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Coordinates: 50°11′43″N 5°24′47″W / 50.19533°N 5.41300°W / 50.19533; -5.41300
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Phillack church
Phillack is located in Cornwall
Location within Cornwall
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
List of places
50°11′43″N 5°24′47″W / 50.19533°N 5.41300°W / 50.19533; -5.41300
sketchmap showing Phillack's location

Phillack (Cornish: Eglosheyl)[1] is a village (and formerly a parish) now in the parish of Hayle, in west Cornwall, England. It is about one mile (1.6 km) northeast of Hayle and half-a-mile (0.8 km) inland from St Ives Bay on Cornwall's Atlantic Ocean coast.[2] The village is separated from the sea by a range of high sand dunes known as The Towans.



In 1891 the civil parish had a population of 4673.[3] In 1894 the parish was abolished and split to form "East Phillack" in Phillack Urban District and "West Phillack" in Hayle Urban District,[4] Phillack became an urban district which contained the parish of East Phillack, on 1 April 1934 the urban district was abolished and merged with West Penwith Rural District.[5] Phillack parish was originally in Redruth Registration District but the village now comes under Camborne-Redruth Registration District.

There is some dispute over the origins of the name. In the 17th century, Phillack was believed to refer to the Irish Saint Felicitas who is said to have founded Phillack church in the 6th century. However, a 10th-century Vatican codex mentions a Saint Felec of Cornwall who is believed to have lived about the same time and may be dedicatee of the parish church.[6]

Parish church


St Felicitas and St Piala's Church, Phillack was originally the parish church also of Hayle: it was built in the 15th century and rebuilt in 1856 by William White but the tower is original. It is part of the Godrevy Team Ministry [7] The font is probably not medieval; half a coped stone is in the churchyard.[8] There were over a 160 year period from 1763 to 1922 four rectors of Phillack belonging to the Hockin family: William (1763-1809), William (1809-1853), Frederick (1853-1902) and Arthur (1902-1922), probably unique among English parishes.[9]



Two early stones have been found embedded in the original village church. One bears a 'Constantine' form of a Chi-Rho cross which may date to the 5th century; it was afterwards rebuilt into the wall directly above the apex of the arch of the doorway of the new church. The second is simple memorial stone bearing the name of "Clo[tualus] [son of] Mo[bra]ttus", dated between the fifth to eighth centuries, and now stands in the churchyard.[10] Arthur G. Langdon (1896) recorded the existence of six stone crosses in the parish, including two in the churchyard. The others were at Copperhouse, at Bodriggy, in a field and in the rectory garden.[11]

5th century Chi-Rho cross (above the door) on the porch

References and footnotes

  1. ^ Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) Archived 2013-05-15 at the Wayback Machine : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel Archived 2013-05-15 at the Wayback Machine. Cornish Language Partnership.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
  3. ^ "Population statistics Phillack AP/CP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 8 February 2024.
  4. ^ "Redruth Registration District". UKBMD. Retrieved 8 February 2024.
  5. ^ "Relationships and changes Phillack UD through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 8 February 2024.
  6. ^ [1] Archived 2010-08-07 at the Wayback Machine GENUKI website; Phillack. Retrieved June 2010
  7. ^ Phillack Church [2][permanent dead link] Retrieved January 2012
  8. ^ Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall, 2nd ed. revised by Enid Radcliffe. Penguin Books; p. 141
  9. ^ Mee, Arthur (1937) Cornwall. London: Hodder & Stoughton; p. 178
  10. ^ See the discussion and bibliography in Elisabeth Okasha, Corpus of Early Christian Inscribed Stones of South-west Britain. Leicester: University Press, 1993, pp. 201-207
  11. ^ Langdon, A. G. (1896) Old Cornish Crosses. Truro: Joseph Pollard