (1.6 km) south of Newlyn.[2]

The village of Paul should not be confused with the civil parish of Paul, which lies west of the village and does not include the village of Paul.

Like many Cornish communities Paul has its own community celebration. Paul Feast is held on the Sunday nearest 10 October every year when the village is decorated and a civic service takes place on the Sunday of the feast itself led by the Mayor of Penzance.


Much of the history of Paul is connected with its parish church. The church itself is said to have been founded in 490, a very uncertain date and not documented, by Paul Aurelian, a Welsh saint known in Brittany as Paol Aurelian in Breton. There is no historical evidence to support his ever coming to West Penwith. He was founder of the cathedral at Saint-Pol-de-Léon, the city named after him. However this church could have been dedicated to Paul the Apostle, or Paulinus of York, there is no documentary evidence to prove any of these three Saint Pauls was the original dedicatee of the church. It was only named 'St. Pol-de-Leon' in 1907 and is probably connected with Henry Jenner who (with W C Borlase) opposed alleged 'Englishness' and stamp consistent spelling of Cornish place names on OS maps.

The first documented name for Paul Church comes from the registers of Bishop Bronescombe, when on 2 May 1259 the first recorded priest was installed, as Rector in his own right, in the 'Ecclesie Sancti Paulini'--Church of Saint Paulinus.

Paul village, original name 'Brewinney' and its church have a long association with Mousehole and the church has served as this community's parish church since its inception. Paul was one of the communities along with Mousehole, Newlyn, and Penzance to be destroyed in the Spanish raid of 1595 carried out by Carlos de Amésquita.[3]

Captain Stephen Hutchens (d 1709, Port Royal, Jamaica) bequeathed £500 to the building of almshouses and the maintenance of six poor men and six poor women born in the parish. At the beginning of the 19th-century it was found that the almshouses, instead of being administered as bequeathed, were being used as a workhouse for all the poor of the parish. Consequently, a new poor house was built on Trungle Moor.[4]

Cornish language (memorials)[edit]

The monument to Dolly Pentreath

Within the village churchyard there is a memorial to Dolly Pentreath, reputedly and disputedly the last native speaker of Cornish. This memorial was placed there by Louis Lucien Bonaparte, a relative of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Vicar of Paul in the 19th century.

The Cornish language writers Nicholas Boson, Thomas Boson and John Boson are all buried in Paul Churchyard, and a monument in the church by John Boson (to Arthur Hutchens, d. 1709) is the only surviving lapidary inscription in traditional Cornish.[5]


The ancient parish of Paul (Cornish: Pluw Bowl)[1] included Newlyn and Mousehole as well as the village of Paul. In 1851 Newlyn was separated to form the new ecclesiastical parish of Newlyn St Peter.[6] The ancient parish became a civil parish in 1866, and in 1894 became the Paul Urban District. The urban district was abolished in 1934. Newlyn and the villages of Paul and Mousehole were transferred from the civil parish and urban district of Paul to the municipal borough of Penzance,[7] now the civil parish of Penzance. The western part of the civil parish of Paul remained a separate, smaller parish (which did not include the village of Paul), from 1934 to 1974 in West Penwith Rural District.[8]

The civil parish of Paul now consists of a number of scattered settlements west of the village at 50°05′N 5°35′W / 50.09°N 5.58°W / 50.09; -5.58, including Chyenhal, Castallack, Kemyel Crease, Kemyel Drea, Bossava and Kerris. The population of the civil parish (i.e. excluding the village) was 269 in 2011.[9]

Arthur Langdon (1896) recorded the existence of five stone crosses in the parish. One is at Carlankan, one at Halwyn and one at St Paul Down. There are also crosses in the vicarage hedge and on the churchyard wall (the latter has a crude crucifixus figure on one side).[10]

In the north of the civil parish is Chyenhal Moor, a Site of Special Scientific Interest noted for its biological interest.[11]


The village of Paul is represented on Penzance Town Council. For elections to Cornwall Council (the unitary authority) Paul is within the three-member Penzance Electoral division.


Paul Cricket Club home is at Hutchens Park Playing Field, Trungle Moor and they play in Division Two West; the third tier of the Cornwall Cricket League. In 2007 the club came second in the Cornwall Cricket League and won the competition in 2010, to become Cornish champions for the only time.[12] Adjacent to the cricket club is Mousehole AFC (established 1923). The first team have played in Division One West of the South West Peninsula League since its inauguration in 2007. Their best season was 2013–14 when they came second.


  1. ^ a b Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel. Cornish Language Partnership.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
  3. ^ West Penwith Resources – The Spanish Attack – 1595
  4. ^ "Paul". The Cornishman (36). 20 March 1879. p. 4.
  5. ^ Spriggs, Matthew, 'Boson family (per. c.1675–1730)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 12 Oct 2007
  6. ^ Genuki website: Paul
  7. ^ Vision of Britain website
  8. ^ Vision of Britain website: Paul UD
  9. ^ Census 2011: Neighbourhood statistics
  10. ^ Langdon, A. G. (1896) Old Cornish Crosses. Truro: Joseph Pollard; pp. 202-04, 103 & 192-93
  11. ^ "Chyenhal Moor" (PDF). Natural England. 1985. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  12. ^ Cricket in Cornwall 2014. Cornwall Cricket Board. 2014. p. 221.

External links[edit]