The parish of Mawgan-in-Meneage is a largely rural area situated to the south of Helston in the Meneage area of the Lizard Peninsula. Mawgan village and the hamlet of Garras are the principal areas of habitation and the population as at the 2011 census was 1437 of which 736 live at RNAS Culdrose.
The parish lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the intertidal SSSI touches the parish at Trelowarren Mill.
The oldest part of Mawgan village is Churchtown around St Mawgan Church. The Church, which is in the four-parish Benefice of Meneage, is Grade 1 listed and dates back to the 13th century, although there has been a religious presence here since the 6th century and St. Mawgan and was mentioned in the Exeter Domesday Book of 1085. Among the memorials are lifesize effigies of Sir Roger and Lady Johanna Carminow. Sir Roger was a crusader who accompanied Prince Edward on the last Crusade in 1270, and his second son married into the family who owned Lanhydrock. The church also has a fine belltower containing six bells.
Nearby at Mawgan Cross is an inscribed pillar stone which is thought to date from before the twelfth century. The inscription, which is now lost, once read, CNEGUMI FILI GENAIVS or “(the stone) of Cnegumus, son of Genaius”.
Also within the parish is the ancient Trelowarren Estate which has been the seat of the Vyvyans since the 12th century. The estate contains Halligye Fogou which is the largest fogou in Cornwall and dates back to the Iron Age. Nowadays the estate has luxury time share cottages, a Spa and Restaurant as well as hosting The Cornwall Crafts Association Gallery and the Trelowarren Christian Fellowship.
Contained within the parish are parts of RNAS Culdrose and Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station. RNAS Culdrose is the largest helicopter base in Europe with some 75 aircraft, including Merlins, Sea Kings and Hawk trainer jets, and with 3,000 personnel is the biggest single-site employer in Cornwall. In 2012 the Olympic plane arrived at Culdrose from Athens carrying the Olympic flame.
Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, arguably the cradle of modern communications, is now owned by Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) Ltd. having purchased a 999 year lease from BT in February 2014. For some years Avanti Communications Group plc, a leading satellite operator, providing high speed internet and Ka-band data services for business, rural areas, mobile carrier, and defence sectors, has leased part of the site from BT and provides their services through partners around the globe.
Goonhilly has a distinguished history and two of its iconic satellite dishes are now Grade II listed buildings. In 1962 Aerial 1 received the first live trans-Atlantic pictures via Telstar and in 1968 Aerial 2 received direct live coverage of the Mexico Olympics.
Also within the parish are many farms, a small industrial estate at Gilly Gabben and some privately owned businesses.
The village has a Post Office and very well stocked shop (selling as much local produce as possible), The Ship Inn, a thriving pub and restaurant, Garras School and Owlets Pre-School and Parc Vro residential home for the elderly.
Garras School provides education for children from five to eleven years and Year 6 children generally transfer to Mullion School. The Owlets Pre-School, on the same site as Garras School, takes children from the age of 2 to 4½. The school is now federated with Sithney School with whom they share the Head Teacher. In 2011 the School was graded good by OFSTED and Outstanding for its early years care.
The village has a modern, well equipped Recreation Hall and adjoining field with a children’s play area and adult fitness equipment. The Hall hosts a wide variety of meetings and activities including the Luncheon Club for the over 60s and is available for hire.
Although there are no medical facilities within the parish there are five doctors’ surgeries within six miles of the village and Helston Community Hospital holds many outpatient clinics and has a MIU. The East Lizard Helpline (run by the Churches Together initiative) is available for help with transport to medical appointments.
There are bus services to Helston and St. Keverne.
The village is within easy reach of the beautiful beaches and peaceful creeks of the Lizard and the parish is well served for the holiday industry, possessing campsites, B&Bs and holiday cottages for hire.
The highlight of the year is Feast Week in June when a range of activities – from concerts to quizzes to children’s games – are put on to appeal to the whole community. In addition the Church holds regular coffee mornings, a Summer Fete and Christmas Bazaar and a biennial Daffodil Festival.
All of the village activities, together with contact information, are publicised in the The Meneage Messenger, the community magazine for the four Meneage Parishes.
LCH Oct 2014