Friday, 15th of November 2019
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Welcome to Lanreath, Cornwall, England

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Past and Present

Past and Present is a new page on the Lanreath website, intended to bring together old photographs and films of the village and village activities. Please send any old photographs or films to the Webmaster for scanning or re-filming to be added to this page, with any information you may have.

On the left of the picture are the three ‘Cobb Cottages’, all of which have now been renovated. The cottage on the right was once the village post office, outside of which was the first public telephone box in the Parish, now a private dwelling. Below that used to be the local brewery, behind which, it is understood, stood one of three pubs in the village.
Again, the ‘Cobb Cottages’ on the left, with ‘Well Cottage on the right.  Well Cottage was the watering hole for the lower part of the village, and can still be seen today - worth a look. The field was sold at the end of the 60s, and Grylls Park built in the early 70s. The house in the distance still exists.
In the historic photograph there are three cottages, the centre of which was at one time the post office - now called the ‘Old Post Office’ and extends over  two previous properties.  The location of the post box can still be seen on the wall. The current two properties are privately owned by long-time residents of Lanreath.
The War Memorial to the fallen is kept neat and tidy by an elder resident (and old soldier) from Lanreath. Each November, a small number of residents gather to remember those who gave their lives in the fight against tyranny. Behind the memorial is ‘Corner Cottage’, and to the left the ‘Old Shop’, with its beautiful bay window, reminding us all of the past.
Looking down Fore Street, the property on the right is ‘St Marnarch’s View - St Marnarch’s being the Church. Below the Church on the wall, best located on the present photograph, is the water pump that served the top of Lanreath.  The pump is still there. To the left, not seen, was the garden of the Rectory, sold off to build three large properties in the early 70s, called, you’ve guessed it, Rectory Gardens, no. 1, 2 & 3.
On the left of the photograph is the Punch Bowl Inn, famous for being the first licensed pub in England and dating back to 1620, although it has a long history way before that. On the right in the old photograph is the Tithe Barn, where tenant farmers paid their dues. Now owned by an old Lanreath family, it was until recently a Farm Museum. On the right is Rowan Lodge, the last post office before the current community-run one.
The ‘old’ village green, albeit with no grass. The game was called ‘keels’, with the stumps being cut from the May Day flag pole, illegally stolen from nearby woods - see additional photographs. We think the back row guys, left to right are: Harris, ? and Hally, and the front row sitting, Smith, Bunnie, Lamerton and Richard Harris. Playing ‘keels’ is Libby. Full names and corrections would be appreciated. The photograph was taken on a summer’s day in 1930.
It would be interesting to know who these children were, and the date the photograph was taken. The view is looking down Fore Street with St Marnarch’s View Cottage on the right, the renovated wall of the three Rectory Garden properties on the left. The granite gate column seen on the far right of the old picture, maybe the one now set into the corner of the road leading to Rectory Garden properties?
St Marnarch’s Church in the centre of Lanreath looks to have changed little, except for new gates. Indeed, “For well over a thousand years Lanreath people have been coming to this place to pray and to offer thanks, to look for shelter from the world and to celebrate events in their lives. Through all that time they have looked after, added to and worried over the building growing up in their midst. To all those generations, to the enduring strength of their Christian faith and to the protection of God, we owe this beautiful church.” Quoted from ‘A Guide and History’ of St Marnarch’s Church written by Rosemary Pollock. The book can be purchased from within the church.
This view is from the St Marnarch’s Road into the village, looking towards the Punch Bowl Inn. On the right of the old photograph is the former village hall/community centre, where lots of activity used to take place before the building of the new village hall at the top of the village, and now the site of the Millennium Building. Further to the right is the new shop.
On the left is a painting from an old photograph that was made into a postcard called Lanreath Farm Museum. Alas, the museum is now closed, but at the end is a private residence called The Tithe Barn, which is much photographed by visitors.
These two photographs are of the road leading to what is now Rectory Gardens, giving access to five houses. Originally a dirt pathway that led to The Rectory. On the left is Rectory Cottage and the right, yet to be built, 2, Rectory Gardens. Part way up this road and to the right gave access to the Lanreath School, in the days before the former school opposite the Village Hall was built. No photographs exist of the Rectory Gardens school, but I would love to be proved wrong.

Tree trunk for maypole shot about 1940+ outside old village hall/men’s club

Lanreath Home Guard taken outside of the Old Rectory - shot in 1944

Cutting maypole for 'keels' - 8 June 1946



Mayday was a big event in Lanreath until the early 80s, with the highlight being dancing around the maypole - these pictures are about late 40s, early 50s. The actual pole was a tree trunk, selected and stolen from nearby woods and fearlessly guarded against theft by rival villages - the men seen carrying the tree trunk are mainly farmers, some owning 12-bore shotguns. In the early 1980s, the police caught 20 Lanreath villagers in the dead of night  carrying a stolen tree trunk back to the village, and thus ended the tradition, including the game of ‘keels’. Mayday celebrations restarted in the year 2000 and has been held every year since - you can find pictures and video on this site, including maypole dancing.
MayDay 1980’s - click to watch a short video clip shot by Wendy Facey

Lanreath Home Guard Outside the Old Rectory

Back row left to right: Billy Mitch; William Pollard; Nicholas Penrose; Lewis Knight; Ken Sandy; Martin West; Sidney Stephens; Joe Olliver; Sidney Jeffery; George Martin; Norman Giles; 2nd row: Reg Hawke; Wesley Yeo; Fred Woolcock; Victor Libby; Arthur Matthews; William Lamerton; Tom Mitchell; Arthur Tamblyn; Peter Temblyn; Ernest Haley; Dennis Bunney; 3rd row: Jack Mitchell; Joe Martin; Edmond Facey; ? Snell; Arthur Libby; Peter Haley; Jack Olliver; Roy Lang; Harry Tamblyn; Fred Jago; William Ruby; David Bunney; Tom Facey; Claud Frethey (Blacksmith); Front row: Wilfred Shepherd; Reuben Haley; Edgar Sandy; Harry Yeo; Martin Bunney; Rev. Charles Girling; S.... Major? (not Lanreath man); Tom Mitchell; Stan Shepherd; William Haley; Jim Collings; Percy Libby; Les Wills
At the time of posting (March 2012) five of the above are still alive. If you wish to make a comment to add-value to the historical knowledge of our village, please email the Webmaster: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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