Paul, Cornwall

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Cornish: Breweni
Paul church penwith.jpg
Paul parish church
Paul is located in Cornwall
 Paul shown within Cornwall
OS grid reference SW462269
Civil parish Penzance
Unitary authority Cornwall
Ceremonial county Cornwall
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town PENZANCE
Postcode district TR19
Dialling code 01736
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Cornwall
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament St Ives
List of places

Coordinates: 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.

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

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]


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.[4] 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,[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

Langdon (1896) recorded the existence of five stone crosses in the parish.

In the north of the civil parish is Chyenhal Moor, a Site of Special Scientific Interest noted for its biological interest.[8]

Cornish language (memorials)[edit]

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.[9]


External links[edit]

Media related to Paul, Cornwall at Wikimedia Commons

Media related to Paul (civil parish) at Wikimedia Commons