St Hilary, Cornwall

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St Hilary
St Hilary is located in Cornwall
St Hilary
St Hilary
St Hilary shown within Cornwall
Population 821 (2011 census)
OS grid reference SW550312
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town PENZANCE
Postcode district TR20
Dialling code 01736
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Cornwall
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°07′48″N 5°25′41″W / 50.130°N 5.428°W / 50.130; -5.428Coordinates: 50°07′48″N 5°25′41″W / 50.130°N 5.428°W / 50.130; -5.428

St Hilary is a civil parish and village in west Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is situated approximately five miles (8 km) east of Penzance and four miles (6.5 km) south of Hayle.[1]

Chynoweth is an area immediately north of St Hilary churchtown. The land of the parish is high enough to provide views of bays on both coasts, St Ives Bay five miles north and Mount's Bay two miles south.[2]

For the purposes of local government St Hilary has a parish council and elects councillors every four years. The principal local authority in the area is Cornwall Council. During the height of mining activity the population was three times that in the 1930s.[3]

The parish church is dedicated to Saint Hilary of Poitiers and is in the Early English style but had to be rebuilt after a fire in 1853. It has a 13th-century tower and is a Grade I listed building.[4] A children's home existed in St Hilary in the 1920s and 1930s, accommodated in a former pub, the Jolly Tinners.[5]


The area has many former mines: especially notable was a mine called Wheal Fortune which extended into the parish of Ludgvan. An earthquake occurred in St Hilary in 1796.[6]

Penberthy Croft Mine, to the north of the parish, was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1993 and is noted as the most important site in Britain for secondary ore minerals of lead, copper, and arsenic.[7]

Notable residents[edit]

Notable people from the parish include three former Vicars, the writer Denys Val Baker, and the artist Anne (Annie) Walke (wife of Bernard Walke).[8]

Malachy Hitchins[9] was an astronomer and Vicar of St Hilary. Thomas Pascoe was Vicar of St Hilary for 56 years in the 19th century.[2] Bernard Walke was Vicar of St Hilary, from 1913 to 1936.[10] Father Walke was the author of four religious plays and of an autobiography, Twenty Years at St Hilary (London: Methuen & Co., 1935; reissued by Mott, London, 1982 with an introduction by Frank Baker and ISBN 0-907746-04-7).

The youngest son of Malachy Hitchins, Fortescue Hitchins (1784–1814), was born at St Hilary. He became a solicitor at St Ives, Cornwall, and was the author of "The Tears of Cornubia" and other poems. He compiled material for a history of Cornwall, which after his death was edited by Samuel Drew, and published in 1824.


The ghost of Rev. John Penneck, Chancellor of Exeter, (died 1724) is said to raise great storms here.[11]


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
  2. ^ a b Mee, Arthur (1937) Cornwall. (The King's England.) London: Hodder & Stoughton; p. 221
  3. ^ Walke, B. (2002) Twenty Years at St Hilary. Mount Hawke: Truran; p. 190
  4. ^ "St Hilary". GENUKI. 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2012-10-05. 
  5. ^ Walke, B. (2002) Twenty Years at St Hilary. Mount Hawke: Truran; pp. 190-97
  6. ^ [1] Archived April 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Penberthy Croft Mine" (PDF). Natural England. 1993. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Anne Walke". Penlee House, Penzance. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  9. ^ Malachy Hitchins Oxford Dictionary of National Biography index
  10. ^ Brown, H. Miles (1976). A Century for Cornwall. Truro: Blackford, pp. 64, 75, 92, 98-100
  11. ^ Anthony D. Hippisley Coxe, Haunted Britain, pg. 22, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York 1973

External links[edit]