St Breock

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St Breock, in Cornish, Nansant meaning Holy Valley, is a parish and village in North Cornwall.

The parish has also been known by the folowing names: St Breoke; Breacus, Lansant (Holy enclosure), Pawton and Pulton.

Together with Egloshayle it was one of the two parishes within which the town of Wadebridge developed.

Parish Church of St Briocus

St Breock church is situated beside the stream in the bottom of a sheltered, wooded valley. Church grid reference SW 977 717

The parish church of St Breock is dedicated to St Briocus. Dating back to the 13th century, it underwent an extensive rebuild in 1677. During the 15th and 16th centuries the aisle, porches and south transept were added.

The church has an usually long nave for a parish church which may be due to it formerly being owned by The Bishops of Exeter. The Bishops owned the Manor of Pawton prior to the Reformation and had a palace in this area. Some rmains of the Bishop's Palace and their deer park could be seen as late as 1925

The church contains a number of monuments to the Tredeneck family. There is a brass to a Tredeneck from circa 1520. The Tredenecks were a well established local family. John Tredeneck, died 1566, was an MP in the Reformation Parliament and in the Parliament of Elizabeth I.

The church also contains a monument from 1598 to one of the Prideaux-Brune family. The Prideaux family have been associated with Prideaux Place at Padstow since the 11th century.

The church tower is battlemented with five bells. St Breock's Feast Day is May 1st.

One of the incumbents of St Breock was Seth Ward. He became Rector of the Parish in 1662. Then in 1663 he became Bishop of Exeter and in 1667, Bishop of Salisbury.

Manor of Pawton

The Manor of Pawton was already well established in Saxon times. It extended over six entire parishes and parts of four more including: St Breock, Egloshayle, St Issey, St Ervan, St Eval, St Merryn, Little Petherick and Padstow.

The Manor was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 under the name of Pautone.

In 1086 there were 44 hides of land, land for 60 ploughs, 40 villagers and 40 smallholders; pasture 12 sq leagues, woodland 2 sq leagues.

It appears that the Manor of Pawton was once owned by St Petroc's Monastery at Padstow but was seized by the English King Egbert of Wessex and was given circa 835 A D to the Bishop of Sherbourne and his successors, who held it until the reign of Henry VIII. The seizure of the Cornish land by the English Church was aimed at weakening the hold of the Celtic Church in Cornwall and to force the Cornish into accepting the Roman Church.

Archaeological Sites in St Breock

There are many archaeological features in the Parish of St Breock.

On St Breock Downs is found a huge monolith, menhir or standing stone known as the Men Gurta.

Another smaller menhir can be seen on St Breock Downs.

Near Pawton is a burial chamber of the Penwith Chamber Tomb type from circa 3200-2500 BC often known as Pawton Quoit or the Giant's Quoit.

There are many round barrows in St Breock parish. Several tumuli near Pawtongate on St Breock Downs. There are three round barrows NW of Pawtonsprings; 3 barrows NE of St Breock Beacon - St Breock Beacon is 709 ft/216 m above sea level; two round barrows on St Breock Downs.

At Nanscow, west of St Breock is an inscribed stone dating from the 5th or 6th century. It reads "Ulcagni Fili Severi" - "the body or monument of Ulcagnus son of Severus"
Severus is a Roman name and Ulcagnus is believed to be Irish.

At Whitecross, N of Nanscow is a white-washed cross which gives the hamlet its name, standing on the grass verge of the A39.

There was formerly a chapel dedicated to St Catherine at Hustyn.

The infamous character Jan Tregeagle lived at Trevorder. He died in 1655 and was buried in an unmarked grave in St Breock churchyard. There are memorials to John Tregeagle's son (also John) and his grandson's wife in the church.

Place names in St Breock Parish: Whitecross; Burlawn; Treraven; Polmorla; Penhale; Edmonton; Hustyn; No Man's Land; Pawton; Pengelly; Tredruston; Lantuel Farm; Pawton Springs Farm; Higher Tregustick; Trevorder.


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The village of St Breock is around one mile (1.6 km) west of Wadebridge on the eastern side of the Nansent Valley.

The Parish of St Breock is bounded by the River Camel to the north, to the west by the Parish of St Issey and to the east by the Parish of Egloshayle.

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