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Madron Parish
PenzanzePenwith
Shown within UK and Penwith
OS Grid Reference: SW409257
Lat/Lon: 50°08'N, 5°33'W
Population: 1466 (2001 Census)[1]
Dwellings:
Settlements
Major Settlement: Madron
Settlement Type: Village
Population:
Dwellings:
Secondary Settlements: Tredinnick, Lower Ninnes, New Mill, Newbridge, Tregavarah.
Administration
Ward: Madron and Zennor
District: Penwith
County: Cornwall
Region: South West England
Post Office and Telephone
Post town: Truro
Postcode: TR20 8xx
Dialling Code: 01736

Madron is a village and civil parish in the district of Penwith, Cornwall in the United Kingdom. The parish encompasses the villages of Tredinnick, Lower Ninnes, New Mill, Newbridge and Tregavarah and is bounded by the parishes of Sancreed and St Just to the west, by Zennor and Morvah to the north, by the sea and the parish of Paul in the south and by the parishes of Gulval and Penzance to the east.


Contents

[edit] History

Evidence of early medieval habitation at Madron is in the form of one or two inscribed stones. One was found in the wall of the village church and has since been removed from it; the inscription consists of a cross and legible text, but its meaning is not clear. The other inscription was reported by R.A.S. Macalister in 1949 as being 'built into the N. wall of the N. aisle, west of the entrance door' of the church, but has not been seen since; Elisabeth Okasha speculates that Macalister may have seen the inscription in another church, and misremembered its location.[2]

Unlike its larger neighbour of Penzance, Madron was recorded in the Domesday Book as being under jurisdiction of the manor of Alverton, an area that once formed much of what is now the southern part of Penwith. The church itself was once under the control of Knights Hospitallers of Jerusalem [3] and was known by the Cornish name of Landithy, a name which is still used in parts of the village today.

The nearby Madron well is an example of a Cornish Celtic sacred site, which is renowned for its healing properties. A tradition at this site persists to this day where people attach pieces of rag (cloughties)[4] to the nearby bushes as a symbol of appeasement to the spirits within the well site. Madron well was also, until the 18th century, the principal source of water for the nearby community of Penzance and these communities were further linked by the fact that Madron church was the mother church of Penzance.

A short distance away is the ruined well-chapel (also known as Madron Baptistry) which has been dated to the fourteenth century, but is likely to have even earlier foundations. The building measures 7 metres by 5 metres and has no roof, and it is not known if it ever had a roof. Ivy and wild roses creep over the walls and ferns grow from between the granite blocks. Spring water, from the same source as the original well, is fed into a stone basin in the south-western corner. A low altar stone can be seen against the eastern wall, and stone seats line the walls. The local Old Cornwall Society keeps up the traditions of the Midsummer Bonfire and the Crying the Neck ceremony.

Landithy Hall, which opened in 1909, contains the Community Rooms and hosts many village events. It is here that Madron Parish Council holds the majority of its meetings, the other venue being Trythall School.

Madron Feast Week is from the first Sunday in Advent. The Western Hunt traditionally meets at Madron on Feast Monday and also on Boxing Day.

The village has a Garden of Remembrance for the dead of World Wars I and II.

[edit] Madron Church

The consecration of Madron Church was performed by the Bishop of Exeter who travelled from Exeter with two archdeacons, the chancellor of the cathedral and the Lord Prior of the Knights of St. John in London; with them also travelled an entourage of clergymen, knights, grooms and servants. This was not a specific voyage to Madron by the Bishop, he had 14 other churches to consecrate on that summer tour as well as a quiet word with some rebellious parishioners in St Buryan.

The church was not finished until 1500 by which time the vicar Bendict Tregos was probably worrying about having backed Perkin Warbeck when he landed at Sennen 1499 proclaiming himself Richard IV. Warbeck came to a traitor's end and Tregos avoided the wrath of Henry VII and the charge of treason by paying for the north aisle himself, decorating the church in Tudor roses and placing the king’s arms on expensive panelling. He succeeded and died peacefully many years later.

By 1820, the circular acre around the church had filled with the remains of deceased parishioners and it was decided that the churchyard would need to be extended. The work that this involved was extensive and involved extending to the north which in turn involved demolishing a cottage and compensating the leaseholder, diverting the stream from Madron Well and raising the ground level 6 feet to meet the general level. It was not until 1828 that this work was completed and the new burial ground consecrated by the Bishop of Exeter. The total cost of this was £369 11s 6d. Ironically the churchyard was full again by 1878 and the church side of Madron cemetery consecrated the following year by Edward White Benson, the Bishop of the new diocese of Truro.

A list of the cost of repairing pews in 1837 illustrates the point that persons of substance in the parish had their own personal pews while one must assume that the general populace stood at the rear. By 1855 it was decided “that it is most desirable that an effort be made to restore Madron Church to a condition worthy of the sacred purpose for which it was built.” To do this all the old pews were removed and uniform pews set in their place. Heating and lighting were added and the chancel re-floored. By 1889 the church emerged looking much as it does today.

The set of bells that punctuate life around the church were first mounted in the church tower in the early 1700s. At that time there were only three bells, however, in 1761 the village decided to sell these three bells and invest in a new peal of five bells. These were ordered from the Bayley foundry in Bridgwater. The third bell caused much trouble and was sent back to be re-cast. It still wasn’t right and was re-cast again in Helston, and yet again in Loughborough. A further two others were still unsatisfactory and were re-cast at Hayle Foundry in 1823. This situation prevailed until 1898 when it was decided that they needed renovation. By happenstance this coincided with Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee and a sixth bell, a treble was added. The seventh and eighth bells were added in 1950 and the entire peal re-dedicated on the 3rd March 1951. The peal that rings out over Madron today is:

Bell Specifications
weight inscription founded
(cwts, qtrs, lbs)
1 3-2-19 “In memory of John Kemp White, 1867-1947, Choirmaster and organist. His children’s gift” 1950
2 4-0-0 “The gift of the Truro Diocesan Guild of Ringers. In memory of John Symons MRCS.” 1950
3 4-0-5 “God save our Queen and church. William Borlase Tremenheere, vicar.” 1898
4 4-2-23 “Number 3” 1761
5 4-2-27 "Rev. Michael Nowell Peters (vicar), P. Kempe (churchwarden)." Recast Loughborough 1842
6 4-3-3 “Rev. W. Tremenheere (vicar), Jas. Glasson (churchwarden).” Re-cast Hayle 1823
7 6-3-15 “Number 2.” Re-cast Hayle 1823
8 9-2-8 “Walter Borlase (vicar), Thos. Jenkin (churchwarden).” 1761

[edit] Nelson

The news of the death of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson following the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 was received first in England by the arrival of HMS Pickle en route to Falmouth under the command of Lieut. John Richards Lapenotiere in Mount's Bay. A fishing vessel from Penzance passed the news to the shore which was formally announced from the balcony of the Assembly Rooms (now the Union Hotel) in Chapel Street, Penzance. Since the mother church of Penzance was at Madron, the mayor of Penzance took up a procession on which made its way to Madron where a memorial service was held and the Nelson banner paraded for the first time. On it was the epitaph “Mourn for the brave, the immortal Nelson’s gone. His last sea fight is fought, his work of Glory done”. Storms in the English Channel meant that Nelson’s body did not arrive by sea in London until January 1806. Regular annual services commemorating the death of Nelson were started on 27 October 1946 when so many people attended that the service was relayed outside. These services continue to this day [5]. The Trafalgar Fields housing development was so named to reinforce the links with Nelson.

[edit] Penzance Workhouse

Once situated within the parish of Madron was the Penzance Union Workhouse. The Penzance Poor Law Union was formed on 10th June 1837, the population that fell within the Union at the time of the 1831 census was just under 40,000. The Penzance Union workhouse was build in 1838. Designed by George Gilbert Scott and William Bonython Moffatt, it was intended to house 400 and cost £6050 to build. It was in use until 1948 when the National Health Service came into being.

[edit] Local Government

For the purposes of local government Madron elects its own parish council. Madron also forms part of the single member Madron and Zennor ward of the Penwith District Council. Under the 1934 restructure of local government the then Penzance Borough Council made representation to include the village of Madron within its boundaries, due to strong local resistance this move was defeated. The nearby settlement of Heamoor (until this date part of the parish) was however included within the revised boundaries of the borough and remains part of the parish of Penzance to this day.

[edit] Schools

Madron Daniell's Endowed School was built by George Daniell in 1710 (his family were Lords of the Manor of Alverton in Penzance since the 7th century). It is located next to the parish church with a view over Penzance and Mount's Bay. It is, to a degree, remarkable since it has a cottage for the head master on site. The school was extended from the original two classrooms to its current size in the late 1960s. It has subsequently been renamed St Maddern's Church of England School.

[edit] Playing Field

The village has a King George V Playing Field, which is home to Madron Football Club. Previously it has been home to both Madron Cricket Club & Penzance & Newlyn Rugby Club 2nd 15.

[edit] Famous residents

William Sydney Graham (November 19, 1918 - January 9, 1986) Poet. A plaque in Fore Street commemorates him.

Alfred Wallis (18 August 1855 – 29 August 1942) Artist. Died in Madron workhouse.

[edit] References

  1. , 2001 Uk census
  2. , See the discussion and bibliography in Elisabeth Okasha, Corpus of early Christian inscribed stones of South-west Britain (Leicester: University Press, 1993), pp. 178-84
  3. , west-penwith.org.uk
  4. , cornwalls.co.uk
  5. , madron.org

[edit] Gallery

[edit] See also

[edit] External links and References


(Source: Wikipedia)
 
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