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Cornish: Ti War Dreth
Tywardreath Church.jpg
Tywardreath Church
Grid reference: SX084544
Location: 50°21’27"N, 4°41’40"W
Post town: Par
Postcode: PL24
Dialling code: 01726
Local Government
Council: Cornwall
South East Cornwall

Tywardreath is a small, hilltop village on the south coast of Cornwall. about three miles north-west of Fowey. It is located in a sheltered spot overlooking a silted up estuary opposite Par and near the beach of Par Sands. It is on the Saints' Way path.

The name of the village is from the Cornish Ti War Dreth, meaning 'House on the Beach'.

Tywardreath was featured by Daphne du Maurier in her novel The House on the Strand. Although this was a fictional tale of drug-induced time-travel, the history and geography of the area was carefully researched by du Maurier, who lived in a house called 'Kilmarth', a mile to the south.

Tiny as it is, the village was one a borough: the seal of the Borough of Tywardreath was a Shield of Arms, a saltire between four fleurs-de-lis, with the legend "Tywardreath".[1] The arms are derived from those of the priory: the saltire for St Andrew, the patron of the priory and parish church; the fleur-de-lis for the French mother house at Angers.

Tywardreath is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as one of 28 manors held by Richard from Robert, Count of Mortain. There were 2 hides of land and land for 12 ploughs. One virgate of land was held by Richard with 4 ploughs and 7 serfs; 8 villeins and 18 smallholders had the rest of the land with 3 ploughs. There were 6 acres of woodland and 100 acres of pasture. The manor was valued at £2 though it had formerly been worth £4.[2]

Parish church

St Andrew's Church was first dedicated in 1343 but was extensively rebuilt in 1880.

The church houses a peal of six bells. Memorials include those to the Harris family, active in the Civil War. Philip Rashleigh (1729–1811) of Menabilly, the famous mineralogist and Member of Parliament for Fowey, is buried here.

Tywardreath Priory

The settlement grew out of a Benedictine priory established at around the time of the Norman Conquest. Founded from the Abbey of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, Angers in Anjou, France, it was founded to contain only about seven monks, the endowment being sufficient for that number. The house was poor but powerful in the area, controlling the port of Fowey and having lands scattered over Cornwall.

Being regarded as an "alien monastery" subject to a French mother house, the Crown frequently took the priory into its "protection", appropriating all its temporal income for the Crown, so that the profits of English land were not sent to the French enemy. The result was a poor, demoralised monastery, devoid of its monks, who were expelled in the early 1400s. A slow revival from about 1406 brought English monks into the house, and it regained its prestige and much of the property it had lost, having become "denizen", which is to say naturalised as English. However, by 1535 and the Valor Ecclesisticus the priory was valued at less than £200 annually, and like many others it was suppressed by the Crown in 1536. Nothing survives of the monastery today, except some carved stones in the parish church, next to where the priory stood. Attempts are being made to explore the site using modern archaeological methods.


Main article: Menabilly

Within the parish is the historic estate of Menabilly, long the seat of the Rashleigh family, in 1873 the largest landowners in Cornwall.[3]


Tywardreath has a single storey Masonic Centre at the junction of Southpark Road and Woodland Road.[4] The building is owned by St Andrew Lodge No. 1151 and is home to nine Masonic bodies, including four Craft Lodges,[5] making it one of the most active Masonic centres in Mid Cornwall.


Outside the village on the road up to Castle Dore is Trenython Manor (Cornish: Tre'n Eythyn, meaning 'gorse farm'). It was originally built for Colonel Peard in thanks from Giuseppe Garibaldi for support during his Italian struggle. For 15 years from 1891 it was the bishop's palace for the Diocese of Truro. For half of the 20th century it was a railway convalescent home.

A local paper at the time reported: "Trenython, the seventh Railwaymen's convalescent home, was opened by Viscount Churchill, chairman of the GWR. It has accommodation for 85 men – the cost of refurbishment about £25,000 – and the architect was Mr B. Andrew of St Austell. The two Egyptian Pillars standing sentinel inside the front door had originated from the Temple of Ephesus and are thousands of years old. Trenython is to be a self-contained institution with its own water supply, own electric system and own sewage system."

Today Trenython Manor is a country house hotel.[6][7]

Outside links


  1. Pascoe, W. H. (1979). A Cornish Armory. Padstow, Cornwall: Lodenek Press. p. 135. ISBN 0-902899-76-7. 
  2. Thorn, C. et al. (1979) Cornwall. Chichester: Phillimore; entry 5,3,8
  3. Per the Return of Owners of Land, 1873
  4. Chandler, John, ed (2015). Cornwall Masonic Year Book 2015 - 2016. Truro: Provincial Grand Lodge of Cornwall. pp. 33. 
  5. Province of Cornwall (2016) Cornwall Masonic Yearbook 2016/7
  6. Tywardreath Past and Present. Tywardreath WI. 1994. p. 132. ISBN 0952351900. http://thecornishbookshop.com/tywardreath-past-and-present. 
  7. "A brief history of Trenython Manor". Trenython Manor. http://www.trenython.co.uk/history-trenython/. Retrieved 18 February 2016.