This index is very much a work in progress; it has, so far, taken me several years, and will undoubtedly take many more years to complete. Most entries are therefore likely to be updated or amended. Place names are primarily included for the purposes of identifying locations given in print, and in maps and manuscripts available to the public, and do not necessarily imply any validity of usage or of spelling, and do not imply that the original source was correct in the information given; though where mistakes are identified comment will be given in the footnotes. Dates given here are not implied to be the earliest occurrence of that spelling, but are simply the earliest reference found at this current stage of gathering, and many are likely to be updated (or should that be downdated).
The parishes given here in the first instance are the ancient ecclesiastical parishes as the vast majority of historical references to place names are given in this way. Where a location exists in a 'modern' post-medieval parish, this will be mentioned within the description, as soon as it can be verified. Many entries will need updating in this respect and such assignations should become clearer as more information is added. Modern civil parishes and other secular divisions will be given their own entries in the index and, as with modern ecclesiastical parishes, these will be mentioned within the descriptions for each relevant place. The 10 figure National Grid Reference will be given for all places located on current Ordnance Survey 1:10000 scale mapping, and for a great many others which no longer survive, and these act as links to the Ordnance Survey Get-a-Map service. The latitude and longitude will also be given in decimalised form and these link to the Wikimedia GeoHack service, giving a multitude of links for geographical, governmental and photographic websites displaying results for the place in question. Both of these co-ordinate systems should give very accurate results, to within a few metres, and hopefully this should prove useful to those visitors who utilise GPS and GIS. Likewise, the repository catalogue numbers of many of the original documents referenced here will act as links to entries on the Cornwall Record Office's online catalogue or to The National Archives' database. In addition, many of the pages featured here will include Google satellite images of the relevant town, village or farm. First and second edition Ordnance Survey sheet numbers given are those for Cornwall, unless otherwise stated. These are taken from the author's extensive personal collection and references taken from online resources will only be used where absolutely necessary.
References marked with (*) have either been catalogued or studied firsthand or via high quality reprographics, by the author of this index, either at the Cornwall Record Office (CRO) or the Courtney Library of the Royal Institution of Cornwall (RIC), so I must take full responsibility for any mistakes in those entries, and many thanks must here be given to my former colleagues at the CRO for pointing out a number of these variants to me, and for their help with some of the more difficult palaeography. A small number of the CRO documents referenced here have been taken from previously catalogued material, especially those for which an 'alias' or 'otherwise' is given in the description, though these will, hopefully, be checked firsthand when, and if, the opportunity arises, though as I no longer reside in Cornwall less work in this respect is inevitable. Many of the references within this index are to tenement names from the Tithe Apportionments held at the CRO, and here I must give profuse thanks to my former colleague David Thomas for his transcriptions of these. The enormous amount of work that he has done in this respect is highly appreciated, and without his input this index would be vastly decreased in size.
Mention must be made here of the fact that many of the names given in deeds and leases would often be recited directly from previous indentures, and in some cases this may artificially extend the period of time for which these names are recorded. Similarly, many writers often used the place names as given in earlier publications; Redding's use of those given in the works of Borlase and Symons' use of place names as given in Martyn's map1, published more than 130 years earlier, being obvious examples of this. St has been given here whether the original gives Saint or St as both are used interchangeably and the inclusion of both is therefore deemed unnecessary, as is the use of abbreviational punctuation, although earlier variants such as Seynt or Sancti have been given, as have those given within Tithe Apportionments and those giving the names of mines.
With regard to variants of place names taken from the works of authors such as Gover2, Padel and Pool: it is understood that these works are still in copyright and that any entries in this index taken from the works of such authors will therefore have to be kept to a minimum. However, the entries taken from such works should eventually be replaced, either by the original sources referenced by those works, or by other documents containing the same variants. Such works are generally produced in order to show the development and mutation of Cornish place names and to give the author's opinion as to the original meaning of those place names, and therefore they give many more earlier variants than later ones; this being necessary to show the author's interpretation of the original meaning. The primary purpose of this index is, as previously stated, to help with the identification of place names as given in historical documentation and where the modern equivalent for that name might not be easily traced and, therefore, this index includes a large number of later forms as well as the early ones.
The maps and plans featured on this website have been created with Quantum GIS, building on data and shapefiles supplied by the Ordnance Survey under the OS OpenData™ licence. OS vector layers used for this project are from Boundary-Line™ and Meridian 2™. Additionally, raster layers rendered from 10km2 OS National Grid tiles in TIFF format have been used at varying transparencies. These have been supplied by Map Maker and are enhanced to show more detail, including contours and slope shading. All other data and shapefiles, including all place names and boundaries for ecclesiastical parishes and historical administrative units, were created by the author. All of the maps and plans featured on this website, along with a great many others, can be found on flickr. The use of flickr has the added advantage that the images can very easily be arranged into custom sets for use in galleries tailored for each specific page on the site, and featuring many more images than it would be suitable to use on any given page. The photostream is visible to everyone and all images uploaded have been given an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) licence.
I have, for a while now, been adding my place-name data to the GIS mapping used on this site. This has presented me with the opportunity to query the data in all sorts of fascinating ways: maps can be created for any given area and for any given period in history; similar toponymical forms can be isolated; manors and their tenements can be tracked through time; and a whole multitude of customised maps can be created. Although it would be possible to make the whole map/database available online and in a format which would enable users to query the data in whichever way they wanted, it is, unfortunately, impossible for me to afford to do this.
There was a time, several years ago and before, due to financial concerns, I was forced to flit Cornwall for the foreseeable future, when small and introductory steps were taken to try to secure some modest funding for this project, or at least some form of it, but although several parties were fully supportive, including the Institute for Cornish Studies, Dr Oliver Padel and, to a great extent, Cornwall County Council (as was), all efforts unhappily coincided with the start of the economic downturn and were therefore, understandably, curtailed. I can, perhaps more than many folk, appreciate that when jobs, resources and funding for acquisitions are collectively threatened then any project such as mine necessarily has to take a back seat. I cannot, though, look back at this time without feeling that Cornwall has, to some extent, missed out on the chance to stay one step ahead of its peers. Of course, Cornwall Council does, and has for a long time, maintained related projects, such as the Historic Environment Service's GIS mapping, and is frequently introducing GIS mapping databases relating to several aspects of administrative information and making these freely available to the public. Others, however, have begun to take the kind of steps which echo those footprints in freshly fallen snow that I imagined when I set out on this journey. Project Chalice was begun in 2010, and was an exploration of the potential uses for a historic place-name gazetteer linked to databases, GIS mapping and other resources on the semantic web.
This website does have a full site index containing every word within the website and this can be very useful when looking for an old place name where the modern form or the parish is not known. This should, likewise, be of use for searching for personal names; for instance, the names Jenkin, Jenkings, Jenkyns etc will all be found fairly close together in this index. The entries in this site index can be clicked on, and this will show all pages on which the word is featured. The site index can be found on the side menu at all times. The full site index is only indexed once a week, every Monday, so very recent additions and edits may not appear in the search results. Fortunately, there is also a simple search facility at the top of each page and as this is indexed in real time, all recently added material will show up on this.
It is inevitable that converting the index from its previous format on cornovia.org.uk to this present one, with its much improved facilities, will mean that information will not be added with any great speed. The index is vast (several thousand pages of A4 when printed) and a great number of entries have been added since the cornovia.org.uk version was last updated, so the material featured here so far is but a tiny percentage of the whole index, and it will be many years yet before that percentage even begins to look respectable. I also have many tens of thousands of place names still to add to the index; from my own notes as well as from printed material and maps. The new format is far more complex and interactive than the previous version and it is now therefore proving more time consuming to add data; though I believe the benefits far outweigh any temporal costs. The future for the index looks bright: the present format is capable of performing a great many tricks; and who can tell where Web 3.0 will lead us. I thank you for your patience.
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