Federation of Old Cornwall Societies

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St Gerrans & Portscatho O C S




President: Mrs Hilary Thompson   01872 580573


Chairman: Mr Ralph German  01326 270558


Membership Secretary: Mrs Jean Rigley


Treasurer: Mrs Margaret George


Recorder:  Neville Meek   01872 581817.




Click to contact this Society










MAY 9TH 2018 – Evening VISIT


Diana Smith


JUNE 13TH 2018 – Afternoon PILGRIMAGE






We have undertaken studies of the stiles of various parishes

in Roseland


Volume I. Cornish Stiles in the Roseland - St Gerrans, 1997   SOLD OUT


Volume II. Cornish Stiles in the Roseland - Philleigh and St Just in Roseland 1999-2000

Price £3 + p&p






Meeting Reports


January 2018


The advertised interesting talk on Cornish Pasties in Mexico was cancelled at very short notice, however we were very fortunate to welcome Di Smith who gave a fascinating, fact filled talk on the Port of Truro.

Truro grew up at the confluence of three rivers, the Kenwyn, Allen & Tinny. Truro and Penryn were the two major ports, Falmouth not being in existence  at that time. The town has been in existence since the 12th century, obtaining city status in 1877. Truro controlled the river Fal from Messack to Mylor. The major features of the town were St Marys Church (St Marys aisle in the Cathedral is the site of the old Church), High Cross and the Castle which was on the site of the current Courts of Justice. Where today we have the flexible space on the Piazza in the past it was a big wide river with fish markets, lime kilns and timber yards on one bank, on the other moorland with gardens coming right down to the quay.  Later in the 18th Century the mine owners were becoming extremely affluent and started building opulent houses with comparisons made to those of Bath, an example being the Mansion House built in 1759.

By means of slides Di took us on a tour along the routes of both the Kenwyn and the Allen, pointing out points of interest along the way. There were some very narrow alley ways, one still in existence called “Squeeze Guts Alley”.

The Port of Truro is still today a busy, vibrant port, handling coal, stone, ore concentrates, scrap metal, animal feed, fertiliser, grain, calcified seaweed and palletised goods.



February 2018


Tony Mansell – A Land Apart


What makes you think of Cornwall?  This was the opening question from Cornish Bard, Tony Mansell, in his talk to February’s Old Cornwall Society meeting.  Apparently, most people think of pasties, mining, beaches and cream teas!

The talk took us through Cornwall’s history, from prehistoric time around 10,000 BC when hunter gatherers lived mostly around the coast and caught fish, later moving inland up the rivers to form inland ports such as Lostwithiel, Tregony and Truro.  By 4,000 BC more Celts had arrived in the area and farming began.  During the Bronze and Iron Ages promontory forts were built, with banks and ditches to enable people to retreat from attack from inland.  

Kernow, from Celtic roots, means the place of promontory dwellers, although the original name for Cornwall was Cerwyn.  The language is akin to that in Wales and Brittany.  Cornwall has always had its own identity and is recorded on the Mappa Mundi in 1300.  In 936 AD the east bank of the River Tamar was fixed as the boundary between England and Cornwall.

During the Norman period, Cornwall was ruled by William the Conqueror’s half-brother and this is the time when castles such as Trematon and Launceston were built.  The Duchy of Cornwall was established in 1337 in order to raise income for the king, and the first Duke of Cornwall was the Black Prince.  During the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries Cornwall often came under attack from the French and therefore Pendennis and St Mawes Castles were built.  Times remained dangerous up until the 1700s, with the Barbary pirates who captured thousands of Cornish people.

Tony’s talk went on to cover many aspects of the county, including seafaring, religion, smuggling, roads, railways, mining, Cornish diaspora, farming, food and culture, and concluding with notable Cornish people such as inventors, artists, philanthropists and religious leaders.















Founded: 1976


Saffron, Black & White

St Gerrans Portscatho 1895 (Clive Cudmore)