Newlyn Walks No. 3

Newlyn Town

THE Newlyn that we know today was originally divided into separate small communities, which with the passage of time, and the building of bridges and roads merged into one. In the 1930's Charles Henderson, the noted Cornish historian, carried out some research into Cornish place and field names. In his research he came up with  the following names for what has now become Newlyn:

Lulyn 1289, 1328, 1368;

Lulyn juxta Talcarn 1321;

Bethkele juxta Lewelyn 1388;

Jacford juxta Lulyu 1289;

Lulyn and Jaghford 1424; 

Streetonowan (undated).

These then were the separate areas which today make up the  whole of Newlyn. In days gone by and even as late of the last century the people living in the different areas tended to stay in their own communities.

"Home Along" by Stanhope A Forbes ARA

LULYN (lew lyn), 1289, 1328, 1321, 1336. 

In Cornish, Lulyn means Fleet Pool. This later became known locally as Newlyn Town and extended from the Gwavas slip and North Corner at the bottom of Trewarveneth Street to the Bowjey at the Mousehole end of the town.

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Lower Fore Street & Gwavas Slip

On leaving Street-an Nowan we climb Gwavas Slip which some call Nor'ad. On reaching the top of the slope we see a strange monument on the harbour side of the road this was placed to honour the memory of  Louisa A.M. McGrigor a Red Cross Nurse who died in the First World War. Just what her relationship to Newlyn was I have been unable to find. Opposite this monument is a plaque to William Lovett the Chartist who was born in Newlyn. 

Trewarveneth St & North Corner 





This lane runs from the top of Trewarveneth Street to join Chywoone Hill at the junction of Tredavoe Lane, and reminds us that an attempt  was made at mining, one shaft being half way up on the left, and another at the bottom of Tredavoe Lane. The workings were known as Wheal Betsy, But did not prove very remunerative.


The site, at the bottom of Trewarveneth Street, was one of the last to see barrels being made in Newlyn. The barrel or hog makers were an important part of the fishing industry but with the decline in the herring the industry closed down  in 1904.


This little court, off  "The Narrows" in Newlyn Town reminds us that severe cholera epidemics  struck Newlyn in the eighteen hundreds. In one in August 1832 over 100 people died, six on Paul Feast day. Another was under way when Thomas Ellis Vingoe was born in 1873 in which the popular vicar of Newlyn J.P.Vibert was to be one of the victims. It is not known when the name was given to the court which has now disappeared with modernisation of the house now called  Dolphin Court..

Church Lane

One hundred and fifty years ago Gwavas lane was known as Church Lane. Paul Church was the Parish Church for Newlyn Town  until 1866 when St Peters Church was built. So for hundreds of years baptisms, marriages and funerals  took place at Paul with the walk up the hill that this entailed.  

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On the 1881 map you will see  Park-an-Grouse  This joined  the Bowjey  (Cow House), a piece of common land used by the fishermen for drying nets.  Park-an-Grouse stands for field of the cross in Cornish. A cross was used to mark a resting place along the path to the church.  A footpath ran on the Mousehole side of the field and worked its way up the hill to join what we now know as Gwavas Lane.

The cross has been missing from the field for a long time but it was reported in the 1940's that the base was in the garden of a house at the top of the field. * I wonder if anyone knows its whereabouts today?