Tintagel Cornwall Family History Guide

Tintagel is an Ancient Parish in the county of Cornwall.

Other places in the parish include: Tregatta, Trethevy, Trevena, Bossiney, and Bosiney.

Alternative names: Tintagel with Bossiney and Trevena

Parish church: St. Symphorina

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1546
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1607

Nonconformists include: Bible Christian Methodist, Wesleyan Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist Association.

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

TINTAGEL, a parish in Camelford district, Cornwall; on the coast, 5 miles NW of Camelford, and 17 N of Bodmin-Road r. station. It contains the villages of Bossiney, Tregatta, and Trevena; the last of which has a post-office under Camelford. Acres, 4,350; of which 70 are water. Real property, £4,013; of which £156 are in quarries. Pop. in 1851, 1,084; in 1861, 900. Houses, 204. The manor belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall. T. Castle stood on a cliff about 300 feet high; is alleged to have been the birthplace and the residence of King Arthur; was known, at Domesday, as Dunchine, signifying “Chain Castle;” became, soon after the Norman conquest, a residence of the Earls of Cornwall; gave entertainment, in 1245, to David, Prince of Wales; passed afterwards to the Crown; was used occasionally as a prison till the time of Elizabeth; went then into neglect on account of the great cost which had been incurred in keeping it in repair; and is now represented by dark and sombre ruins. Legends respecting King Arthur abound in connexion with the castle; and some of them are graphically embodied in the poetry of Warton. Slate rocks around the castle’s site, have been weathered into curious and grotesque forms, variously columnar and cavernous; and some of the excavated ones are whimsically called “King Arthur’s cups and saucers” The quarrying of slate was largely carried on, but has greatly diminished. Rock crystals, moonstone, and other interesting minerals, have been plentifully found. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £268. Patrons, the Dean and Canons of Windsor. The church is very old; includes remains of Saxon architecture, and considerable portions of Norman; belonged once to Fontevrault abbey in Normandy; was given, by Edward IV., to the Dean and Canons of Windsor; and was recently restored. There are three dissenting chapels and a national school.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

TINTAGEL (St. Symphorina), a parish, in the union of Camelford, hundred of Lesnewth, E. division of Cornwall; comprising the disfranchised borough of Bossiney, and containing 1185 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the Bristol Channel, by which it is bounded on the north; and was distinguished at an early period for its castle, whose foundation is attributed to King Arthur. This fortress was built partly on a stupendous craggy rock surrounded by the sea, and partly on the precipitous cliff that skirts the main land, the two portions being separated by a frightful chasm, 300 feet deep, over which was a drawbridge. It was occasionally occupied by the English princes: in 1245, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, entertained his nephew, Davydd, Prince of Wales, in it, during the latter’s rebellion against Henry III.; and in subsequent reigns, till within a few years of that of Elizabeth, it continued to be a royal castle, under a governor appointed by the crown, and was used as a state prison for the duchy of Cornwall. The remains consist chiefly of large scattered masses of the broken towers, and parts of the walls pierced for discharging arrows: in Leland’s time the keep was remaining, and, according to that writer, contained “a praty chapel, with a tumbe on the left syde.”

The parish comprises 3709 acres, of which 450 are common or waste land; the soil exhibits almost every variety. The scenery is strikingly picturesque; on the Trevillet estate is a deep vale of considerable length, in some parts richly wooded, in others marked with spiral rocks and overhanging precipices, and terminating on the south-east with a lofty cascade. Upon the cliffs, which are bold and romantic, are several slate-quarries, whence 200 cargoes are annually procured, and shipped at a wharf near the remains of Arthur’s Castle: in these quarries are found those beautifully transparent and regular polygonal crystals called Cornish diamonds. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king’s books at £8. 11. 3.; net income, £220; patrons, the Dean and Canons of Windsor; impropriator, Lord Wharncliffe: there is a parsonage-house, with a glebe of 40 acres. The church is an ancient structure, with a curious Norman font. In the parish were formerly two chapels, one dedicated to St. Piran, and the other to St. Denis. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. On the Trevillet estate are some remains of earthworks called Condolden Burrows; in the churchyard are three barrows, and in the town of Bossiney is another, on which the writ for the election of members for that borough was read. Near the town also is an ancient cross.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Parish Registers

Marriages at Tintagel 1588 to 1812 - View and Download Free


Vision of Britain historical maps


  • County: Cornwall
  • Civil Registration District: Camelford
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Cornwall
  • Diocese: Exeter
  • Rural Deanery: Trigg Minor
  • Poor Law Union: Camelford
  • Hundred: Lesnewth
  • Province: Canterbury