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St Just in Penwith, Cornwall

St Just in Penwith is the geographic origin of the branch of the Grenfell family with which this website is associated. More information on this subject can be found on the Origins of the Grenfell Family Name page.

The town of St Just is the most westerly town in mainland Britain and is situated approximately 8 miles west of Penzance. There is evidence of mining in the area since ancient, pre-industrial times and in the 19th century it became one of the most important mining districts in Cornwall for both copper and tin. However, the mining boom and the increase in the town’s population was equalled by its collapse when the tin market declined.

The parish church is dedicated to St Just and has undergone a few reconstructions over the years. Whilst medieval in origin nothing remains of this version, and only part of the chancel from the church built in 1334 remains. The present  church dates back to 15th century. Parish records of St Just list many members of the Grenfell family who were baptised (1600 – 1866), married (1739-1888) and burials (1600-1926)

Within the church is an artifact of interest to the Grenfell family – a White Ensign (see below) which was flown by H.M.S. Revenge during the Battle of Jutland in May 1916. It was given to the church for safe keeping by Captain Russell Grenfell RN. Another notable Grenfell connected to St Just was Edward Charles Grenfell (1870-1941), first Baron St Just, founder of Morgan Grenfell bank and MP for the City of London 1922-1935. 

In the town there are also two Non-Conformist Christian Churches – the Wesleyan Methodist Church known as St Just Miner’s Chapel and the Methodist Free Church or St Just Free Church as it is now known. Non-conformist records list a number of members of the Grenfell family who were baptised Wesleyan Methodist (1858-1912), Bible Christian Circuit (1861-1907) and Wesleyan Methodist burials (1849-1912).

Further information about St Just in Penwith can be found on the relevant pages on Cornwall Online Parish Clerks website, the Genuki page dedicated to St Just in Penwith and via Penwith Local History Group.

The churches in St Just Penwith are resting place for the following Grenfells:
St Just in Penwith cemetery:

Richard Nicholas Grenfell d. 1943
Violet May Grenfell d. 1973

St Just in Penwith Church:

Grace Grenfell d. 1842
Nicholas Grenfell d. 1855
William Grenfell d. 1834
Grace Grenfell d. 1848 
Ann Tonkin Grenfell d. 1889
Pascoe Grenfell d. 1891
Thomas Grenfell d.1837
Matilda Grenfell d. 186(5)

St Just in Penwith Wesleyan Chapel:

Elizabeth Grenfell d.1896
Matilda Grenfell d. 1915
Martha Grenfell d. 1914
Pascoe Grenfell d. 1868
Pascoe Grenfell d. 1885
Nanny Grenfell d. 1863
Richard Grenfell
John Thomas Grenfell d. 1961
Elizabeth Ellen Grenfell d. 1970
Thomas Stanley Grenfell d. 1970

More details of these Grenfells can be found on the St Just in Penwith monumental inscriptions page.

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