Goonhavern & Dist. History

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Goonhavern and its surrounding villages/hamlets have a rich Cornish village history that we are trying to piece together over time. If you have any information, pictures that we can scan or stories to tell, then please let us know either by contacting Derek Brooks via this site or email privately at [email protected] and we will add it to this site to enrich our historic tapestry of Goonhavern and near neighbours through the ages.

Over a 150 year period the village has grown, but services and business have declined since the second world war. Goonhavern has had the following businesses since 1850: Per Kelly’s Directories:– 1856 John Harris – Store; 1867 The New Inn; 1876 Goonhavern C.P.School; 1876 Goonhavern Chapel; 1876 James Buddle & William Brewer – 2 Stores; 1889 William Brewer Stores; James Buddle Stores & Carrier; 1893 John Knight – Carpenter; James Buddle – Shop & Carrier; Mary Ford – Store; 1910 Arthur Salmon – Blacksmith; Henry Parkin – Carrier; Miss Orlarinda Menadue – Stores; Jon Knight – Carpenter; Mary Ford – Post Office & Stores; 1914 Mary Ford – Post Office & Stores; John Knight – Carpenter; Frederick Mitchell – Stores; Arthur Salmon – Blacksmith; 1939 Mary Ford – Post Office & Stores; Sandy Dawson – Cobbler; Elsie Hollway – Central Stores; Frederick Masters – Garage; Percy Westcott – Blacksmith & Norman Whitfeld – Omnibus.

Goonhavern by 2016 has multiplied many times over to house more families than ever before, but the amenities have reduced to to just a Public House, A Shop/Post Office, a Barbers Shop and Camp sites. What used to be a Mining village in 1841 has diversified into mainly tourism. Goonhavern today has a Snooker Club, a Community Hall and a Village Park which older generations did not have. If I have missed someone apologies, let me know and I will add.

Our area for the Domesday Project consists mainly of arable land. There are occasional holiday camps scattered throughout the area and a lot of old disused tin mines especially around Ventongimps and Wheal Frances where mining used to be popular.

The area contains several small villages but there are few shops and so people have to travel to their nearest town from time to time to make purchases or the Internet. The majority of the population, however, is connected in one way or another with the land and consequently is reasonably self sufficient as far as the provision of fresh food is concerned. Apart from farming and work on the land, many of the population supplement their income from the tourist trade which is a growing industry.

Article Courtesy of the BBC Domesday Reloaded Project written in 1986.


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"Memories of Goonhavern-Past & Present - Its people and places"
Goonhavern AFC 1946 Goonhavern & District Individuals of the Past  (646 photos to date) “Photographs of Individual Characters of Goonhavern and surrounding area over 150 years”. Last update 25th May 2024
First Train through Goonhavern 1905 Bolingey Viaduct to Goonhavern Halt to Shepherds Station  (139 photos to date) “Closed many years ago, but is still in living memory of many Goonhavern residents. If it weren’t for the closure of the railway line and the generosity of a few good people, we wouldn’t have the large village park we have today”. Last update 26th May 2024
First Train through Goonhavern 1905 Shepherds Station – Treamble Mineral line – Gravel Hill Tramway  (48 photos to date) “Closed many years ago, but is still in living memory of many Goonhavern residents.  Last update 26th May 2024
Central Stores Circa 1932 after being rebuilt. The previous Grocers shop at that location had been there since about 1840. Affectionately known as the Harrods of Cornwall. Owned by Miss Elsie K. Hollway Central Stores-Masters Garage-Richards Shop  (22 photos to date) “Central Stores has always been the focal point of the village from back in the early 1800’s being on a road junction. Fredliz (Masters) Garage & Henry Richards Carpenters Shop complimented the village layout”. Last update 26th May 2024
Goonhavern County Primary School Circa 1910. Here is Headmaster Mr Matthew Hoskin Keast with his two daughters Martha and Olga both Teachers Goonhavern C P School (17 photos to date) “Goonhavern School as with the village has grown and grown. From its early days in the 1870’s it has evolved into the first class school it is today. Modernised between 2000-2003 it is now one of the preferred locations”. Last update 26th May 2024
Goonhavern County Primary School Class Circa 1925 Goonhavern C.P.School Class Photos (534 photos to date)   “Photographs of various “Classes” over the years do you recognise anyone? please let me know”. New photographs have just been received so watch out for updates soon. Last update 26th May 2024
Goonhavern County Primary School Goonhavern C.P.School Renovation Project 2000-2003 Photos (143 photos to date) “Photographs of the renovations taken each one – two weeks over the entire project”. Last update 26th May 2024
Churchtown Farm Circa 1950 Churchtown Farm – Kernewek Restaurant/Pottery – Park View/Pottery Mews (27 photos to date)  “Who would have thought that back in the 1960’s Churchtown Farm would diversify to a Restaurant, then a Pottery and finally today a Housing Development all in the space of 50 years”. Last update 26th May 2024
The New Inn Before 1900 The New Inn (49 photos to date) “The New Inn has always been the focal point of the village from 1868 when it was a Public Inn and Coaching House. Along with the Smithy opposite this formed the hub of the village in the 1800’s”. Last update 26th May 2024
The Old Forge Circa 1910 The Old Forge (20 photos to date)  “The village Blacksmith or Smithy has been an integral part of Goonhavern stretching back to 1851 but then diversifying into being a Restaurant & Cafe and finally now being Car Sales”. Last update 26th May 2024
Bridge Stores Goonhavern Post Office and Stores (48 photos to date)   “The village has had a number of different shops and post offices in its history. The changes have been for numerous reasons, such as road and rail changes, but luckily, we have always had great local stores”. Last update 26th May 2024
Goonhavern Village Park Goonhavern Village Park (31 photos to date) “Photographs of Goonhavern Village Park from its humble beginnings in 1975 to major renovations during 2012 & 2013”. Last update 26th May 2024
Goonhavern Football Teams Goonhavern Football Club Teams of the Past (10 photos to date) “This page will show various Goonhavern teams of the past, I am sure you will recognise many locals that played at various times over the years.”. Last update 26th May 2024
Goonhavern Snooker Team 1954 Goonhavern Snooker Teams & Players (32 photos to date) “Photographs of Goonhavern Snooker Club Teams and Players over the Years”. Last update 26th May 2024
Goonhavern Sign Circa 1998 Road & Business Signs in Goonhavern (19 photos to date)  “Various Road Signs and Business Signs in Goonhavern and surrounding area”. Last update 26th May 2024
Goonhavern Methodist Chapel & Sunday School Circa 1998 Miscellaneous locations & memorials (231 photos to date) “Photographs of various individual locations and memorials around Goonhavern and its surrounding area”. Last update 26th May 2024
Perranwell Methodist Chapel Circa 1910 Callestick, Penhallow, Penwartha School, Perranwell, Perranzabuloe & Ventongimps (98 photos to date)  “Photographs of Callestick, Penhallow, Perranwell, Perranzabuloe & Ventongimps all have their own history to tell which we hope to add to”. Last update 26th May 2024
Rejerrah Village,Surrounding Hamlets & its Residents (Brand New Section)Rejerrah Village, Surrounding Hamlets and its Residents  (50 photos to date)  “Photographs of Rejerrah Village, Surrounding Hamlets and its Residents”. Last update 26th May 2024
Rose Village & Surrounding Hamlets (Brand New Section) Rose Village, Surrounding Hamlets and its Residents  (216 photos to date) “Photographs of Rose Village, Surrounding Hamlets inc Treamble Mineral Line and its Residents”. Last update 26th May 2024
Zelah Village & Surrounding Hamlets (Brand New Section) Zelah Village, Surrounding Hamlets and its Residents  (106 photos to date)  “Photographs of Zelah Village, Surrounding Hamlets and its Residents”.  Last Update 26th May 2024
Mining in our Area Mining in our Area  (356 photos to date)  “Photographs of Mining in our Area”. Last update 26th May 2024 
Goonhavern Sign Circa 1998 Goonhavern Carnivals, Brownies, Guides, Harvest Festivals & Tea Treats (51 photos to date)  “Photographs of Bygone Goonhavern Events”. Last update 26th May 2024.

8 thoughts on “Goonhavern & Dist. History”

  1. Beth May passed away last month at the age of 98. Beth was a local lady who lived all ther life in Goonhavern and Pernporth. She wrote her life story about growing up and the war years. I have a copy and would be pleased to post it onto you if you could let me have an email address.
    I am decended from the House family who owned Ventingimps mill at one time. Also my wife is decended from the Nicholls family of veronica cott.
    Look forward to hearing from you
    Richard Pengelly

    1. Hello Richard, nice to hear from you, and would love a copy of Beth’s life story. I knew Beth from a little boy, she worked for the Post Office in Truro, and my mother had the Post Office in Goonhavern, of course I new her when she was living down Perranwell, and when we moved into Rose Meadows Beth was our neighbour two doors up. Then she moved down Perran, but I didnt see her much them in latter life. I don’t know if other members who were related, and live here and locally if not be pleased to pass on a copy to them if that’s OK. I am trying to remember the Nicholls family of Veronica Cott, not sure if I knew them, there are 2 Nicholls lines her in GH. I think the Tuck’s lived in Veronica Cottage in my youth, but may be wrong, it was a long time ago. Ventongimps Mill always comes up in conversation, different families who had it, The Reynolds family had it and we distant cousins. My email is [email protected]

    2. I would be grateful for a copy of Beth May’s life story. We bought her cottage in Perranwell from her in 1982 when she moved to Goonhavern, and were in touch with her for many years.

  2. My sister and myself will be visiting Rose in early June, 2017. While we live in Brisbane, Qld, Australia, many of our ancestors came from Rose. I notice that you have photos of descendants of the same name as some of them. Our 3 x great grandmother was Grace Penna (1801-1867) and she married Charles Osborn (1798-1855), while her father was Thomas Penna (1773-1848) and he married Grace Davis (1779-1844). Some of the other familes in our ancestral line from Perranzabuloe, which are not specified as Rose, but could be from that location are Pednprase, Trenerry, Trevethan, Bartel, Clark, Calloway and Buddle. Would there be anyone who would know about those families, who would be willing to spend an hour or two and tell us some of their history? Kind regards, Katherine Hammer

    1. Just seen your post and it seems your Thomas Penna 1773-1848 was the brother of my 4 x great grandfather William Penna 1765-1852!

  3. My mother, Margaret Manfield, was caretaker at Goonhavern School from 1970-1983 and died last year, aged 89. I have some photos of her retirement presentation, a newspaper article (not very good quality) and a photo taken in 2010 at the ‘old’ school gates.

    Could you email me if you are interested please and I’ll forward them.

    Thanks very much,


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