St Veep parish covers 2550 acres of mainly farmland. It stretches from Polveithan Farm in the south to Netherton in the north, from Cliff in the west to Highgate in the east; it includes the villages of Lerryn and Penpoll. St Winnow parish covers over 5000 acres, stretching from the northern bank of the River Lerryn to the adjacent parishes of Lanlivery, Lanhydrock and Cardinham. Lerryn History Society embraces the whole of the parish of St Veep and the part of St Winnow falling within Lerryn Village along to St Winnow Church and Newham to Trewether and Trevego and including Couch’s Mill.

With the parish boundary of St Veep running along the centre of the River Fowey and along the estuaries of the River Lerryn and Trebant Water which flows into Penpoll Creek, it is no surprise that the river has played a vital part in the lives of our forbearers. The villages of Lerryn and Penpoll grew up where they now stand as both are situated on the highest crossing place on the river. Goods were transported by boat and from Lerryn and Penpoll were distributed to the farming communities of the inland parishes.

The parishes of St Veep and St Winnow both date back at least a 1000 years and are mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086.

Lerryn Village

The first written evidence of the existence of the village of Lerryn is in the Assize Roll of 1284. The name probably comes from the Cornish word, ‘lerion’ meaning waters.

Although not marked as a village, maps of 1576 and 1593 show a furning house. This is probably the mill of German silver smelter and adventurer Burnard Cranach or Burchard Kranich. He ran a silver smelting house between 1556 and 1583. The house cost £300 to build and to fund the house he borrowed money from Mary Tudor, William Godolphin and several others. The mill, used for crushing ore, had a leat of 2000 paces, and the melting house, for refining the silver, was sited at what is now Fan Cottage and Fan Field. The lane leading to Fan Cottage is still known as ‘Piggy Lane’, possibly reference to ‘pig ore’ rather than the four legged kind. At least 2,000 ounces of silver were smelted with ore coming from mines in Tregadoke, Padstow, St Delion, Portysyke, Peran and St Columb. In 1573 Queen Elizabeth I ordered that a rate be levied for rebuilding the bridge in to aid production of silver. [Foot, Andrew (1986). A History of St. Veep Church & Parish Including Lerryn.]


Penpoll means the head of a pool or creek. The first mention of Penpoll is in the record of charters of 1224 and 1249 and the first mention of Penpoll Mill is 1591 in the christening record of a child living at the Mill. In the 1660s there are two references to Higher and Lower Penpoll as part of the Coryton Estate of Manely Coleshill. [Foot, Andrew (1986). A History of St. Veep Church & Parish Including Lerryn.]

1839 seems to be the heyday for Penpoll. There were 90 men, women and children in the three hamlets (Penpoll, Higher Penpoll and Lower Penpoll), including barge-men, shoemakers, tailors and masons, as well as farmers. By 1871 the population had fallen to 51, 23 of whom lived in the cottages of Higher Penpoll.

The Bridge, Lerryn, 1950

The Bridge, Lerryn, 1950

Lerryn Village, 1920

1920s. View from N. bank, Woodside cottage (later Tanglewood) Left. Riverside cottage with landing replaced by Little Quay, late 50s.

The Stepping Stones, Lerryn. 2005

The Stepping Stones, Lerryn. 2005

The Red Store, Lerryn, 1930

1930. Lerryn Lowertown.Trading Vessel moored at the Red Store quay near Couch’s Store (now The Boathouse) and Black Store (no longer there).